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Angels choose Shoemaker over two veterans

Angels choose Shoemaker over two veterans

Angels choose Shoemaker over two veterans

ANAHEIM -- When the Angels needed a replacement for Jered Weaver on Friday, they turned to Matt Shoemaker, who had not been with the team all year and was not even invited to Spring Training. That does not seem to bode well for the man who was given a two-year, $15 million contract in December in Joe Blanton, or the man who was acquired in a one-for-one deal from the Braves for Jordan Walden (Tommy Hanson).

But Angels manager Mike Scioscia downplayed that Friday, saying the decision had more to do with getting a look at Shoemaker in his Major League debut than it did going against Hanson or Blanton.

"I think that tonight's one of those things that we're going to give Matt a shot," Scioscia said. "I don't think it's fair to compare it to why Joe isn't pitching or why Tommy isn't pitching. It's really not part of the equation. It's just, let's just see what Matt has."

Shoemaker -- 11-13 with a 4.64 ERA in 29 starts at Triple-A this year -- marked the 26th pitcher used by the Angels this season, three shy of the club record set in 1996.

Hanson, who will be a non-tender candidate in December, posted a 5.59 ERA in 13 starts earlier this season, was hit and miss after being optioned to Triple-A (4.50 ERA in six starts) and has not appeared in a game since being recalled Sept. 16. Blanton, who may get released in the offseason, is 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA and has been pitching mostly in mop-up duty since late July.

Friday was essentially the only time the Angels could try someone else in the rotation, with Weaver (right forearm tightness) expected to return Wednesday and the Angels mindful of the postseason ramifications for their final two opponents, the A's and the Rangers.

Asked if he has Hanson or Blanton penciled in for any starts the rest of the season, Scioscia said: "As of right now, no. But things can change. I'm not going to sit here and say they're not going to pitch, but I think that we have our guys who are going to take their turn, and then we'll see where it is."

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

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