The Los Angeles Angels have removed pitcher Joe Blanton from the starting rotation. The team announced that Garrett Richards would instead start on Saturday, according to the Angels' official Twitter page.
Blanton has been ineffective this season for the Angels, posting a 5.66 ERA and 1.595 WHIP over 20 starts. He has been hit hard by hitters, with home runs being particularly damaging. His strikeout and walk numbers have not been bad, but that could not save him from being placed in the bullpen.
Blanton leads the American League in a number of statistical categories, including losses (13), hits allowed (137), earned runs (73) and home runs (24).
The Angels signed Blanton to a two-year contract worth $15 million in the offseason. The deal includes a team option for a third year that could earn Blanton another $8 million.
Richards, a former top-100 prospect, has been in and out of the Angels' rotation since first breaking into the majors in 2011. He has started 16 of 71 career games, with a 4.92 starting ERA. That includes four starts in April for the Angels, during which he allowed 16 earned runs over 26 innings.