Skaggs nears return; Scribner joins rotation

Skaggs nears return; Scribner joins rotation

ANAHEIM -- The Angels will shuffle their starting rotation for their series against the A's this weekend, adding Tyler Skaggs and Troy Scribner and shifting Jesse Chavez to the bullpen.

Skaggs will pitch on Saturday in his first Major League start since April 29, when he suffered a right oblique strain during an outing against the Rangers. The 26-year-old left-hander will fill the void in the rotation left by the injured Alex Meyer.

"I'm happy about it," Skaggs said Wednesday. "Long road to get back. Looking forward to Saturday."

Skaggs allowed three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out five over 4 2/3 innings in his final rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. He logged a 7.24 ERA over 13 2/3 innings in four Minor League starts, though he said he felt better than the numbers might suggest.

"The things I wanted to work on, I worked on," Skaggs said. "I know the numbers don't look good, but the mechanics and just the feel of the fastball command is exactly what I was looking for. Curveball started out slow. In the last game, I finally felt like I turned a corner on it."

Skaggs made only five starts for the Angels before landing on the disabled list, recording a 3.99 ERA over 29 1/3 innings this season.

Scribner will make his first career Major League start on Friday, taking Chavez's spot in the rotation. Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels decided to move Chavez to the bullpen to restore some of the depth that was lost after the Halos traded right-hander David Hernandez to the D-backs at Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"We feel that Scribner can keep us in the game maybe to the extent that Jesse was pitching, and Jesse could be a big wild card in our bullpen," Scioscia said. "He can bridge the gap with multi-innings, or he can come in and help us get out of an inning. He's going to throw strikes. His stuff is good."

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Chavez worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Dodgers and the Blue Jays in 2016, but the Angels hoped to use him as a starter after signing him to a one-year, $5.75 million deal that included a chance to earn up to $2.5 million in incentives based on the number of games he started. Chavez's incentives would have escalated with one more start, meaning the Angels will save $1.7 million if he does not return to their rotation this season.

The 33-year-old veteran posted a 5.43 ERA across 22 appearances (21 starts) this season, but he recorded a 6.94 ERA over five starts in July and had not earned a win since June 6. Chavez's effectiveness also tended to wane as he pitched deeper into games. Though he held opposing batters to a .240 average the first time through the order, that figure jumped to .354 the third time through the order.

"I think the fact is at times in the game, he's had trouble repeating pitches and it's come back to hurt him," Scioscia said. "All in all, if we can get somebody to do what Jesse has been doing as a starter and he can fill some roles in the bullpen, then as a whole we're a stronger staff."

Worth noting

• Right fielder Kole Calhoun sat out his second straight game with a sore right hamstring, though Scioscia said Calhoun is improving and is slated to run the bases on Thursday. Third baseman Yunel Escobar was also out of Wednesday's lineup with upper back tightness.

• Outfielder Cameron Maybin (sprained right knee) hit on the field on Wednesday and is inching closer to beginning a rehab assignment.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.