"I don't think we're going to hold onto both our guys in our 'pen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Sunday. "But right now I think you want to make decisions based on as much information, and it's still developing right now."
The Angels, who just traded for starter Zack Greinke and called up Richards earlier this season when Jered Weaver was hurt, are waiting on a couple of things:
How Ervin Santana, and his unsightly 6.00 ERA, handles his start in Texas on Monday. In hopes of getting Santana to be more aggressive early in the game, Scioscia will limit him to no more than 15 outs against the same Rangers team that beat him up for six runs in 1 2/3 innings during his July 21 start in Anaheim.
Is this his last chance to prove he deserves to stay in the rotation?
"We're not moving forward with any hypotheticals," Scioscia said. "We know what Ervin is capable of doing. Obviously, it's a time of year and time in our season where we need production from our starters and we're going to evaluate this thing."
Dan Haren came out of his last start, six-plus innings of one-run ball in a win over the Rays on Friday, with a little stiffness in his back. Scioscia continues to say it was nothing outside of the normal post-start stiffness -- and not to the severity of the stiff lower back that recently landed Haren on the disabled list for the first time ever -- but the Angels want to be sure.
For now, Haren is expected to take his scheduled turn in the rotation on Wednesday in Texas, against Yu Darvish.
"But we want to see exactly where he is," Scioscia said. "Yeah, we expect him to take his turn, but you want to make sure guys are fully recovered and ready to go. And if some guys need another day, you give them another day. We gave [Weaver] an extra day on this trip and it's important for these guys to rebound, especially this time of year."