Santiago mired in tough situation

Santiago mired in tough situation

ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker has beaten Cliff Lee and David Price in his two starts since coming up from Triple-A, while Hector Santiago went seven days without a relief appearance before pitching two innings of mop-up duty on Monday.

"Difficult spot," manager Mike Scioscia said of Santiago's situation. "Difficult spot."

The Angels moved Santiago out of the rotation after the 26-year-old lefty went 0-6 with a 5.19 ERA in his first seven starts. Since then he has basically been a long reliever, one who hasn't had any chances, because the starters have consistently pitched deep into games.

Scioscia reiterated on Monday that "long range, there's no doubt that [Santiago] has the potential to start," but he made no indications as to when that would occur.

The Angels have an off-day on Thursday and could juggle the rotation thereafter. C.J. Wilson will start Friday's series opener against the Royals, but the rest is to be determined. They could skip Santiago's spot, which belongs to Shoemaker, but that would only buy them three days, because the following off-day isn't until June 2.

Asked if it would be best for Santiago to stay stretched out in Triple-A at this point, Scioscia said, "I think you're always evaluating what's best for a player, what's best for your roster, but we haven't come to any decisions yet on that.

"What Hector needs to focus on -- when he gets the ball, in whatever role -- is to make pitches and get guys out," he added. "It's not uncommon for a guy to struggle a little in the rotation, get off the treadmill for a while, and when he gets his opportunity, he's better prepared. Hopefully, that will be the case for Hector."

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.