The Los Angeles Angels were eliminated from playoff contention on Monday with a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers. As a result, the team will replace established starting rotation pitchers Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver in the team's final two games with younger pitchers, according to this ESPN report.
The Angels will opt to start Tyler Chatwood and Garrett Richards instead in the team's final two games of the season against the Rangers. Manager Mike Scioscia explains the rationale behind the move as follows: "We have to look out for these guys moving forward to be able to do this again next year." Scioscia has a right to be concerned, but he could cost one of his pitchers the chance to claim the ERA title this season.
Weaver has posted an impressive 18-8 record this season with a 2.41 ERA. That puts him near the top of the league's list, behind only Boston's Justin Verlander (2.40 ERA). A start on Wednesday and a little over one scoreless inning would allow Weaver to best Verlander and claim the league title.
Unfortunately, it appears that Weaver won't pitch in Wednesday's season finale. The Angels will instead give their young guns a chance to pitch as the team eyes the future. The organization's pitching decision contains both pros and cons, but all-in-all the Angels are proving that they do what smart franchises do: planning for the future without worrying about immediate short-term gains.