Joe Blanton in danger of losing spot in Angels’ rotation

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Angels starter Joe Blanton has the third-worst ERA in baseball at 5.66. That, and a recent confrontation with pitching coach Mike Butcher, are reasons the Angels are looking to remove him from the rotation.

Via MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez and William Boor:

“We’re working on a couple things now,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’re going to see where we are and we’ll have a decision.”

[…]

“Joe has put every effort into trying to be the pitcher he can be,” Scioscia said. “Right now, it’s very clear he is struggling with some of the basic things he needs to do to be that pitcher.”

Blanton is scheduled to start on Saturday in Oakland against the Athletics. The Angels are in a tough spot since they don’t have many options to jump into the rotation and contribute on a long-term basis. And they’re not in a position where they want to trade for a pitcher considering their record and standing as it pertains to the AL West and Wild Card races.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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