Purgatory Online

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Mike Scioscia appears to have finally given up on Ramon Ortiz, demoting him to the bullpen and putting Aaron Sele into the starting rotation. Thanks be to Jebus. Sele will start on Thursday against Tampa, and Ortiz will theoretically be coming out of the pen in long relief. I suppose anything's possible, but since Ortiz's real problem has always been mental, I can't imagine that he'll actually improve when he enters a game with runners on base.

Meanwhile, the Angels are estimating that Brendan Donnelly could return as soon as next week, welcome news for anyone who watched Scot Shields "protect" a five-run lead last night. Don't get me wrong - Shields is a good reliever, but when he doesn't have command of his fastball the Angels need to be able to turn to someone else. I have to admit that I'm a bit mystified by the talk of Donnelly's impending return displacing Ben Weber or (please, God) Ortiz, since the team brought Matt Hensley up from Triple-A when Salmon went on the DL, and could easily send him back down again once Donnelly's back. The real crisis wouldn't come until Salmon and Anderson return, at which point they're unlikely to continue carrying fourteen pitchers.

Of course, it's probably unwise to carry fourteen pitchers now. I had a nice little reminder of how closely I've been following this team this morning: driving to work, I hit a patch of construction on the highway in which the speed limit changed; passing the signs that said "55," all I could think was frickin' Jeff DaVanon...we need better pinch hitters.