Joe Blanton (2-13) gets bumped from Angels' rotation

Jeff Gross

Joe Blanton's push toward 20 losses is on hold, as the right-hander is getting sent to the bullpen, thanks to his 2-13 record and 5.66 ERA. Not that it's likely to do his club any good, as the Angels are far behind the Rays and the Orioles in the wild-card standings. Still, you gotta do something ...

Scioscia said there is no timetable for Blanton to return to the starting rotation and said the Angels want him to work on improvements without the pressure inherent in a rotation spot.

"We just want to get Joe out of the grind of starting," Scioscia said, "and give him a chance to make some adjustments."

Joe Blanton's either the unluckiest pitcher in world history, or he's broken BABiP.

This season, Blanton's given up a .352 batting average on balls in play. That's a lot of batting average. I mean, a lot.

But it's not just this season.

From 2004 through 2009, Blanton gave up a .295 BABiP, which is a perfectly normal, average, expected figure.

From 2010 through today, Blanton's given up a .327 BABiP, the highest in the majors among pitchers with at least 400 innings. Oh, and here's the kicker: Over that same span, 15 percent of Blanton's fly balls allowed have turned into home runs, and that's the second-highest figure among those pitchers.

So Blanton hasn't just broken BABiP; he's also broken xFIP. Blanton's ERA over these last four seasons is nearly 5, but xFIP -- which assumes normal BABiP (around .290) and normal HR/FB (around 10 percent) -- would have guessed an ERA nearly a run-and-a-half lower.

Maybe he's been unlucky, or maybe he demonstrates the limits of the theories.

Either way, it's difficult to keep pitching a guy who's 2-13 with a 5.66 ERA. And Garrett Richards is a decent-enough replacement.

I'm not sure Blanton's finished, though. His strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.5) is actually the best on the Angels' staff -- the whole staff, including the relief corps -- and it's not difficult to imagine him turning things around, whether with the Angels or (more likely) some other club. The Angels do owe him another $8.5 million after this season, so he figures to get a shot somewhere.

For more about Blanton and the Angels, please visit SB Nation's Halos Heaven.

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