OAKLAND -- Given his struggles this season, Ervin Santana seemed like a prime candidate to have his turn in the rotation skipped with an off-day coming up on Thursday.
But Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated before Monday's game against the A's that, at least for now, the plan is for the starting five to hold to their schedules, and Santana will make his next start on Friday at home vs. the Mariners. Scioscia did, though, leave room for changing that, should it turn out that one of the other starters requires more rest.
"We got to see how guys come out and reserve the right to adjust it a little bit, but right now we need five guys that are going to throw the ball well for us," Scioscia said. "[Santana] pitched well in Chicago, pitched well in Texas. Hopefully he's turned the corner on some things."
Those last two starts were signs of progress for the right-hander, who's in the midst of perhaps the worst season of his career. Overall, he's 5-10 with a 5.83 ERA this season.
But held to a 15-out limit last Monday against the Rangers, Santana responded with three earned runs allowed in five innings. That limit was lifted on Saturday in Chicago out of sheer necessity, with the Angels' taxed bullpen needing as much of a break as possible. Santana was even better, with two earned runs allowed over six innings.
Should he continue to build off that improvement, Santana should secure his place in the Angels starting rotation. If not, he'll continue to be the subject of questions about his status.