MINNEAPOLIS -- Hopeful of duplicating the results of last Saturday -- though perhaps without having to use eight relievers in nine innings -- the Angels will turn to reliever Cory Rasmus to start Saturday's game against the Twins at Target Field.
Rasmus, 26, threw the first three innings of a shutout against the A's, the first time Garrett Richards' turn came up, using 49 pitches. Manager Mike Scioscia, who announced the decision on Thursday, won't push Rasmus much further than that.
"If he can get into the fourth, great," Scioscia said. "If he can get into the fifth, better yet. We'll just see how he can hold up in his start."
Rasmus has a 2.48 ERA in 25 appearances (40 innings) this season, with 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings, a walk rate of 2.7 and a 1.10 WHIP. The Angels have a 12-man bullpen (including Rasmus) and can get plenty of length out of lefties Wade LeBlanc and Michael Roth if needed.
Richards' spot will come up at least four more times, and the Angels will continue to try to piece together the rotation every time it does. Scioscia said Saturday is "certainly a matchup game," so he doesn't want Rasmus trying to conserve anything to try to go deep.
"This would be a totally different situation if we were talking about May," Scioscia said. "We're talking about a finite amount of games and a finite amount of times you have to do this."
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.Less