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Upcoming week to determine final outlook for Halos in 2013

Jerry DiPoto has no doubt been fielding calls for some of his better pieces over the past couple of weeks.

Whether or not the Angels' general manager actually pulls the trigger on a deal and pulls the plug on a disappointing 2013 season will largely depend on what happens over the next seven days, as the team begins a huge road trip to Oakland and Texas.

The team remains in a rut after playing solid baseball for most of June, with the offense only showing up sporadically and the defense finding new ways to give away games.

The Halos wrapped up a .500 homestand to begin the second half of the season thanks in large part to starting pitcher Jered Weaver, who has returned to his Cy Young-contending ways over the past month.

The veteran righty welcomed his first child into the world, promptly named him to honor his late friend Nick Adenhart, and has then proceeded to be the dominant pitcher that the Halos have relied on in recent years.

Wednesday, Weaver continued to cement his legacy among the greats in Angels' pitching history with 8 stellar innings against the Minnesota Twins. The scoreless outing was the third straight at home for the 30-year-old, the first time an Angels' hurler has achieved the feat since Nolan Ryan back at the end of the 1976 and start of the 1977 seasons.

However, the Angels are still in desperate need of some support behind their ace. C.J. Wilson has stepped it up in recent starts, but has still fought to find the consistency that he had in the first half of 2012 before bone spurs in his elbow blew up his effectiveness.

Jason Vargas is still recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot in his armpit and is not expected back until mid-August.

Tommy Hanson returned Tuesday from the disabled list and went five innings, but has not been dependable between injuries and the tragic death of his stepbrother earlier in the year, and Joe Blanton has been an unqualified disaster as he continues to veer toward becoming the first 20-game loser in club history.

That leaves the Angels at least two starters short, and recent rumors involving the team have focused on interest in lefty reliever Scott Downs, who has been by far the best arm in the Angels' bullpen in 2013.

Should the team win five games on the trip, DiPoto might be tempted to stand pat and do some offseason tweaks while also hoping that Josh Hamilton returns to form and Albert Pujols becomes healthy after a season-long battle with plantar fasciaitis.

However, if the Oakland Coliseum rears its ugly head like it did earlier in the year, then in all likelihood Downs would be gone, Blanton would be jettisoned as lost money and DiPoto would find himself on the hot seat for yet another lost season after an active attempt to build a winner via free agency instead of through the farm system as he did so well during his interim period in Arizona.

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