09/11/10 9:47 PM ET
Angels move righty Bell to bullpen
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
Bell's turn in the rotation would have been Tuesday when the Angels open a three-game set in Cleveland, but because of Monday's off-day Scott Kazmir is able to slot in, with Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana tentatively behind him. What day Pineiro ends up returning is variable, depending on how he feels after throwing 75 to 80 pitches in a rehab start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday.
"Trevor's going to help us out of the 'pen right now and then we'll see if he gets folded back in the rotation," manager Mike Scioscia said. "See where Joel is and how much length Joel has. So there's some things to consider, but we'll reshuffle some things."
Bell, 23, is 2-5 with a 4.72 ERA in 25 appearances, seven starts. Pineiro, out since the end of July with a strained left oblique, is 10-7 with a 4.18 ERA in 20 starts.
Pineiro isn't the only Major Leaguer to appear in the California League playoffs: the Padres' Chris Young was slated to pitch for Lake Elsinore against Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday.
Reliever Scot Shields was still bothered by tightness in his right (throwing) elbow and was unavailable for a third straight game.
Angels honor 9/11 victims with ceremony
ANAHEIM -- Like all of Major League Baseball, the Angels took time on Saturday to honor the ninth anniversary of 9/11 and the memory of those who were lost.
The Orange County Fire Authority presented the colors before a moment of silence, which culminated in the unfurling of a 50-foot American flag in the middle of the infield. James T. Walton, who recently returned home from a two-year tour of duty in the Middle East, threw out the first pitch.
"It doesn't seem like it's been nine years," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously it's something that anyone who experienced it or went through it, it still has a lasting memory. [My] kids were just about 12 and 10 then, and then they obviously have a deep memory of what happened on that day. And it's something that we're not going to forget."
The Angels also called attention to the Welcome Back Veterans Program, the organization started by Major League Baseball and its partners to help returning troops.
Angels' Rodney looks to find command
ANAHEIM -- Command seems to be the chief issue plaguing Fernando Rodney, although not in the traditional balls and strikes and sense.
Rodney, 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA, wasn't able to hold down a save in the Angels' last two games, and he's let up a run in five of six appearances. But in those six, he's issued just one walk. So he's not wild, rather, he's not commanding counts as he should.
"There's a difference between not walking a guy and really commanding counts," manager Mike Scioscia said. "When he has to get back in the counts, as far as bringing his repertoire and changing speeds like he can, he needs to be in better command to give him a chance to put hitters away. I think that's affected him his last four or five outings."
Scioscia said he wasn't looking at the final two months of the season as an audition for Rodney, who's in the first year of a two-year, $11 million deal, because of Rodney's track record: he saved 37 of 38 for the Tigers in 2009.
But this season, Rodney's 8-for-13 in save opportunities. He says he does want to prove himself as a closer here, but that he feels he has been pitching well.
"It's really important now because you can show the team you can do well," Rodney said. "You don't want bad things to happen, but that's baseball.
"I think I'm making good pitches. They're hitting groundballs, maybe the balls goes through. I'm comfortable. I'm doing my job."
Scioscia said a lot of arms will be in competition for a back-end position in the bullpen in spring training next season (barring any free agent moves or trades), but Rodney seemed to be the favorite to close. "We're going to set up a lot better if Fernando throws the ball the way he can."
New father Thompson records first win
ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever Rich Thompson's gone through a pair of pretty big firsts in the last three weeks.
On Aug. 23, his first child, Richard William, was born to him and his wife Ashley. (Thompson said the intent was not to name his son Richard II or Richard Jr. -- it's just what worked). Rich spent the first five days at home in Hot Springs, Ark., before returning to baseball.
"It's kind of tough because she has to do it all on her own," Thompson said. "Having sleepless nights."
Then on Friday night, in a 4-3, 14-inning win over the Mariners, Thompson took home his first Major League victory. It took him 32 appearances and parts of four seasons to get there. He made his big league debut in September 2007.
"You'd hope not, right?" Thompson said when asked if he thought it would take this long. "Everyone has a different road. Hopefully my road's here to stay now."
Thompson, a 26-year-old from Australia, is 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his 10 appearances this season. He made a season-high 13 appearances in 2009, a number he'll likely surpass before this season's out, and he's impressed manager Mike Scioscia.
"Rich is one of the guys that has kind of quietly established himself as a Major League pitcher through these last six weeks or so," Scioscia said. "We loved his arm a couple years ago. I think he got stale, he got stagnant. He wasn't improving and he's redefined himself in the last year down in Salt Lake. Come up with a cutter, good down angle throwing strikes."
Thompson too credits his success in part to the cutter he added playing winter ball last offseason.
The last time the Halos won consecutive games before Wednesday and Friday was Aug. 9 and 11. The Angels have had walk-off hits in consecutive games twice this season. Three of the Angels' seven walk-offs this season have come against Seattle ... The 30 innings the Angels played in their last two games is the most in MLB since April 17-18, 2008, when the Rockies and Padres played 31 (22 in the first game, nine in the next). The Angels are 15-18 all-time in 14-inning contests. ... The Class A Cedar Rapids Kernels were eliminated from the postseason on Friday night by the Clinton LumberKings, who took the final two games of the three-game set. Cedar Rapids finished 82-56 in the regular season.
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.