4/14/2013 8:31 P.M. ET
Angels rotation looking to find its rhythm
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- When Garrett Richards pitched 6 1/3 innings in the Angels' 5-4 win over the Astros on Saturday, he became the first Angels starting pitcher to reach the seventh inning this season.
The team has played 11 games.
With the offseason additions of Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton -- in addition to Jered Weaver being placed on the disabled list after just two starts due to a broken left elbow -- the rotation has yet to find its rhythm.
"We're struggling to find that flow of our rotation," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Garrett was terrific last night. We've had a couple guys that have pitched good ballgames, but nothing of length or the effectiveness that we need from our rotation, but these guys have the potential to get there and we're very confident that they will."
The Angels' rotation is 1-5 -- Hanson has the lone win -- and none of the pitchers has an ERA under four.
While the starters have to get into rhythm, Scioscia believes the team, despite the 3-8 start, has the on-field chemistry necessary to compete and win games.
"What is 99 percent important, we feel, to our baseball club, any baseball club, is on-the-field chemistry," Scioscia said. "How's your lineup work, how's it flow, how's your defense flow? From every aspect of the game, your pitcher-catcher communication, all that chemistry. That relation is what is important."
Playing together is one thing, but a baseball team spends a lot of time together in the clubhouse, on flights and in hotels, so off-the-field chemistry is important as well.
The addition of Josh Hamilton as well as the loss of Torii Hunter -- a leader in the Angels' clubhouse -- coupled with Minor League callups and other additions may have threatened to shake up the chemistry, but Scioscia feels the team is past the transition phase and doesn't need to worry about any of that.
"As far as off-field chemistry, the clubhouse chemistry, the culture of your club, certainly when there's new personalities that come in there's a bit of an adjustment period, but we're past that," Scioscia said.
Scioscia excited about reliever Madson's progress
ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever Ryan Madson is making progress in his lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery. The right-handed reliever threw another bullpen session prior to Sunday's game.
"He came out great," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's excited about the way he threw."
After throwing on Tuesday and Thursday -- the first time Madson had thrown a bullpen with only one day of rest -- Sunday's bullpen was his third in a six-day span.
Madson threw 15 pitches, sat down to simulate the bridge between warming up and entering a game, then threw 25 more.
"It went good," Madson said. "Still trying to get back into a rhythm."
However, Madson is still weeks away, according to his manager.
"He's got some work to do, but he's getting better," Scioscia said. "He's throwing bullpens now and he's throwing bullpens at 100 percent, which is a great sign. If he continues to do that, I think there is a reasonable timetable of when he can get into a Minor League game."
Scioscia was reluctant to provide any specific dates or timetables, but added that he "sure hopes" Madson is on a Major League mound before the All-Star break.
Madson threw fastballs, changeups and cutters. He expects to throw his next bullpen on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
First day in Majors ends with win for lefty Roth
ANAHEIM -- Less than 24 hours after arriving at Angel Stadium for the first time as a player, Michael Roth had pitched two scoreless innings and recorded his first Major League win.
"It's nice to get that one outing under my belt," Roth said while the ball from his first win rested in his locker. "It was a pretty exciting day for me. I just tried tried to do my job. My job is to get the team back in the dugout so they can score some runs, and we were able to do that."
Roth, who hadn't pitched since his start for Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday, flew from Dallas to California on Saturday morning, and was greeted with a wrestling championship belt and a glittery backpack to wear in the bullpen -- something always given to the reliever with the least amount of Major League service time.
However, neither the backpack, the belt nor the anxiety of pitching on a Major League mound fazed Roth, as he struck out four after entering for the eighth and ninth innings.
"There's a need and there's a role he can carve out for himself, and last night he was terrific," manager Mike Scioscia said.
Although he did not have any family in attendance -- Roth's mother had been in Los Angeles for work, but flew back to South Carolina on Friday -- Roth's family and friends certainly showed their support, as they overflowed his phone with congratulatory and celebratory messages after the game.
"I'm glad I had the extra battery pack [on my phone]," Roth said. "I had about 115 texts."
• When the Angels head to Minneapolis for a three-game set against the Twins starting Monday, they will be traveling into less-than-ideal weather conditions. According to weather.com, the high for the three days is 45 degrees and there may be rain and snow.
"We've played in flurries before," Scioscia said. "If we have to do it, we'll do it. If the conditions become extreme we will deal with whatever we have to deal with."
• Third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who left Thursday night's game with tightness in his right calf, will be evaluated Sunday. Depending on how the evaluation goes -- as well as Callaspo's progress over the next 24 to 48 hours -- Scioscia said the team will have to decide whether to place him on the disabled list within the next couple of days.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.