ANAHEIM -- The shift to the bullpen has suited Jesse Chavez.After losing his spot in the rotation because of ineffectiveness, Chavez has blossomed into a dominant relief arm for the Angels, firing four scoreless innings in Tuesday night's 8-2 win over the A's at Angel Stadium.Chavez's effort helped pick up
ANAHEIM -- The shift to the bullpen has suited Jesse Chavez.
After losing his spot in the rotation because of ineffectiveness, Chavez has blossomed into a dominant relief arm for the Angels, firing four scoreless innings in Tuesday night's 8-2 win over the A's at Angel Stadium.
Chavez's effort helped pick up rookie Troy Scribner, who lasted only 2 2/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. Since moving to the bullpen at the beginning of August, Chavez has allowed only one run over 15 innings (0.60 ERA) while walking two and striking out 20. At the time of his demotion, Chavez had recorded a 5.43 ERA in 21 starts.
"You're seeing better breaking pitches," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's spinning the ball much better now. His slider and curveball are really sharp, and I think he kind of caught his breath. He exhaled a little bit, and he's got a lot of confidence right now."
Chavez said he thinks the move to the bullpen gave him an opportunity to "tighten some things up," as he's been able to take the mound more frequently as a reliever than as a starter.
"The first half and a little bit in the second half, I was overstriding," Chavez said. "Going back and looking at video and being able to be down in the bullpen and throw as often as I have, it's kind of helped out and let me finetune some things for this stretch run that we have going on."
Despite Chavez's recent success, Scioscia said there are no current plans to move the 34-year-old veteran back into the rotation.
"I think he's just going to be important to our bullpen right now," Scioscia said. "On a night where a starter maybe struggles a little bit and he does what he did tonight, that's going to be really important to us. We'll always evaluate things."
Asked if he could see himself reclaiming his rotation spot, Chavez said, "Personally I can, but it's up to them. I just want to help this team win as much as I can and take the ball whenever there's an out that I can get."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.