ANAHEIM -- Rookie Angels closer Jordan Walden made the American League All-Star team, and veteran southpaw setup man Scott Downs easily could have been in Arizona with him.
While Walden has notched 21 saves with a 2.77 ERA in 40 appearances, Downs has been lights-out: 5-2, 1.45 ERA in 35 games, allowing just 20 hits in 31 innings.
"What Scotty Downs and Jordan Walden have done has been a season-saver," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We wouldn't even be talking about being in a pennant race without what those guys [have done]. Fernando Rodney being out has hurt, and we've lost some games not giving ourselves a shot at a comeback."
Rodney, recovering from a strained back muscle, was scheduled to make his second rehab start on Wednesday night for Class A Inland Empire in the California League.
Scioscia indicated that the bullpen is one area the club is exploring with the non-waiver Trade Deadline 11 days away. General manager Tony Reagins has been spending a lot of time on the phone, Scioscia said.
"There are some areas as a team where we'd like to see an upgrade," Scioscia said. "I'm not going to say what it is, because we have guys playing there now. There are a number of areas that are hopefully going to come up to help us have a deeper club. We're definitely looking at depth in the bullpen."
Southpaw Horacio Ramirez, summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake, hopes to be one of the answers, joining Downs and Hisanori Takahashi on the left side in Scioscia's balanced bullpen.
Ramirez returns to bigs in Angels' bullpen
ANAHEIM -- The Angels have added a third southpaw to their bullpen with Wednesday's arrival from Triple-A Salt Lake of veteran Horacio Ramirez, a Southern California native who attended Inglewood High School before launching his career with the Atlanta Braves in 1997.
Ramirez, 31, hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2009, when he appeared in 19 games for the Royals. A starter early in his career with the Braves and also with the Mariners in 2007, Ramirez is 39-35 with a 4.64 career ERA in 157 games, 105 as a starter.
The Angels optioned right-hander Michael Kohn to make room.
"I got a call from K.J. [Keith Johnson], the manager down in Salt Lake, at about 10 in the morning," Ramirez said. "He told me to pack my bags. I asked him where I was going. He says, 'You're going up.'
"I was very happy. Last couple years for me have been kind of a little rough. I thank God for the opportunity the Angels gave me by signing me in the spring and for calling me up."
One of Ramirez's objectives will be to avoid the leadoff walks that have plagued some Angels relievers.
"I just want to come in here and do what I've been doing the last three months," he said. "That's kind of attacking the zone, throwing strikes, that's about it. Just kind of keeping it simple -- throwing the ball to the glove."
Ramirez joins Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi as the lefty complement in the bullpen.
"Ramirez has some Major League experience," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's been pitching well in Triple-A. From the left side, we'll have a lot more matchups. He's more than [situational]. He's got a fastball, cutter, changeup. He throws strikes."
In 39 appearances with Salt Lake, one as a starter, Ramirez was 3-1 with a 3.47 ERA. He had six saves and a 1.26 WHIP in 46 2/3 innings.
Angels send reliever Kohn back to Triple-A
ANAHEIM -- To make room for left-hander Horacio Ramirez in their bullpen, the Angels returned right-hander Michael Kohn to Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday.
Kohn, 25, yielded a pair of homers in Tuesday night's series opener against the Rangers at Angel Stadium. He's 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA in 14 appearances.
Highly regarded as a back-end reliever coming into the season after a solid 2010 performance, Kohn has some early command issues and was sent to Salt Lake. He appeared to iron things out in the Pacific Coast League and rejoined the Angels on June 20.
Kohn has been hurt by the long ball. After giving up just five home runs in 107 Minor League games, he has yielded six in 12 1/3 innings among 14 hits allowed. He has nine strikeouts against nine walks.
"Michael Kohn is in about the same boat as [catcher] Hank Conger [who was sent to Salt Lake on Tuesday]," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has terrific upside, but he really needs to clean some things up.
"His first issue is fastball command. As he commands the fastball better, he can command counts better and put hitters away. He needs a more consistent breaking ball. With his breaking ball inconsistent, he has to get back in counts with his fastball.
"He's showing signs he can make strides. His upside is definitely the back end of the bullpen."
Kohn had a 2.11 ERA in 24 appearances last season, going 2-0. His fastball velocity was up this year, but location has been his undoing.
Chatwood looking to regain command of plate
ANAHEIM -- Tyler Chatwood's rookie season has been a little erratic.
Though the 21-year-old stands at a more-than-respectable first-year record of 5-6 with a 3.71 ERA, those numbers have come in spite of a heavy surplus of walks. Those bases on balls -- 56 in 104 1/3 innings -- have led to some inconsistency.
Tuesday's start against Texas was the latest example. Four walks contributed to a pitch count that ran up to 108 in just five innings.
Chatwood's 4.8 walks per nine innings is the second-highest rate among all Major League rookies since 1990. The first pitcher on that list is Scott Kazmir, with whom the Angels are also familiar. On the other side of the coin, former American League Cy Young winner CC Sabathia sits at No. 3.
For Chatwood, improvement will come with a better mental approach.
"I think I just need to be more aggressive and trust my stuff a little more," he said.
The blueprint is already in place -- Chatwood need only refer back a couple months. He compiled a 2.78 ERA for the month of June, a month in which he also walked fewer batters (13) than both April and May.
"When I was on a good roll, I was pounding the zone, getting ahead early and just if I fell behind the next pitch was in there," Chatwood said. "I just need to get back to that. Stop nitpicking on the corners a little too much."