5/22/2013 8:24 P.M. ET
Williams working to keep spot in Angels' rotation
By William Boor / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Jerome Williams began the season as a long reliever in the Angels bullpen but has been thriving in the starting rotation lately.
Highlighted by eight shutout innings against the Mariners on Tuesday, Williams has turned in three straight quality starts, lowered his ERA to 2.53 and made a strong case to remain in the rotation.
"Any time a pitcher puts his best foot forward it obviously gives them the best chance to continue in a role, and Jerome's been pitching terrific baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We look forward to the tough decisions."
While there is still no definite timetable for the return of either Jered Weaver or Tommy Hanson to the rotation -- although both are in Arizona working toward a return -- Scioscia looks forward to the decision that awaits him as the majority of the roster moves made in the first quarter of the season have been in response to injuries.
"The only thing a player can do -- like Jerome is doing -- is be as productive as they can be," Scioscia said. "We've got a ways to go before our pitching staff is settled -- hopefully not too long -- but in the next couple weeks."
The Angels are currently without a fifth starter, meaning a decision on Williams won't need to be made until both Weaver and Hanson return. However, when they do return, Joe Blanton appears to be a candidate to move to the bullpen -- if Williams keeps a spot in the rotation.
Blanton, whom the Angels signed to a two-year, $15 million contract this offseason, is 0-7 with a 6.62 ERA this season.
Blanton said his stuff felt fine after each of his past few starts and that baseballs have been finding holes, but the right-hander has allowed 11 runs in his last nine innings of work and has a WHIP of 1.97 -- the second highest among qualified starters in baseball.
On comeback trail, Madson dealing with setback
ANAHEIM -- Just as it has done so many times before, Ryan Madson's comeback attempt has taken another unexpected twist.
"Hopefully it's just a little glitch," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't think it's anything major, but he needs to get over this. He's close, as we said. Hopefully it's just a product of him trying to get his stamina and going hard last week."
Madson pitched an inning for Class A Inland Empire as part of a rehab assignment on May 13 and felt inflammation in his right elbow over the following days.
The right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery and has not pitched in a Major League game in more than a year, felt normal soreness after his outing, but he said the feeling remained on Friday.
"Waiting for it to calm down," Madson said. "After Monday's game, it got inflamed again and it hasn't calmed down yet. I think we've reached another plateau."
Prior to this "plateau," Madson was scheduled to go on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. Madson still plans to go to Salt Lake and will make multiple appearances there, but it remains to be seen when he will take the mound.
"I can't believe it's taken this long," Madson said. "I thought by last Friday it would be ready."
Although things certainly have not worked out as planned, Madson continues to believe he is close to returning as he reached another "high point" in the recovery process prior to this setback.
Before Monday's rehab appearance, Madson had been on an aggressive throwing program and acknowledged he may have overworked his elbow, but he also said any number of things could have been the culprit.
"It could be the workload was too much, the intensity was too much," Madson said. "In between, I was long tossing to get the arm strength and velocity up -- which I did. Could have been mechanical, dropped my arm slot a little bit. It might have been mechanical, a little tired. It could have been two or three different things or a combination of."
Moreno supportive of staff over 10 years as owner
ANAHEIM -- It has been 10 years to the day since Arte Moreno was officially introduced as the owner of the Angels -- which he purchased for $180 million.
Since Moreno took over ownership, he has changed the team name from the Anaheim Angels to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and has seen his team compile a 916-748 record.
"All through, he's been very supportive, and he wants to give us the team on the field that can bring championships," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think as far as ownership goes, you couldn't really ask for any more over this last decade than someone who puts his money where his mouth is."
The Angels have not made the playoffs in the past three seasons, but have won five American League West Division titles -- 2004, '05, '07, '08 and '09 -- since Moreno took over.
"I think Arte definitely has a vision for this organization," Scioscia said. "He has a vision for what we can achieve. At times, we have gotten close, and at times, we haven't moved in the direction that we want to."
Although most franchises have their share of struggles at points in a 10-year period, Scioscia appreciates the support Moreno has given through his time as the owner.
Moreno has supported Scioscia not only with on-field talent, but has also publicly given him votes of confidence in regards to job security.
"Ownership has been incredibly supportive, both in letting us do what we need to do at our level and in giving us the talent to go do it," Scioscia said. "Our expectations are very high, but he's given us tools to meet those expectations and that's what we need to do."
• Jered Weaver pitched in Arizona at extended spring workouts on Wednesday morning. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Weaver's outing went "very well" and that in the best-case scenario he could rejoin the Angels next week.
Weaver allowed one run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander threw 75 pitches -- 62 of them were strikes -- and recorded nine strikeouts.
• As the Angels have suffered numerous injuries through the season, J.B. Shuck has turned into an everyday player. Shuck is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak and believes the rhythm of playing every day has helped him find a rhythm.
"You get into a different type of rhythm than being on the bench," Shuck said. "It has helped me get into my swing and getting some at bats has helped me get comfortable at the plate."
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.