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Los Angeles Angels David Huff gets rare chance to start

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Jul 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher David Huff (55) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. The Rays defeated the Yankees 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher David Huff (55) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. The Rays defeated the Yankees 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Los Angeles Angels pitcher David Huff has only started one game since the start of the 2014 season, but he will get the nod on Tuesday night against the Bronx Bombers in New York.

Add Los Angeles Angels left-hander David Huff to the list of names Halos fans probably never thought they would see pitch in an Angels uniform this season.

The 31-year-old veteran will be handed the ball Tuesday night against one of his former team’s, the New York Yankees, as the Halos look to rebound from a crushing 5-2 loss on Monday which came at the hands of a clutch Carlos Beltran home run in the 8th inning.

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Huff was an interesting choice to make the spot start in place of Nick Tropeano, especially since he only pitched in six innings last season and gave up four earned runs in his only start of the year (which lasted four innings).

At the same time, he may have been the only choice.

The Angels went on record after Monday night’s game as saying they wanted Tim Lincecum to make his second Triple-A start Tuesday night before thinking about calling him up to the Big League rotation.

Nate Smith, widely regarded as the team’s best Triple-A starter, pitched Friday night so he was unavailable.

That left veteran right-hander Kyle Kendrick and Huff as the most viable candidates to start for the Halos Tuesday night.

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Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times noted that the Yankees are 7-13 against left-handed pitching this season, so that may have helped Huff’s case.

The Halos seem confident in his abilities, though.

“He’s throwing the ball well,” manager Mike Scioscia said to the OC Register. “He has experience. He’ll get an opportunity to come up here and see if he can fill in…”

According to Moura, Huff routinely hit 92 and 93 mph with his fastball during his start last April.

Originally drafted in the first round out of UCLA with the 39th overall pick by the Cleveland Indians in 2006, Huff has pitched with the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. Huff is an Orange County product as he pitched for Edison High School in Huntington Beach.

Upon graduating from Edison, Huff went to UC Irvine, but left when UCI head coach John Savage jumped to UCLA in 2005 and attended Cypress College for a year so he did not have to sit out a year. In 2006 Huff transferred to UCLA where he flourished under his old coach Savage going 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA striking out 100 batters in 129.2 innings and walking only 27 batters.

His best years were his two stints with the Bronx Bombers, where he was primarily used as a reliever. In a season and a half with New York, he went 6-2 in 41 games (he also started a pair of games), with a 3.18 ERA and 54 punchouts.

Those numbers were sharp when compared to his career numbers.

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In eight seasons, Huff is 25-28 with a 5.04 ERA in 388.0 innings pitched. He has struck out 231 while walking 130.

Depending on how things go, Tuesday night could be a one-and-done for Huff in the Angels rotation as the plan is to bring Lincecum up from Triple-A in the next few weeks.

First pitch is at 4:05 PT.

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