Finally some good news for a LA Angels pitcher. Skaggs MRI negative.
By David Rice
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before LA Angels fans. Starting pitcher feeling soreness in his elbow goes for an MRI. Congratulations you have won the grand prize of Tommy John surgery. We have heard this news three times this season.
However for LA Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs, who already had Tommy John surgery in 2014, was scratched from his start Wednesday against Seattle. Skaggs had the dreaded MRI Wednesday morning, however this time the news was not bad as Skaggs repaired UCL in his left elbow looked good. The reason for the soreness was diagnosed with a mild flexor pronator strain which will shut the lefty down for a week according to Angels GM Billy Eppler.
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After resting his arm for a week Skaggs will try and throw a bullpen session and if all goes well he could start one or two more games in the last two weeks of the season. Look for the Angels to be very cautious as they should be with Skaggs. If there is any reason that they think he is not ready to pitch they will shut him down for the season. Can you blame the Angels, who have been so snake-bitten with injuries to their starting pitchers this season, being overly cautious with a budding young pitcher like Skaggs?
Especially since the Angels have no mathematical chance of making the playoffs in 2016. Couple this with the fact that Skaggs is one of only three healthy arms under contract for 2017 (Matt Shoemaker and Ricky Nolasco being the other two).
The Angels are hoping that staff ace Garrett Richards continues to progress from his UCL tear that has been treated by stem cell injections. If Richards is ready for the beginning of the 2017 season it will be a real shot in the arm for the Angels’ pitching staff (pun intended).
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Prospect Alex Meyer, acquired in a trade deadline deal with Minnesota, has made two starts in September and could be a part of the 2017 rotation as could Angels top minor league pitching prospect Nate Smith. The Angels had hoped for Smith to get some big league experience this September, however he was shutdown for the season after coming out of his last start of the season with arm soreness.
Smith’s MRI back in early September also showed no structural damage to his left elbow. His diagnosis was left elbow tendinitis. Just as with Matt Shoemaker and possibly Skaggs, the Angels will be extra cautious with Smith as is one of their potential starting pitchers for 2017.
Next: Matt Shoemaker on the mend
With Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney guaranteed to miss next season after having Tommy John surgery, and the uncertainty surrounding Garrett Richards UCL injury, the Angels will need to take care of those arms that are healthy. So don’t be surprised if we have seen the last start of Tyler Skaggs in 2016. As the saying that was made famous by author Grantland Rice 100 years ago says ‘Wait til next year’. In regards to the 2016 LA Angels, next year can’t come soon enough.