CLEVELAND -- With limited starting options to fill the vacancy in their rotation left by the injured Alex Meyer, the Angels will have right-handed reliever Yusmeiro Petit open Saturday's game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Manager Mike Scioscia said Petit will likely throw between 40 to 50 pitches in his first start of the season, setting up a bullpen game for the Angels. The 32-year-old veteran has thrived as a multi-inning reliever for the Halos this season, logging a 2.70 ERA over 56 2/3 innings in relief, which ranks second in the Majors behind the Astros' Chris Devenski (58 1/3 innings).
"This is something that's evolved through necessity as far as starting, but we were very confident about the multi-inning role in the bullpen," Scioscia said. "Outside of Devenski with Houston, I think he's thrown the most innings out of any bullpen, and they've been great innings. He's having a terrific season."
Petit made one start for the Nationals last June, allowing three runs over six innings against the Dodgers. He worked three scoreless innings in a 41-pitch outing against the Indians on Tuesday.
The Angels are hoping that Meyer, who landed on the disabled list on Monday with right shoulder inflammation, will be able to come back relatively quickly, but Scioscia said it's possible that Petit could be stretched out further and make another start after Saturday.
The Halos will call up an extra reliever ahead of Saturday's game to give their bullpen some additional coverage against Toronto.
• Left-hander Andrew Heaney tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings in his third rehab start in the Rookie-level Arizona League on Wednesday night, allowing just three hits while walking none and striking out seven. Heaney, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, will likely make his next start at a higher Minor League level, according to Scioscia.
"I think as his rehab is building momentum, there's definitely a lot of encouraging signs coming out of it," Scioscia said. "He's on his path and nothing has set him back so far. He's doing well."
• Third baseman Yunel Escobar and catcher Martin Maldonado were not in the starting lineup Thursday. Infielder Luis Valbuena and backstop Juan Graterol started in their places in the Angels' series finale against the Indians.