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Angels take a hit in Rule V draft

December 11, 2008 | 10:53 am

Darren O'Day LAS VEGAS -- Pitching depth, which was crucial at times during the Angels' injury-plagued 2008 season, took a hit during the major league portion of the Rule V draft on the closing day of baseball's winter meetings at the Bellagio hotel.

The Angels left right-handers Darren O'Day, Robert Mosebach and Miguel Gonzalez unprotected and all three were snapped up with O'Day going to the Mets, Mosebach to the Phillies and Gonzalez to the Red Sox. Each of the selecting teams must pay the Angels $50,000 -- hey, think that might help close the gap on Mark Teixeira? -- and the player they chose must remain on the drafting team's 25-man major league roster all season or be offered back to the Angels.

O'Day, 26, who made the Angels out of spring training, is the only one of the three who pitched in the majors last season, going 0-1 with a 4.57 ERA in 30 games. But he's currently rehabbing from a shoulder injury.

Mosebach, 24, was 9-12 with a 4.62 ERA in 29 starts at Double-A Arkansas, and Gonzalez, 24, who played at L.A. Mission College, was 8-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 30 games at Double A. Gonzalez is having a monster winter for Mazatlan of the Mexican League, however, where he's 3-1 with a league-best 0.99 ERA in 36 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting just .200 against him.

"They're three good pitchers," Angels General Manager Tony Reagins said. "But at this time we didn't feel they were ready for a major league roster spot. When you lose pitching, you have to replace it. There's a chance some of these guys could be coming back to us."

The Yankees, who are busy spending hundreds of millions on free-agent pitchers, lost three top minor league pitchers with San Diego grabbing right-hander Ivan Nova, Florida taking left-hander Zachary Kroenke and Minnesota snatching right-hander Jason Jones. The Yankees also lost triple-A infielder Reegie Corona, taken by Seattle with the second selection in the draft.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Darren O'Day. Credit: Kirby Lee / US Presswire.