Los Angeles Angels: Andrew Heaney wants to return this season
By Joshua Lea
The Los Angeles Angels are surviving another season of injured pitchers. The Angels may have one of their budding stars back on the mound by early August.
The Los Angeles Angels 2017 season is somewhat like their 2016 season. They’ve had to play without two of their most dominant pitchers. Andrew Heaney and Garrett Richards have battled injury since last season. Richards was able to begin the season before tearing his bicep in early April. Andrew Heaney was subject to Tommy John surgery on July 1st of last season. However, Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times reports that Heaney is determined to return to the mound this season.
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DiGiovanna reports that Heaney threw a 90 pitch simulated game on Saturday, July 1st. Although the Angels do not expect Heaney to return to the mound this season, that’s not stopping Heaney from trying. Heaney is going to throw to some hitters and participate in some practice before rehabbing in the minors. Still, an August return for Heaney isn’t totally out of the question.
As Heaney continues to inch toward a return Richards is also eyeing a mid-August return. Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that Richards is to undergo a full evaluation next week. Richards could resume throwing if the evaluation goes well. Still, he would need at least a month before he could return to the mound for the Angels.
If both Richards and Heaney could return to the Angels by the end of August and the Angels hold their current position, they could make a strong move towards a Wild Card spot. Currently, the Angels are 43-45, 16.5 games behind the division-leading Houston Astros. Assuming the Astros don’t go on a massive streak, it’s safe to say the Astros have the AL West locked up.
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One question the Angels will have to answer is if they want to be buyers or sellers come trade deadline. The Angels will have to decide if they have a big enough chance to make the Wild Card this season. If not, they’ll likely sell off players and begin retooling for next season.
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While the Los Angeles Angels situation is frustrating, they are in the running for a Wild Card. They, along with the Yankee’s, Twins, Royals, and Rays are all within a game of each other.