Angels Manager Mike Scioscia: 'Next year starts today'

After a lengthy closed-door meeting with pitchers Jered Weaver, Jason Vargas and Garrett Richards before batting practice Thursday, Manager Mike Scioscia said he will not scale back the workload of the Angels starters in the final three weeks of the season.

Richards has thrown 115 1/3 innings, considerably less than the 148 combined innings he threw for triple-A Salt Lake and the Angels last season, but he was moved from the bullpen to the rotation twice this season, which can be physically and mentally taxing.

Weaver (135 1/3 innings) and Vargas (118 1/3 innings) both missed almost two months, but Weaver hasn’t missed a start since returning from a left elbow injury on May 29, and Vargas hasn’t missed a start since returning Aug. 13 from surgery to remove a blood clot in his left armpit.

“The thing we have to guard against is thinking, OK, Weaver and Vargas haven’t pitched much, but as you make start after start and the innings pile up, it’s something you definitely want to pay attention to,” Scioscia said. “Since they’ve gotten back, they’ve pitched consistently deep into games. But they all feel good.”

The Angels are well out of playoff contention, beginning Thursday 15 1/2 games out in the American League West, but Scioscia said it’s important for the team to finish strong.

“Next year begins today,” Scioscia said. “We have to continue to play strong, play hard and play well. I think you need to always have that mindset of going out there and trying to win a game. That’s the training that eventually gets you to championships.”


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