It wasn’t a pretty sight watching Angels ace Jered Weaver hobble off the mound after facing just four Yankees on Monday night. After back-to-back singles by Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, Weaver got a fielder’s choice on Alex Rodriguez but an error by Erick Aybar scored Jeter and advanced Granderson to third. Weaver threw a ball and a strike to Robinson Cano before the back spasms showed up to crash the party like those no good kids from the high school in the next town.
Weaver tried to throw another pitch off the mound but was in obvious pain and ended his night after a mere 12 pitches. While it looked like a potential knee or leg injury, the prognosis ended up being a lower back strain with spasms. My dad says that type of injury is quite painful but he also watches women’s golf on TV, so it’s hard to take him seriously.
After it became clear Weaver would have to miss a few starts, things got interesting. The Angels placed Weaver on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon and called up Garrett Richards. Then they said they were just kidding. Then the Angels placed Weaver on the 15-day disabled list and called up Richards. The Halos were slow to adopt sabermetric thinking in thhe front office and, apparently, slow to incorporate a decent inter-office memo system. I guess someone sent out the release about Weaver going on the DL before the front office had finalized the move? Whatever the case, Weaver’s two trips to the DL today are more than he’s ever had in his career.
Weaver hit the disabled list once before in April 2007 for tendinitis. The freshly turned 24-year-old Richards hasn’t exactly been dominating at Triple-A Salt Lake. In 56.1 innings this season, Richards has given up 61 hits and 29 walks with his 4.31 ERA. So there might be a couple of rough outings coming up in Weaver’s rotation spot.
I do think, long-term, Richards will be a perfectly useful back end starter. This trip to the big leagues might be a hard watch.