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Mark Mulder’s injury won’t make Angels trust Joe Blanton

Feb 18, 2014, 1:03 PM EDT

Joe Blanton AP

Mark Mulder‘s comeback attempt ending before it really even began thanks to a torn Achilles’ tendon took a dent out of the Angels’ rotation depth, but they still aren’t willing to trust Joe Blanton and his $8.5 million salary.

Blanton went 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA last season after signing with the Angels as a free agent and in talking to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times manager Mike Scioscia made it pretty clear that he’s not guaranteed a rotation spot:

There was a crevice in the pitching staff that needed to be filled. It wasn’t a little crack. It was big. … Joe needs to make adjustments and put his best foot forward. He had a terrible season, but when he’s throwing to the best of his ability he’s capable of getting major league hitters out.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement from a guy the team gave $15 million to about 14 months ago. In terms of finding a silver lining in Blanton’s ugly 2013, as usual he posted a nice K/BB ratio at 108/34 in 133 innings, but he also served up 29 homers and that’s always been the biggest problem for him. He figures to be better, mostly because he can’t be worse, but Blanton hasn’t posted a better-than-average ERA since 2009.

  1. scatterbrian - Feb 18, 2014 at 2:35 PM

    Wow, the fact that Mark Mulder was considered rotation depth is a pretty bad sign for a team with intentions on contending.

    • tuberippin - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      Joe Blanton was so bad last year, pitchers that were not effective five years ago were deemed more likely to win a rotation spot than Meatball Joe.

      • jarathen - Feb 18, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        It was originally why Ryan left the Rangers’ the Angels had a tentative offer to bring The Express back to Anaheim.

        It was later confirmed they meant PANDA, but whatever.

    • 78mu - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:16 PM

      That’s what I was thinking.

      You had to figure that anything they got from Mulder would be a bonus and should never have been thought of as an important cog of the team.

      • scatterbrian - Feb 18, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        OK, Joe Blanton sucked. Clearly the Angels needed an upgrade in the rotation. That doesn’t mean you need to go after a retread who hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2008 — and hasn’t pitched well in the Majors in nearly a decade. It means you let Matt Garza finish his vacation with his wife, give him a few days to land and get settled back into his life, watch his slideshow and hear all of his travel stories, and then you sign him.

  2. infieldhit - Feb 18, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Joe Blanton, aka: “The Big Crack.”

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