ANAHEIM -- To fill the roster spot vacated when Garrett Richards was optioned on Thursday, the Angels called up right-handed pitcher Eric Hurley on Friday as an extra arm for an overworked bullpen.
The 26-year-old Hurley, who was a first-round pick by the Rangers in the 2004 Draft, went 7-7 with a 5.38 ERA in 17 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League this season.
This is the first time Hurley has been in the big leagues since he started five games with the Rangers in 2008. He got the call late Thursday night just as he was about to go to bed.
"It's very exciting, hard to sleep after that," he said.
Hurley is on solid rest, too, as his last start came on June 2, when he gave up six runs (five earned) in 6 1/3 innings. It doesn't look as though he will be the starter on Sunday for the Angels, however.
"I think Eric is an interesting guy and he'll help us in the bullpen right now," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a rough spring for us, but he made some adjustments. He's a guy that's been pitching well for the last month in Triple-A. He's got some length in him."
During the last six games, the bullpen has thrown 28 innings, and starters recorded an out past the fifth inning just once in that span. After Richards allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings on Thursday, the Angels needed to send the rookie down in order to have at least a little flexibility in the bullpen before the All-Star break.
With injured righty Jerome Williams slated to have one more rehab start before returning to the Majors, the starter for Sunday's series finale with the Orioles is still up in the air. Scioscia said the announcement would come on Saturday.
The Angels' most likely options in Triple-A are lefties Greg Smith and Brad Mills, who last pitched Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. In 10 starts at Salt Lake this season, Smith is 4-5 with a 3.50 ERA, while Mills is 3-4 with a 4.76 ERA in nine starts.
Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.