4/16/2014 9:52 P.M. ET
Angels looking for answers in bullpen mix
By Scott Miller / Special to MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- The Angels were 6-8 heading into Wednesday night's game, yet they had led in five of those eight losses. Four times, they had been beaten in their opponents' final at-bat.
Which is why manager Mike Scoscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher were among those who huddled part of the day Wednesday to reassess their relievers, situations, and who pitches when.
Despite his rough night Tuesday, the Angels remain comfortable with Joe Smith pitching the eighth innings and closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth. Which leaves …
"Getting outs 19 to 21," Scioscia said. "We need some guys capable of coming in and getting those guys out."
For the math-challenged, Frieri, of course, is responsible for obtaining out Nos. 25-27 when the Angels are leading. Smith usually will be called on for Nos. 22-24.
It is that seventh-inning bridge between the starters and Smith and Frieri that needs some patchwork and construction. Especially with Dane De La Rosa once again sidelined and Sean Burnett still sidelined.
"You start the season with pseudo roles that you hope develop," Scioscia said. "If things aren't going in the right direction, you have to make adjustments, and we are. We have better arms down there than the way they're performing."
The Angels' bullpen entered Wednesday ranked 12th in the American League with a 5.31 ERA, with 21 walks issued in 42 1/3 innings.
Calhoun out four to six weeks; Boesch recalled
ANAHEIM -- Injured outfielder Kole Calhoun spent Wednesday getting tests done on the right ankle he rolled the night before, and the Angels spent the day figuring out their outfield for the near future.
Calhoun was diagnosed with a "bad ligament sprain," according to manager Mike Scioscia, and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.
In his place, the Angels summoned outfielder Brennan Boesch from Triple-A Salt Lake. Boesch, who played 403 games in the Majors for the Tigers (380) and the Yankees (23) from 2010-2013, was hitting .250 with two homers and nine RBIs in 13 games for the Bees.
Though he was disappointed not to make the Major League club out of Spring Training, Boesch certainly seized the silver lining in Salt Lake.
"I was real excited to play every day," he said. "In Salt Lake, I was closer to getting back to where I wanted to be. That was part of the process."
Boesch's duties in Calhoun's absence likely will be to play right field against right-handed pitching. Righty Collin Cowgill, who was in the lineup Wednesday against left-handed Oakland starter Tommy Milone, is expected to start against lefties.
"Boesch and Cowgill should get enough at-bats to stay fresh," Scioscia said.
Calhoun was batting .250 with three homers and six RBIs in 14 games when he rolled the ankle crossing first base in the 11th inning of Tuesday night's 10-9 loss to the Athletics. The timing is especially bad, because Calhoun had been in quite a groove, going 6-for-15 with three doubles, a triple and a homer over his past three games.
While Cowgill and Boesch are expected to platoon in right field, Mike Trout will play center and J.B. Shuck is expected to get most of the time in left field.
Boesch, from nearby Santa Monica, did not exactly receive a hero's welcome home Wednesday. His girlfriend was in the stands, but his mother, father, sister and her fiancé are all in Europe on a long-planned visit to Paris.
Trout doesn't expect to change approach on bases
ANAHEIM -- Just one more reason why the Angels' cleanup spot in Josh Hamilton's absence remains under pressure: Mike Trout's running game.
Trout swiped his first base of the season in the 11th inning against Oakland on Wednesday … only to have A's closer Jim Johnson intentionally walk No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols. Raul Ibanez and then Howie Kendrick followed with ground-ball outs.
It is easy to envision opponents delivering intentional walks to Pujols regularly if Trout runs too often, especially if whoever is hitting cleanup
But Trout says he's going to simply play his game.
"Every opportunity I get, if I can steal a base, I have to steal a base," Trout said. "I know the majority of the time they're going to walk Albert. But the guy behind Albert is going to step up.
"There are going to be some opportunities, I think, where if a guy is giving me second base, I'm going to take it. For sure."
Besides, as Trout said, if he opts not to steal and then Pujols follows by not getting a hit, he's stuck at first base, and that's not a great scenario, either.
Cowgill again gets call vs. lefty starter
ANAHEIM -- The Angels are having to shuffle things in the absence of Josh Hamilton and, now, Kole Calhoun. But the way Collin Cowgill sees it, it's business as usual.
The right-handed-hitting Cowgill was in the lineup Wednesday night against Oakland lefty Tommy Milone, meaning all four of his starts have come against lefties.
"Losing Kole hurts us," Cowgill said. "Losing Josh hurts us. No one is more sad to see them go than I am. Their approach, what they do for the lineup."
But that's professional sports, and as such, Cowgill (and others) will continue to prepare each day like he always does and be ready when called upon.
The only difference Wednesday, Cowgill said, was that the lineup wasn't posted until about 3:15 p.m. PT. Usually, it's already up by the time he arrives in the clubhouse.
Scott Miller is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.