CLEVELAND — The Angels signed Yusmeiro Petit because they felt he could be an asset either in the rotation or bullpen, and this weekend he’ll finally get a crack at the former.
Petit will start Saturday in Toronto, filling a void left by Alex Meyer’s placement on the disabled list. Because Petit has only pitched in relief this season, he’ll be able to throw only 40 to 50 pitches, Manager Mike Scioscia said. He will be the first of a series of relievers, with the Angels likely adding another arm to the roster before that game.
“There’s a limit to how much he’s going to do, but hopefully he’ll get us off on the right foot and give us a chance to win the game,” Scioscia said.
Petit has been one of the Angels’ most valuable pitchers this season, posting a 2.70 ERA in 56 2/3 innings. He has thrown the second most relief innings in the majors, trailing only Houston’s Chris Devenski (58 1/3).
Scioscia said Petit could remain in the rotation, slowly building his innings up to the level of a conventional starter. Generally, pitchers can increase their workload by about 15 pitches per start.
Andrew Heaney is moving closer to being a legitimate alternative for the Angels rotation.
Heaney, who is nearly 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery, pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, with no walks and seven strikeouts, on Wednesday night in the rookie-level Arizona League. He has allowed two earned runs in 10 2/3 innings in three games, with 15 strikeouts and one walk. His next outing will be at a higher level, either Triple-A Salt Lake City or Class-A Inland Empire.
“Velocity was good, command was good,” Scioscia said. “He’s on his path. Nothing has set him back so far. He’s doing well.”
Scioscia said there’s still no date when they are planning on having him back. In a normal spring training, a pitcher would make six starts, so presumably Heaney has at least three left.
“As his rehab has built momentum, there are definitely a lot of encouraging signs coming out of it,” Scioscia said. “This is a process for Andrew for hopefully the next 10 years of his career. I think we’re all excited as he gets into the length and execution of pitches. We’re seeing him rebound. Those are all positive signs that are important.”
Yunel Escobar was not in the Angels lineup Thursday, for a routine day off, Scioscia said. …
Kaleb Cowart started at second for the third time in three games since he was promoted from Triple-A. Cowart had three hits in seven at-bats in the first two games, without any issues defensively. …
Tyler Skaggs is scheduled to pitch for Salt Lake City on Thursday night, his third game at Triple-A. Skaggs had said he planned on being ready to return after that outing, but Scioscia indicated the Angels would like to see more. …
The Angels are scheduled to see left-handed pitchers in the first two games in Toronto, which likely means two starts for C.J. Cron instead of Luis Valbuena….