Pitching remains Angels' biggest area of concern

Pitching remains Angels' biggest area of concern

Pitching remains Angels' biggest area of concern
ANAHEIM -- The Angels are chasing the Rangers in the American League West.

But are games the only thing at which they need to beat them?

It turns out the Rangers have pretty similar rotation issues as the Angels. And with the non-waiver Trade Deadline only nine days away, both of them could be competing for outside starting pitching help.

But Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto, speaking to reporters prior to Sunday's series finale against Texas, says his team's Deadline strategy will not be influenced "in any way" by the division rivals.

"We have to tend to our own garden, and we have our own set of dynamics to manage, whether that be the 25-man roster or the organizational players that exist beyond the Major League club, payroll dynamics, etc.," Dipoto said. "The Angels are the Angels, the Rangers are the Rangers. We have to figure out how to catch them, but at the end of the day, we're managing our own club and this organization, not theirs."

The Rangers have received solid contributions from Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison, but Neftali Feliz has been out since mid-May, Colby Lewis is hurt again, Derek Holland has struggled and Roy Oswalt was just scratched from his Monday start with tightness in his lower back.

For the Angels, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson have been solid, but Dan Haren has been hurt, Ervin Santana is having a rough year, and Jerome Williams and Garrett Richards have been inconsistent.

Dipoto said pitching "will be available" before the Deadline, but, as always, "You're going to pay a premium for it." And this year, with the extra Wild Card and diminishing Draft-pick compensation under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the price may be steeper than ever.

That's why -- despite actively seeking pitching upgrades for the rotation and bullpen -- Dipoto continues to stress that the best option may be to fix those issues internally.

"The focus for us is, 'How do we get these guys where they need to be?" Dipoto said. "When you have pitchers that are as accomplished as these guys, essentially the rest of the league is going out trying to scout guys like that, who are playing for teams who might not be contenders, to try to essentially buy low and get a guy who can make a difference for them in the second half. Here we are, we've got those guys -- we just have to get them back on track."