Angels giving 17-game winner Escobar's sore shoulder extra rest before playoffs

Updated: September 24, 2007, 11:54 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Los Angeles Angels right-hander Kelvim Escobar won't make his expected start Tuesday night at Texas, giving the 17-game winner more time to rest his shoulder and get ready for the playoffs.

Escobar was first pushed back from his scheduled start Saturday because of inflammation in his shoulder. Now, instead of starting against the Rangers, Escobar, who is 17-7 with a 3.46 ERA, is expected to pitch over the weekend in Oakland.

"We're going to give him a little more time to get strong," manager Mike Scioscia said Monday, a day after the Angels clinched their third AL West title in four seasons.

"We talked with him about whether it would be better for him to pitch (Tuesday) and have a longer time on the back end," Scioscia said. "He said he could throw but would rather take another day, throw a couple of bullpens and get his stamina built up ... and be ready for the playoffs."

After the Angels lost 8-7 in the opener of the three-game series, Scioscia announced that right-hander Dustin Moseley (4-3) will start Tuesday night. Left-hander Joe Saunders (8-4) is the scheduled starter Wednesday.

Scioscia is also trying to line up the rotation for the start of the playoffs, and hasn't announced the scheduled starters for the final regular season series at Oakland this weekend. The Angels could still finish with the AL's best record, which would give them home field advantage.

"We'll announce our playoff rotation at the appropriate time. Kelvim will be in it," Scioscia said. "There's some advantages to clinching early, about automatically being able to reset some of your pitching, which we're going to be in the process of doing now."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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