LOS ANGELES -- For those of you eagerly waiting to go see old friend Joe Blanton pitch at Dodger Stadium on Friday night in the Freeway Series, I have some bad news for you. The Angels on Wednesday released the veteran right-hander.
Blanton, 33, had a terrible first season in Anaheim in 2013, going 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA in 28 games, including 20 starts, with a whopping 29 home runs allowed in just 132⅔ innings. This spring he had a 7.08 ERA in five games, including four starts, with five home runs allowed in 20⅓ innings.
The Dodgers acquired Blanton for the stretch run in 2012, and he was 2-4 with a 4.99 ERA in 10 starts with 51 walks and 16 walks in 57⅔ innings, and seven home runs allowed.
Even though he was not going to make the Angels rotation, Blanton was slated to pitch the middle game of the Freeway Series against the Dodgers on Friday night in Los Angeles, as the Angels were to give Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs an extra day of rest.
Tentative #Angels pitching schedule: Santiago Thursday, Blanton Friday, Richards Saturday, Skaggs Sunday (probably Minors game).— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 24, 2014
The Angels signed Blanton before the 2013 season to a two-year, $15 million contract, which included a $7.5 million salary this year and a club option for $8 million in 2015, per Cot's Contracts. The Angels will be on the hook for that 2014 salary plus the $1 million option buyout.
The Angels haven't yet announced a replacement starter for Blanton on Friday.
This continues a rough week for old friends, as former Dodgers have been released right and left: Jamey Carroll by the Nationals, Cesar Izturis by the Astros, Aaron Harang by the Indians (he then signed with the Braves), and the weird end of Randy Wolf in Seattle.