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10/04/09 4:10 PM EST
Scioscia lays out Angels' ALDS rotation
Weaver, Kazmir, Saunders to follow Game 1 starter Lackey
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia on Sunday finally made his rotation official for the American League Division Series against Boston starting on Wednesday or Thursday at Angel Stadium, depending on the Yankees' decision regarding which series to take. John Lackey will go in Game 1, followed by Jered Weaver, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders. Kazmir will pitch Game 3 with Saunders working Game 4, if necessary, at Fenway Park, where both southpaws have had success. Scioscia also disclosed his 25-man roster, with one question mark. Reliever Jason Bulger, who experienced shoulder discomfort on Saturday, is questionable. He is seeing a doctor on Sunday but maintained he's hopeful he'll be ready to go. If Bulger is not included on the 10-man pitching staff, he'll be replaced, Scioscia said, by Jose Arredondo, Sean O'Sullivan or Rich Thompson. Bobby Wilson made the postseason roster as a third catcher, giving Scioscia the ability to hold Mike Napoli back as a pinch-hitter and bat for Jeff Mathis in late-game situations if the need arises. Reggie Willits also made the roster as a versatile late-innings weapon, joining Gary Matthews Jr. as outfield reserves. The bench will include Maicer Izturis for Game 1 with Howard Kendrick playing second base against southpaw Jon Lester. Napoli also figures to be on the bench with Mathis catching Lackey, and Robb Quinlan brings his experienced bat and versatile glove to the mix. Izturis will play second base against Boston's right-handed starters, with Kendrick taking his hot bat to the bench. Wilson, who spent almost the entire season at Triple-A Salt Lake, has excelled defensively and hit the ball sharply in limited opportunities since his Sept. 1 promotion along with Willits. "It gives us some depth, some versatility," Scioscia said of the decision to carry three catchers. "Carrying a third catcher made a lot of sense. "If it's a place where you need to get a bunt down and Nap's in the game or a better [hitting] matchup if Jeff's in the game, having the third catcher helps." Willits, Scioscia said, brings multiple skills. "We can plug him in some situations late, whether as a pinch-runner, to bunt, lead off an inning, play defense," Scioscia said, "he brings a lot there."
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.