SEATTLE — Kole Calhoun isn’t used to riding such a rollercoaster of a season. What makes it even more maddening is that he doesn’t feel he’s doing anything different this season.
At least, he is enjoying the upswing right now.
After missing four straight starts with a hamstring injury at the beginning of the month, Calhoun responded with 12 hits in his next 27 at-bats, a .444 average. He cooled down slightly with an 0-for-4 on Friday night.
Calhoun said, mostly, it’s just a fluke of the season.
“There are times when you get extremely hot and times when you’re going to be cold and it seems like there are 13 guys playing defense,” he said.
One difference Calhoun concedes is that he gets more hits when he’s using the whole field, rather than pulling the ball. That is particularly true with left-handed hitters who face shifts, as Calhoun sometimes does.
His August hot streak is the latest change in trajectory of a season in which Calhoun has been unusually streaky. He hit .346 in the first seven games, then .136 for 12, then .291 for 13, then .141 for 21 … and so on.
“It’s definitely been a tougher year than years past,” Calhoun said. “But it’s nice to be able to have some success right now and ride it out.”
When Yusmeiro Petit worked the ninth inning on Friday night, it demonstrated a couple elements of Mike Scioscia’s current bullpen management plan.
First, Petit has been consistent enough to be trusted in any situation. Although he’s provided the Angels plenty of value by being able to work multiple innings, the Angels now have Eduardo Paredes and Jesse Chavez able to do that in the bullpen, which frees up Petit for more late-inning, one-inning work.
Second, the fact that Scioscia didn’t use Cam Bedrosian, who closed Thursday’s game, is further proof that he’s trying to limit Bedrosian’s workload in the wake of a groin injury that cost him half the season. Bedrosian has pitched on back-to-back days just twice in the nearly two months since he was activated.
“We’re definitely trying to put governor on some of these guys so they can stay healthy and effective,” Scioscia said. “There are going to be days when some guys are down, not just Cam. All the guys, first and foremost, we want to keep them healthy.”
The Angels added an arm to the bullpen on Friday when they activated Andrew Bailey, who had missed more than four months with a shoulder problem. Scioscia said Bailey will pitch in…