LA Angels pitchers on the mend, Scioscia cautiously optimistic

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 05: Garrett Richards
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 05: Garrett Richards /

With all the injuries woes the LA Angels have had this season, especially within their starting rotation it is about time that the Angels finally get some good news. That happened Friday as Garrett Richards was cleared to throw for the first time in three months.

Over the past two seasons the LA Angels starting pitchers have been besieged by injuries more times than a Donald Trump tweet causes a controversy (maybe I overstated that a bit). The Angels had five starting pitchers land on the disabled list for extensive periods of time in 2016 and this year that count is already up to three in half the season.

So any good news is welcomed by manager Mike Scioscia and the Angels, although they been down this road before so their enthusiasm is tempered. “Skaggs, Heaney, and Richards are on pace right now, but we will just have to see how they progress as their health is the most important thing and we don’t want to rush them back,” Scioscia said. “Heaney is scheduled to pitch again in five days and Skaggs will as well.”

As for Richards, “Anytime you are cleared to start throwing, it’s a big step in the right direction,” Scioscia said, “But he’s a long way away right now.”

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The word from multiple sources is that Skaggs could be back with the Angels by the end of the month if all goes well and he doesn’t have any more setbacks.  The Angels will be especially cautious though in regards to Heaney being that he is trying to come back close to four months ahead of schedule from the Tommy John surgery he had last June.

“Heaney looked good last night, but he got a little fatigued which can be expected after a long layoff,” Scioscia said.  “Hopefully he keeps progressing.”

As for Matt Shoemaker Scioscia said that he has still not picked up a ball after a cortisone shot 10 days ago, so his situation is still in limbo, although the Angels are hopeful that he will be able to resume his rehab program soon.

So with four key pitchers on the mend the Angels would be happy to get all four of them back some time this season.  However, realistically even if two them could back in the next month it would greatly help the team’s chances of making it to the post-season.

Parker Bridwell had another strong outing Sunday as did Ricky Nolasco last Friday.  Bridwell went six plus innings allowing only two runs and Nolasco went seven innings only allowing one run.  The issue they both faced was a lack of Angels offense.  Both pitchers were saddled with a no-decision despite their strong outings.

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Over the weekend the Angels only scored eight runs in three games against the Rays in dropping two of three games.  We can talk about all the pitching injuries the Angels have had this season, but in reality if the team could have done better offensively it would be a moot point.

If this doesn’t change soon it wouldn’t matter much if the Angels had a rotation of Nolan Ryan, Cy Young and Sandy Koufax (although that would be fun to watch) they would still struggle to win games because they are not scoring enough runs.

Next: Parker Bridwell coming of age with Angels

Hopefully now with Mike Trout back in the line-up the offense will start to kick it into gear. If not it will be another lost year for the team and another year of sitting on the couch in October.