With the off-day on Thursday, it allows the Angels to pitch Dan Haren on full rest Friday and C.J. Wilson on full rest on Saturday against the Rays. Santana is slated to pitch early next week on the road against the Rangers.
"He's finding his release point, finding his arm slot," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's probably in his benefit, talking with [pitching coach Mike Butcher], to get him a couple more good 'pens in to make sure that he feels good with his delivery and his arm slot."
Santana lasted just 1 2/3 innings in his last outing against Texas on Saturday, giving up six runs on eight hits. During his last 10 starts overall, the right-hander has an ERA of 8.06, but if two straight starts during that stretch where Santana had some brief success are removed, his ERA would balloon to 12.32.
The problem with Santana seems to be with his arm slot, Scioscia said. It's something that has plagued the right-hander throughout his career, especially with the way he has a number of different looks on his fastball and slider. It has started to show itself more and more recently.
The plan to limit the 29-year-old Santana to 15 outs, no matter how well he's pitching, will still stand for his next start. That, coupled with the additional work in the bullpen, is designed to help solve some arm slot problems while injecting some confidence into the struggling Santana.
"It could be a quick fix. It could be what a couple bullpens are going to fix," Scioscia said. "But we have to do it now, because if you don't do it now, and he continues to go in the wrong direction, the probability of him getting back to where we need him to be diminishes."
While Scioscia isn't committed to when Santana's next start will be, he is equally as unsure about the team's starter for Sunday, as well.
It could be Garrett Richards, who gave up four runs in the first two innings on Tuesday but settled down in the next three. Or it could be Jerome Williams, who threw four scoreless innings in relief of Richards. Both have been inconsistent during the last month.
"We'll have some options there," Scioscia said. "The way Garrett threw the last three innings is the way that we know he can pitch. The way that Jerome threw the last four innings is the way we know he can pitch. So we'll take a look at that."