Detmers expected to get more starts in Triple-A Salt Lake

ANAHEIM – Angels manager Ron Washington said before the series finale on Sunday against the Houston Astros that he expects left-hander Reid Detmers to make another handful of starts for Triple-A Salt Lake.

“That’s just me,” Washington said. “He may go out there the next time and do well, and the people above me may change their mind.”

Detmers, the 10th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft who threw a no-hitter for the Angels in 2022, was demoted on June 1 after a rough start in which he surrendered five runs, four hits and four walks in 3 2/3 innings of a 9-0 loss against the Seattle Mariners. That performance dropped his record to 3-6 and swelled his ERA to 6.14 through 12 starts.

Detmers’ numbers in his first start for Salt Lake were mostly shaky. He allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 7-1 loss to Sugarland, striking out eight with no walks, but Washington said he was satisfied with the reports he received.

“He’s heading in the right direction, we’ve just got to keep him going there,” he said. “We didn’t send him down there to stay. We sent him down there to get it together so we can bring him back because we need him up here.”

LATEST LEADOFF HITTER

Michael Stefanic was at the top of the batting order on Sunday, becoming the eighth different player to hit leadoff for the Angels this season.

Stefanic was recalled from Salt Lake on Saturday and delivered a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning of the 6-1 loss to the Astros.

Washington said he had already made up his lineup for Sunday when bench coach Ray Montgomery suggested putting Stefanic in the leadoff spot, so he threw away his original lineup and started over.

“So, if it don’t work, it’s on Ray,” Washington said with a laugh.

Stefanic had never faced Houston starter Justin Verlander before, but didn’t expect it to affect his approach.

“The first at-bat of the game, hopefully, you want to see a couple pitches, get a good look for the guys behind you,” Stefanic said. “At the same time, Verlander is on the mound, strike thrower, so you’ve got to be ready to hit from the jump.”

SUAREZ STARTING

The departure of Detmers opened the door for left-hander Jose Suarez to make his first start of the season.

Suarez is penciled in to start on Tuesday when the Angels open a three-game series at the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Suarez has made 16 appearances out of the bullpen this season, mostly in long relief, and is 3-4 with a 5.49 ERA.

He’s no stranger to a starting role, however, taking the ball seven times as a starter last season and 20 times in 2022.

“He’s been stretched out enough (out of the bullpen) that we know he can do it, and I think he wanted it. Starting pitching is in his heart,” Washington said. “We had to get him used to being a bullpen person. He’s been enjoying the work he’s been doing, preparing for that start, and I’m looking forward to him going out there.”

ADELL OFF

Angels right fielder Jo Adell was given the day off on Sunday.

Adell is 1 for 21 since hitting a pinch-hit grand slam on May 31 in a 5-4 loss at the Seattle Mariners, dropping his season average to .190. He also hit .144 in 26 games in May after entering the month hitting .316.

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Adell is hardly alone in his struggles.

Angels first baseman Nolan Schanuel was dropped from first to seventh in the batting order on Sunday. He homered for the only run of the game on Saturday night, but has just two hits in his past 30 at-bats, both homers.

“You can’t be looking at the numbers, you can’t be looking at your struggles, you’ve got to be looking at the work it’s going to take to come out of those struggles,” Washington said. “There’s no way we can pull them out of the fire, so they’re going to have to be in the fire.”

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP Jose Suarez, 3-4, 5.49 ERA) at Diamondbacks (LHP Jordan Montgomery, 3-4, 6.80 ERA), Tuesday, 6:40 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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