The LA Angels have, shockingly, been getting mostly good news when it comes to their injured starting pitchers. Andrew Heaney made his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery on Monday night, and did more than just impress.
The LA Angels are finally returning their rotation to (mostly) full strength. Despite Matt Shoemaker (nerve damage) and Nick Tropeano (Tommy John) not making their returns this season, things are looking up for the Halos.
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While JC Ramirez went to the 10-day disabled list, Garrett Richards is scheduled to pitch in a rehab game on Wednesday. This is a huge step for Richards’ recovery, as he vowed to return to the Halos this season.
As these players slowly make their comebacks, it seems as though Andrew Heaney has made his comeback. In his first two starts, Heaney pitched like a player coming off TJ surgery… poorly. He allowed nine runs over ten total innings in his first start. The biggest mark were the eight big flies he allowed as well. However, there was hope, as he had struck out nine batters while walking zero.
Heaney was nothing but positive in his third start on Monday. Granted, he faced a lackluster Oakland Athletic’s offense, but Heaney was the dominant pitcher the Halos hoped for when they traded for him in 2014. While he did allowed a solo home run in the sixth inning, that was the only damage Heaney allowed. Ten Oakland batters were set down on strikes, a career-high for Heaney.
Heaney threw a curveball for a strike to start off the night. This was a great start, especially after his hesitance when it came to throwing his curve in his first two outings.
The fifth inning was a near disaster. After allowing runners to reach third and second with two outs, courtesy of two walks and wild pitches, he struck out Chad Pinder to get out of the inning.
Heaney then proved himself in the sixth. He struck out three straight Oakland batters to end the night. Heaney had excellent use of his fastball, curveball, and his changeup Monday night. His fastball hit 96 MPH in the sixth inning, ending his true return with an emphatic bang.
With the Halos close to the second American League Wild Card, they will need every solid outing they can get. If Heaney can pitch like this consistently, there might truly be something special brewing in Anaheim.