The Los Angeles Angels scratched veteran left-hander Jarrod Washburn from his scheduled start Sunday night in Game 4 of the American League Division Series because of a throat infection, and after considering several options the team gave the ball to right-hander John Lackey, who made the start on three days' rest.
"Once we found out [Sunday morning] he was in no condition to pitch, we told John he was going to go tonight," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said.
The team could have used Bartolo Colon, their ace and their Game 1 starter, on full rest Sunday night. Instead, with the luxury of a 2-1 lead in the series, the team went forward with plans to send him out to California ahead of his teammates, in case of a Game 5 on Monday night. Colon has been dealing with a stiff back for the past several weeks, and the Angels believe he needed the extra day.
"He'll be fresher and rested for Game 5, if we need to go that route," Scioscia said. "That extra day is something any pitcher could use this at this time."
Another option was right-hander Ervin Santana, who was a starter for most of the season before being relegated to the bullpen at the start of the playoffs, as the Angels switched to a four-man rotation.
"There was a lot of consideration to that," Scioscia said of Santana. "[But] we have a lot more depth for [Sunday's game] with John starting and being able to use Ervin [in relief] if we need him."
The Angels were hopeful Washburn would be healthy enough to pitch for them in the American League Championship Series, were they to advance.
Interviews for A's
Oakland General Manager Billy Beane will interview bullpen coach Bob Geren and third base coach Ron Washington this week for the team's managerial vacancy.
Geren, considered a front-runner to replace Ken Macha, will meet with Beane on Tuesday in Phoenix and Washington will follow Wednesday.
Macha failed to come to terms on a new contract with the Athletics after proposals were exchanged last week. He had been the Athletics' manager for three seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.