Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/18/12

When right-hander Jered Weaver went down with a back injury on May 28, the Los Angeles Angels had reason to be concerned about their rotation in his absence.

Three weeks later, Weaver is ready to return and the Angels have other concerns: what to do with RHP Garrett Richards.

Weaver threw in the bullpen before Sunday's game and should be ready to rejoin the rotation in the next few days. That leaves no room for Richards despite the fact that he went 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts (and one inning in relief) since being called upon to fill in for Weaver.

"Like I've said before, I'm up here to try and make the most of my opportunity and help the team win," Richards said after throwing eight shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Diamondbacks. "I feel I'm ready to stick here and help these guys win. But I'm just going to keep plugging away and get ready for my next start.

"You can't not think about it (the upcoming decision). But those guys are in the front office for a reason. They're going to make the best decision they can. It was unfortunate when Jered went down but I just tried to take advantage of my opportunity. As far as the rest goes, I can't think about it too much."

Right-hander Ervin Santana's status in the rotation seemed to be on shaky ground. But he solidified his standing and got a vote of confidence from manager Mike Scioscia after throwing a one-hitter against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. It leaves little room for Richards other than a return to Triple-A Salt Lake.

"We wouldn't have given him the ball if we didn't think he was ready for the challenge," Scioscia said. "Now what you do with your opportunity is where the rubber meets the road. I think he's showing that his stuff plays in the big leagues. Certainly, he's opened up some eyes with this opportunity."

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