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Angels exploring options to replace Blanton

Angels exploring options to replace Blanton

Angels exploring options to replace Blanton

ANAHEIM -- The Angels may not have a lot of options to replace Joe Blanton in the starting rotation, but that does not mean they aren't considering making a change.

"We're working on a couple things now," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're going to see where we are and we'll have a decision."

After lasting just 3 2/3 innings during Monday's loss to the Twins, Blanton -- in the first year of a two-year $15 million deal -- has a 2-13 record and a 5.66 ERA.

The right-hander has allowed home runs in 10 consecutive starts and is tied for the league lead with 73 earned runs allowed.

"Joe has put every effort into trying to be the pitcher he can be," Scioscia said. "Right now, it's very clear he is struggling with some of the basic things he needs to do to be that pitcher."

While Blanton's struggles may be clear, his future in the rotation is not as Scioscia was noncommittal following Monday's game and remained so prior to Tuesday's contest.

Simply put, Scioscia said "a lot of factors," will go into the decision of whether Blanton starts Saturday in Oakland, which would be the next time his turn comes up.

If the Angels do decide to remove Blanton from the rotation, Billy Buckner would likely get the start. However, Buckner has pitched just one inning since July 3.

Aside from Buckner, the Angels do not have a lot of options. Michael Roth, who Scioscia believes will be a starter long-term, was optioned to Double-A Arkansas following Monday's game and needs to remain in the Minors for 10 days. Garrett Richards, who has spent time in the Angels' rotation, has not started a game since April 30 and would need some time to build strength in order to go deeper into games.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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