Down four starters, Halos weighing options

August 26th, 2021

BALTIMORE -- Prior to Thursday afternoon’s series finale in Baltimore, manager Joe Maddon confirmed that the left-hander Packy Naughton was with the team but not on the active roster. With four starters on the IL -- Dylan Bundy with a right shoulder strain and Jose Marte, Alex Warren and Reid Detmers with undisclosed injuries -- the Angels will need to get creative for the upcoming Padres series.

In Bundy’s last start on Tuesday, he tossed just 1 1/3 innings, leaving the bullpen to cover the rest of the game. During Wednesday’s game vs. Baltimore, Maddon knew he wouldn’t have all of his go-to guys out of the ‘pen, and it hurt the Halos as they suffered a 10-6 loss.

The Angels' skipper is confident that those arms are rested and ready to pitch in the finale. So now that the bullpen has its full arsenal ready, the attention returns to the starting rotation.

Names like José Quintana -- who is on the active roster -- along with prospects Naughton and Aaron Slegers have been thrown around as potential upcoming starters, though Maddon has not confirmed any impending roster moves.

The team has not specified why three of its starting pitchers are on the IL, but the Halos’ manager has been asked multiple times if their absence is COVID-related. Teams are not allowed to release COVID information without player approval, but Maddon spoke about how he believes the team is handling the situation.

“It's a challenge,” said Maddon. “There's no question about it. Honestly, I just always refer back to my Minor League days. … You try to put together your best game plan for the day that day, and then you go out there and try to work it. When you have to start making adaptations this time of the year, under the circumstances, you try to figure it out the best you can, knowing that it can or cannot work out or may not work out. It's just that the group is so scattered, and you have new faces showing up all the time. It's difficult, but I still believe that the Minor League training is the best.”

Quintana has started 10 games this season, the last on Aug. 19, when he allowed five earned runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Naughton has made one relief appearance for the big league club in 2021 and has nine starts and four relief appearances under his belt with Triple-A Salt Lake. His ERA in Triple-A sits at 4.76.

Slegers has appeared in 29 games for the Angels this season, bouncing back and forth between the Majors and the Minors for most of June, July and August. In his last start for the Salt Lake Bees on Aug. 24, the righty allowed three runs on three hits and two walks over three innings.