When LA Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs went on the disabled list in August it was originally supposed to be a short stint, but six weeks later he will finally return to the mound tonight in Oakland.
The LA Angels have been bit by the injury bug again in 2018 especially the pitching staff. The Angels have had a total of 13 pitchers who have spent time on the disabled list and eight of those pitchers have been lost for the season due to arm injuries.
Tyler Skaggs is one of the few pitchers who has pitched the majority of the season in 2018 and despite being on the shelf for over 30 games this season Skaggs has been one of the most consistent and effective pitchers on the Angels staff.
Skaggs has had a history of injuries throughout his career including a UCL tear that kept him out for nearly two years from mid-2014 to mid-2016. Skaggs’ latest injury is an abductor strain, but after rehabbing the past couple of weeks he has been cleared to return to the mound in Oakland tonight against the second place A’s.
Skaggs will likely be on a limited pitch count most likely 80 pitches or so, but we will see how manager Mike Scioscia and the Angels medical staff handle Skaggs in his return tonight.
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This season Skaggs has probably been one of the top two starters on the Angels staff next to Andrew Heaney. He has an 8-8 record with a 3.78 ERA. In addition he has struck out 121 batters in 116.2 innings. Skaggs has a WHIP of 1.31 and opponents are hitting .262 against him. Skaggs’ numbers would actually be much better if not for two very bad starts.
Skaggs started against Tampa Bay on July 31st with a 2.62 ERA and 11 quality starts in 19 starts. He was 8-6 at the time and had started to look like he could become the staff ace or at least a solid #2 starter. Then the bottom fell out. Skaggs gave up 10 earned runs in 3.1 innings against the Rays and his next start was skipped. Skaggs then came back and pitched on August 11th against the same Oakland A’s and got lit up again giving up seven earned runs in 3.1 innings.
With those two horrid starts Skaggs ERA jumped from a stellar 2.62 to a somewhat respectable, but much higher 3.78. This is when the Angels placed Skaggs on the disabled list where he has been until today. Hopefully this stint on the DL will help Skaggs get back to the form he had for most of the season.
Despite the injury Skaggs has already set career-highs in almost every category wins (8), innings pitched (116.2), games started (21), and strikeouts (123). If Skaggs finishes his last couple of starts strong he will have posted his lowest career ERA for a season.
The question remains will Skaggs be able to stay healthy and be effective for a full season in 2019. Skaggs is a relatively cheap option at the moment as he made only 1.875 million dollars in 2018. He is still under club control over the next two seasons, but is arbitration eligible so he should a decent increase in salary after the season.
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Hopefully Skaggs will be able to reach his full potential in the next couple of seasons, if not he will be sent on his way after the 2020 season. Let’s see how he performs tonight against the A’s and go from there.