ANAHEIM -- It perhaps isn't the ideal scenario, and it probably won't last very long, but for now the Angels have seven starting pitchers on the active roster, with two of them, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams, out of the rotation.
Williams, out of options, will remain in the bullpen for the time being.
Richards, however, is in limbo, basically waiting to see whether he'll start in the Angels' rotation or Triple-A Salt Lake's.
"I don't think we're going to hold onto both our guys in our 'pen," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Sunday. "But right now I think you want to make decisions based on as much information, and it's still developing right now."
The Angels, who just traded for starter Zack Greinke and called up Richards earlier this season when Jered Weaver was hurt, are waiting on a couple of things:
How Ervin Santana, and his unsightly 6.00 ERA, handles his start in Texas on Monday. In hopes of getting Santana to be more aggressive early in the game, Scioscia will limit him to no more than 15 outs against the same Rangers team that beat him up for six runs in 1 2/3 innings during his July 21 start in Anaheim.
Is this his last chance to prove he deserves to stay in the rotation?
"We're not moving forward with any hypotheticals," Scioscia said. "We know what Ervin is capable of doing. Obviously, it's a time of year and time in our season where we need production from our starters and we're going to evaluate this thing."
Dan Haren came out of his last start, six-plus innings of one-run ball in a win over the Rays on Friday, with a little stiffness in his back. Scioscia continues to say it was nothing outside of the normal post-start stiffness -- and not to the severity of the stiff lower back that recently landed Haren on the disabled list for the first time ever -- but the Angels want to be sure.
For now, Haren is expected to take his scheduled turn in the rotation on Wednesday in Texas, against Yu Darvish.
"But we want to see exactly where he is," Scioscia said. "Yeah, we expect him to take his turn, but you want to make sure guys are fully recovered and ready to go. And if some guys need another day, you give them another day. We gave [Weaver] an extra day on this trip and it's important for these guys to rebound, especially this time of year."
Trout a late scratch with knee contusion
ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout was a late scratch from the Angels' lineup on Sunday morning, because of a left knee contusion the 20-year-old outfielder suffered during Saturday night's 3-0 loss to the Rays.
Trout got dinged up while banging up against the wall chasing Ben Zobrist's third-inning homer, but the Angels listed him as day to day and manager Mike Scioscia doesn't believe he'll require an X-ray or MRI.
He just needs to rest. And with a big four-game series coming up against the Rangers, this was a good time.
"He hit his knee into the wall pretty good," Scioscia said. "He's a little sore today. We'll see what his availability is to do something during the game and hopefully he'll get back in there tomorrow."
Trout, sporting an American League-leading .350 batting average and 31 stolen bases, had started 78 of the Angels' 81 games since his April 28 callup. Without him, shortstop Maicer Izturis led off and Vernon Wells became the new left fielder, batting seventh.
Right fielder Torii Hunter was given the day off to rest due to the quick turnaround from Saturday night's game, though he did pinch-hit in the ninth inning of the 2-0 loss.
Reliever Jordan Walden, on the disabled list recovering from stiffness in his neck and a strain in his right biceps, has been throwing off flat ground the last couple of days, but isn't close to throwing off a bullpen mound just yet. "It's a process right now," Scioscia said. "He has to go through a progression. But he's taking the first baby steps and feeling fine."
Williams, with a 4.56 ERA in 100 2/3 innings this year, said he wasn't surprised he lost his spot in the rotation, given Richards' emergence of late. That, and the acquisition of Greinke, could make Williams' move to the bullpen more of a long-term situation. "That's not my decision," Williams said. "All I can do is try to pitch as well as I can, and whatever happens, happens."
The Angels have been in talks with the Mariners for right-handed reliever Brandon League, sources said, though it's unsure how deep those discussions are at this point. An industry source told MLB.com on Sunday afternoon that the Mariners could be close to trading League to either the Giants or Angels. Nothing is definite just yet, but the Angels have been looking for late-inning bullpen help all month and are an interested suitor. The Mariners want young hitters in return.
Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo was nursing sore left ribs after Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Rays. Trumbo sustained the injury during pregame batting practice, but played through it and doesn't expect it to affect him moving forward.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.