NEW YORK -- It continues to be a work in progress for struggling Angels pitcher Joel Pineiro, who recently made the move from the rotation to the bullpen and made his first relief appearance of the season Wednesday night against the Yankees.
In his first outing out of the 'pen since Aug. 22, 2008, Pineiro surrendered three runs on three hits while facing 13 batters in three innings.
"I think the last inning, we saw a little more crispness to his pitches -- little better sink, tighter slider," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The first couple innings, it was a lot of the same. He pitched the sixth and the seventh, and it was a lot of the same things that troubled him earlier. But I think the eighth inning, he threw a lot of good pitches, some nice pitches. We'll see if he can carry it over."
Pineiro was demoted to the bullpen last week after going 0-3 with a 14.85 ERA over four poor starts. He also gave up a total of 22 earned runs and 29 hits in 13 1/3 innings.
But Scioscia emphasized Thursday that the Angels hope to have the right-hander factor into the starting rotation yet again this season, and Monday's start against the Rangers could still be a possibility.
"Our long-term goal with Joel, our goal this season, is to get him back pitching well enough to be in rotation," Scioscia said. "That's something that would be important to us, but we'll see."
Scioscia talks AL Rookie of the Year race
NEW YORK -- A day after facing one of the American League's top rookies, Angels manager Mike Scioscia discussed the dynamics behind the AL's Rookie of the Year race, and how a couple of promising young Halos players could factor in.
The Halos have leaned on young talent this season, including center fielder Peter Bourjos, first baseman Mark Trumbo and pitchers Tyler Chatwood, Garrett Richards and Jordan Walden.
"It comes more from the organization," Trumbo said of being able to contribute as a rookie. "It's preached from Day One, from the day you sign -- the right way to go about things, the right way to play. Everybody here knows that."
The slugger is on pace to become the first Angels rookie to lead the team in home runs and RBIs.
"You get a feel for who's having the biggest impact for a team," Scioscia said. "Rookie of the Year, you have to take into account the role you have with the team. On the offensive side, we haven't had a whole lot of things happen, but Mark's been right in the middle of everything. That's why I think he'd be in the running."
Bourjos, meanwhile, hit a solo home run off Yankees starter Ivan Nova on Wednesday night, though Nova went on to become the first Major League rookie to reach 11 wins this season.
Angels undecided on starter for Monday
NEW YORK -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia declined to announce a starter for Monday's critical home game against the American League West rival Rangers, but he did say it would be somebody currently with the club.
The rotation has been in flux since ace Jered Weaver served a six-game suspension and Joel Pineiro was moved to the bullpen, prompting the club to call up rookie Garrett Richards to fill in Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Scioscia also said Thursday it wouldn't likely be reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who was considered to start this week in New York.
"I think that's a little less of an option now, just because he's been in our 'pen," Scioscia said. "It's still, right now, undecided. I don't think it'll be any great surprise, but there are some things we're gonna look at before we make our decision."