The LA Angels have set themselves up nicely with some good moves over the past few season acquiring guys for cheap or finding hidden gems off the waiver wire. However, injuries have hurt and losing Alex Meyer was a major blow to the team.
The LA Angels took a risk toward thee end of the 2016 season trading away a fairly successful left-handed pitcher and fan favorite Hector Santiago in exchange for a veteran with potential and a young prospect with arm injuries.
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Ricky Nolasco worked out somewhat as he was a solid starter that pitched a good amount of innings, but with only minimal effectiveness. The prospect was Alex Meyer who was one of the Minnesota Twins top prospects when was first drafted out of the University of Kentucky in 2011.
However, Meyer had not really worked out as of yet and the Angels hoped he could finally realize his potential in Angel red. Meyer pitched in five games in 2016 going 1-2 with a 4.57 ERA striking out 24 batters in 21.2 innings. In 2017 Meyer looked even better going 4-5 with a 3.74 ERA striking out 75 batters in 67.1 innings.
Meyer allowed one run or less in seven of his 13 starts including a lights out performance against the Washington Nationals who had one of the best offenses in baseball. Meyer went seven innings in that game allowing only one hit and one walk with seven strike outs. However, after that game it was found out that Meyer had a partially torn labrum in his shoulder and he would miss the rest of the season and potentially the whole 2018 season as well.
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Injuries to starting pitchers the Angels are all to familiar with. They have had seven starting pitchers go down with injuries in the past three seasons. Meyer is hoping to make a comeback before the end of the 2018 season. The Angels had lefty Andrew Heaney come back last season four months earlier than expected.
However, should the Angels even risk trying to let Meyer pitch in 2018? Heaney came back early and looked like he was not totally ready. Just know the Angels will take as many precautions as needed with Meyer. They do not want him coming back too early like Heaney did in 2017, and not be effective.
So far Meyer’s rehab is on schedule and if everything keeps going well he could starting throwing before the end of Spring Training. A late August return is probably the best Meyer could hope for, but that will only happen if his rehab continues to go smoothly.
If Meyer is able to come back late this season the Angels may use him out of the bullpen down the stretch unless there is a strong need for him to start. Let’s hope that we see Meyer on the mound at some point this season, before that happens he will have to be fully healed and have done a rehab assignment. There is room for optimism for sure, but the Angels should still should be cautious.