Injuries are a major part of every professional sport, especially in baseball. Until recently, the Angels have been relatively lucky in avoiding them.
Josh Hamilton got off to an extremely hot start hitting well above .400, but was sidelined for two months with a ligament tear in his thumb. During his time absence, the Angels called up a few, very important role players like Efren Navarro, C.J. Cron, and Grant Green who’ve helped to keep pace with the first-place Oakland Athletics. Fortunately for the Angels, they didn’t suffer a huge drop of offensive production while Hamilton was gone.
Over the last week the injury bug has visited the Angels’ pitching staff.
Last Thursday versus the Orioles, Tyler Skaggs left a start in which he hadn’t allowed a hit through 4.2 innings. The injury could be a product of overwork, given than Skaggs hadn’t pitched as many innings as he has this year. Luckily, he was diagnosed with a strained forearm and is optimistic he will return in September.
Later in the week, Joe Thatcher, who was acquired to be the lefty specialist the Angels desperately need, left in the sixth inning of an outing against Tampa Bay. Thatcher was placed on the 15-day DL with a ligament sprain in his ankle. Mike Morin has also been placed on the 15-day DL with a laceration in his foot. Morin has been a huge part of the bullpen since his mid-season call-up.
The recent rash of injuries will test the pitching staff’s depth; something the Angels aren’t necessarily known for. In all reality they don’t have room for another setback, especially one to the starting rotation.
If anything, guys like Cory Rasmus and Michael Roth step up to start if need be. Roth has been a starter with Double-A Arkansas and he is 9-6 with a 2.59 ERA while Rasmus has pitched in a few extra inning games.
Despite a few injuries to key players as of late, the Angels are still in good shape to battle the A’s for the AL West crown.