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Inbox: When will Angels shift to 6-man rotation?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado answers questions from fans
MLB.com @mi_guardado

When are the Angels going to go to a six-man rotation?
-- Chris U., Downey, Calif.

When are the Angels going to go to a six-man rotation?
-- Chris U., Downey, Calif.

Tweet from @SantaCruzDad: If Heaney and Tropeano are here to stay, who is likely to be that 6th starter? Bridwell or Barria?

The Angels are expected to transition to their flexible six-man rotation within the next week, as they'll need an extra starter by Sunday at the latest. If the Angels wait until Sunday to call up another pitcher, Jaime Barria would become an option to join the rotation, along with Parker Bridwell.

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It could be a bit of a toss-up between the two. The 21-year-old Barria impressed in his MLB debut against the Rangers last Wednesday, allowing one run over five innings and earning his first career win. Bridwell, who logged a 3.64 ERA over 121 innings in 2017, allowed six runs over 1 2/3 innings in his season debut against the A's on April 6, and he also struggled in his most recent start at Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, giving up eight runs over 4 1/3 innings.

Video: LAA@TEX: Barria allows one hit in MLB debut

The sixth-starter situation could be quite fluid, with Barria and Bridwell both factoring into the Angels' rotation mix over the course of the season. The only starter who can't be optioned is Garrett Richards, so the rotation could have a lot of interchangeable parts, depending on matchups and who's pitching well at any given time.

Tweet from @mychingu: Any talks about the possibility of extending Mike Scioscia's contract?

Scioscia is in the final season of the 10-year, $50 million contract he signed in January 2009, but I wouldn't expect his situation to be resolved until the end of the year. Last fall, Scioscia and general manager Billy Eppler sat down and agreed to save those conversations for the end of the 2018 season, so I think both parties are content to just ride it out for now.

Seeing how the Angels have performed so far, is it more likely we try adding a bullpen piece or starter? By bullpen piece, I mean a [Zach] Britton, once healthy, or a Kelvin Herrera?
-- Calvin H., Anaheim, Calif.

I wouldn't expect any discussions to gain serious traction until the non-waiver Trade Deadline gets closer, and it's hard to predict what the Angels' biggest needs will be three months from now. That said, the early returns seem to suggest that if the Angels were to make a big move, it would probably be for an impact pitcher.

The Halos could certainly try to target an "established closer," like Britton or Herrera, who are both eligible for free agency at the end of the season. But the Angels' bullpen has been quite good so far, posting a 2.45 ERA over an American League-high 69 2/3 innings.

Adding a quality starter also wouldn't hurt, though it remains to be seen who will be made available and whether the Angels will be willing to potentially dip into their farm system to meet the asking prices.

Where is Kaleb Cowart? I do not see him on either the Angels or Bees rosters.
-- Scott M., Orem, Utah

Cowart is currently on the disabled list after sustaining a broken foot near the end of Spring Training.

Tweet from @calbears04: Did Chris carter take a ml assignment?

Carter, who signed a Minor League deal during Spring Training, is currently on the Triple-A Salt Lake roster. He is batting .250 with an .888 OPS and three homers over 11 games. The Angels don't have a spot for him right now, as Luis Valbuena, Albert Pujols and Jefry Marte remain ahead of him on the depth chart at first base.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels