If the Los Angeles Angels (44-47) were hoping that Jerome Williams could hold down a spot in the starting rotation while Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson recover from injuries, they have seen little to justify that hope. Williams’ latest outing on Friday against the Seattle Mariners gave no indication that things would be looking up for him any time soon, as he gave up six runs in just 3.1 innings.
Williams is 0-3 with a 9.74 ERA since moving to the rotation on June 22, a dismal stretch that has underscored the Angels’ dire need for starting pitching. Outside of Jered Weaver (0.87 ERA in his last three starts) and C.J. Wilson (9-6, 3.37 ERA on the season), the Halos haven’t been able to find any healthy, consistent arms to anchor the rotation. Joe Blanton showed promise when he posted a 3.44 ERA in the month of June, but he has since reverted to his early season funk with two horrible starts in July.
As I have previously written, the Angels will need to give up significant pieces if they are to snag a decent arm before the July 31 trade deadline. One possibility, in light of the bullpen’s relatively decent performance of late, would be to give up Garrett Richards in the hope that some team wants to convert him into a full-time starter. If the Angels could get a mid-level starting pitcher out of such a trade, then Williams could be moved back down to the bullpen, where he would retake his long relief responsibilities. Once the rest of the Halos’ injured arms begin to heal, such a scenario would leave their pitching in the best possible shape, given the roster’s dearth of tradable assets.
Until Los Angeles shores up its pitching, the offense will have to work overtime to crank out the powerful performances we have been expecting to see all season long.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.