The Los Angeles Angels have had trouble getting production from their catchers and from the bottom of their starting rotation all season, and before Thursday's game against the Texas Rangers they made an attempt to rectify that. Rookie starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood was optioned to Triple A Salt Lake, and catcher Hank Conger was recalled, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange Country Register.
Chatwood is 6-9 on the season with a 4.35 ERA, but he also has nearly as many walks (63) as strikeouts (68). The 21-year old rookie has allowed 18 runs in his last 19 innings over four starts. The next open slot in the starting rotation is Sunday, and candidates for that start include Jerome Williams, who was just called up this week after four years away from the majors, and Joel Pineiro.
Angels' catchers have hit a combined .195/.260/.300 this season, offensive numbers 29th in MLB in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Jeff Mathis has started 64 of 125 games this year and is hitting .177/.227/.256, which is in line with his career line of .195/.258/.302 in 1,309 plate appearances. Mathis has six hits in 49 at-bats since the All-Star break. Conger is younger, and at least marginally better with some hope for improvement. In 50 games this season with the Angels, Conger is hitting .214/.297/.357.
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