Angels have few options left for Saturday's start

Angels have few options left for Saturday's start

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' search for a potential fifth starter took a hit on Tuesday night, when Chris Volstad was scratched from a start in Triple-A with a sore elbow.

Volstad, one of the few options the Angels have for Saturday's start against the A's, is not expected to be ready to start this weekend, seemingly narrowing the options to Double-A starters Michael Roth and Drew Rucinski and Triple-A left-hander Randy Wolf. The Halos need a starter with ace Garrett Richards out for the season.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia even mentioned current reliever Cory Rasmus as a possible option. Rasmus threw a career-high 51 pitches on Monday, but he has never started a Major League game.

"We've got some guys that are currently on our 25-man roster that we could look to get that game done, and there are some guys in the organization we could look at," Scioscia said.

Roth appears the most likely to start, having thrown seven shutout innings on Monday, which would put him on normal rest for Saturday. In 22 starts at Double-A Arkansas, Roth is 11-7 with a 2.62 ERA. He has also appeared in two games for the Angels, allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Rucinski, meanwhile, started Sunday's game for Arkansas, giving up four runs in five innings while recording 11 strikeouts. Like Roth, Rucinski has pitched for the Angels (two runs in one inning in July) and remains on the 40-man roster.

Wolf is not currently on the 40-man roster (meaning the Angels would need to make room for him by potentially losing a player) and last pitched Sunday for Salt Lake. The 38-year-old veteran surrendered four runs on eight hits across seven innings.

"You don't have a crystal ball, but you always try to project performance and project what both pitchers can do and make the best choice you can on who you think is going to perform better," Scioscia said.

Saturday's start will be the last one by the No. 5 starter before rosters expand on Monday and allow the Angels more pitching depth and flexibility to get through the remaining games.

"You're always going to have that challenge of depth in a starting rotation, and I think you have to find ways to hold your own and win some of those games, when maybe it's not your [No. 1] or 2 or 3 pitcher, and that's what we'll have to do," Scioscia said.

Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.