LeBlanc designated for assignment by Angels
OAKLAND -- The Angels needed some length out of the bullpen Saturday and Sunday, and that may cost them some organizational starting-pitching depth.
Left-hander Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment Saturday, one day after a bullpen-saving performance in a 9-5 loss to the A's, and journeyman Minor Leaguer Jarrett Grube was called up to take his place on the roster.
LeBlanc, out of options, gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings Friday while in relief of Garrett Richards, who allowed five runs before recording the third out of the first inning. Now the Angels risk losing LeBlanc off waivers, unable to send him back to Triple-A unless 29 other teams pass up a chance to add him to their big league roster.
"We hope Wade stays with us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'd love him to go down there and continue to pitch. But just like any other pitcher, if there's a big league job, guys are going to pursue it."
The Angels are off Monday and will start C.J. Wilson, Richards and Tyler Skaggs in the upcoming three-game series in Houston. That means Matt Shoemaker is being pushed back and could start as late as next Saturday against the White Sox, with Jered Weaver -- starting Sunday's series finale against the A's -- taking his next turn on normal rest the previous Friday.
Scioscia wouldn't reveal his rotation for the weekend series against the White Sox, but Shoemaker -- two days removed from pitching 5 1/3 innings in Seattle -- isn't available out of the bullpen in the second of a three-game set in Oakland and can't provide much length in the series finale.
Grube -- a 32-year-old right-hander with a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Salt Lake -- is in the Majors for the first time to provide coverage until Monday's off-day.
And LeBlanc -- 29, and with a 3.69 ERA in nine Triple-A starts -- is now there for the taking.
"It's really bad timing for Wade, but it meets our team's need," Scioscia said. "Last night, we had a short start obviously, and [LeBlanc] had to throw a lot. We just need some coverage and length here today and tomorrow, so we needed to get a fresh arm up here."