Scioscia, Iannetta juggling influx of pitchers

Scioscia, Iannetta juggling influx of pitchers

ANAHEIM -- As the Angels continue to nurse injuries while shuffling pitchers in and out of the bullpen, manager Mike Scioscia has had to juggle a lot of moving parts.

It is only mid-May, but the Angels have already used 20 pitchers and No. 21 -- right-hander Billy Bucker -- was called up on Thursday.

"The toughest thing is when the parts aren't working," Scioscia said. "If you're managing parts and you have options and guys are doing their job, it becomes functional and you can actually set some things up whether it's in your lineup, the defensive side, the pitching side, whatever it may be."

While Scioscia has had the task of trying to patchwork a bullpen through injuries -- Ryan Madson, Sean Burnett and Kevin Jepsen are on the disabled list -- and players who simply have not performed to expectations, catcher Chris Iannetta has had a challenging task as well.

Establishing a strong pitcher-catcher relationship is not something that happens overnight, but with new faces constantly emerging in the clubhouse and bullpen, they have had to make it work.

Fortunately for the Angels, Iannetta was able to establish at least brief connections with most of the younger pitchers during Spring Training, so the past few weeks have not been as daunting as one might expect.

"The relationship stuff hasn't been bad," Iannetta said. "We've seen these guys in Spring Training. You start building the relationships then. We've all played a long time, we're extremely professional. We know what needs to be done on the working relationship side. That's been pretty seamless."

William Boor is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.