Angels set ALDS roster …
The Angels announced their roster for the American League Division Series on Thursday morning, with Vinnie Pestano cracking the final spot of their bullpen and Efren Navarro making it as a reserve.
Pestano, a sidearmer who can be used as a righty specialist, made it over lefty specialist Joe Thatcher, who struggled since coming back from a left ankle sprain. Navarro, a contact hitter who plays first base and the corner-outfield spots, made it over fellow left-handed-hitter Brennan Boesch, who provides more of a power element.
John McDonald, the 40-year-old infielder used all season as a late-game defensive replacement at third base, didn’t make the roster because Gordon Beckham can be used in the same role. Neither did speedy outfielder Tony Campana, since the Angels’ 12-man pitching staff doesn’t allow space on the bench for a pinch-runner.
Another snub was veteran left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who finished the season with 17 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.
The Angels’ starting position players will remain the same, with Chris Iannetta catching, Albert Pujols at first, Howie Kendrick at second, David Freese at third, Erick Aybar at shortstop, Josh Hamilton in left field, Mike Trout in center and Kole Calhoun in right.
Navarro and the right-handed-hitting C.J. Cron will platoon at designated hitter, with Cron starting Game 1 against lefty Jason Vargas. Hank Conger is the backup catcher, Beckham is the backup infielder and Collin Cowgill is a backup outfielder who can also be used as a pinch-runner.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced on Wednesday that the Angels will go with a three-man rotation, with Jered Weaver in Game 1, Matt Shoemaker in Game 2 and C.J. Wilson in Game 3. That leaves Hector Santiago in a role of either providing length or matching up, as the only lefty now in the ‘pen.
Closer Huston Street, setup man Joe Smith and seventh-inning guy Kevin Jepsen solidify the back end, with Jason Grilli, Fernando Salas, Mike Morin, Cory Rasmus and Pestano rounding out the bullpen. Rasmus, used as a starter in Garrett Richards’ old spot down the stretch, can provide up to four innings of relief.