Going into Spring Training everything seemed good for the Los Angeles Angels starting rotation. C.J. Wilson was a question mark to start the season and Tyler Skaggs was looking to be back in late April. The Angels also had six strong starting pitchers led by staff ace Garrett Richards and up and coming Andrew Heaney. My how things have changed in just a short time.
First of all both Skaggs and Wilson’s rehabs have taken much longer than expected with Wilson not expected back until late June at the earliest. Skaggs is waiting for the okay to restart his rehab process, and he most likely not be back until at least early June. Ok, no problem, the Angels have six other starting pitchers, right? WRONG!!!
In the first start of his season Andrew Heaney felt a pain in his arm and he was put on the DL and recently received an injection in his arm hoping to avoid potential surgery which would put him out for the season. Heaney has no timetable for a return to the mound so he is most likely not going to return until at least after the all-star break if at all.
Then this morning the worst news possible was announced this morning and that was ace right-hander Garrett Richards has torn a ligament in his elbow and will most like require Tommy John surgery, which would him out of action for the remainder of the season. So with that the Angels are down to four Healthy arms, but not necessarily Effective arms.
Hector Santiago has been the most effective going 2-1. with a 3.58 ERA followed by rookie Nick Trropeano who is 1-1 with a 3.42 ERA. After that it is a pretty major drop-off as Jered Weaver is the next best starter with a 5.40 ERA. Weaver is 3-1 and is a veteran so that will help him. Finally the fourth starter is Matt Shoemaker who is in the minor right now due to ineffectiveness of a 1-4 record and a 9.15 ERA.
After Shoemaker some options could be Nate Smith, Kyle Kendrick, and Chris Jones who are all starters in Triple-A for the Angels. They could also think outside the box and sign a free agent such as Tim Lincecum, Kyle Lohse, or Jerome Williams who are all without a team to play for so far in 2016.
Whatever the Angels do they need to do it quickly to avoid getting buried in the AL West race. For now Cory Rasmus will make the emergency start tonight for the Angels as they open a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays and it will likely be a bullpen game where a team of relievers will pitch during this game. Hopefully Garrett Richards will have a speedy recovery, but the best case scenario will most likely be 2017 All-Star Break.
Let’s hope for a speedy recover for Heaney, Wilson, and Skaggs as you are needed now more than ever. Stay tuned to HH for more details as they become available.