LA Angels News

How Will LA Angels Adapt to Life Without Tyler Skaggs?

By Vincent Page
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - APRIL 12: Starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels delivers the ball against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Prior to Monday’s game, the LA Angels announced a few moves, the most notable being that Tyler Skaggs would be placed on the 10-day Injured List with a left ankle sprain.

The move will be retroactive to April 13th, so the LA Angels won’t have Skaggs back until next Tuesday at the earliest. The injury happened on a bunt against the Cubs, when Skaggs planted his foot awkwardly and saw a sudden drop in velocity.

While the Angels are lucky it’s only a short trip to the IL for Skaggs, they’ll still need to fill the void as best as possible. They made a few corresponding moves:

So all in all, the Angels were likely to send Ward down following the road trip to Chicago, as the team likely just wanted another position player in a National League ballpark. He could have stayed up if he had hit the ball well, but Zack Cozart seemed to have newfound confidence in Chicago, making Ward being optioned an easy choice.

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Jaime Barria made one relief appearance for the Angels last week, allowing one run in 2.2 innings pitched. He is the likely candidate to make the spot start in place of Skaggs, and Halo fans should feel confident in that. Despite starting the season in Salt Lake and having a rough Spring Training, Barria has proven he can pitch in the MLB.

So if Barria is to make the spot start, that likely means John Curtiss finds himself in the bullpen. Curtiss has experience as a starter, but has been more focused on relief pitching the past few years. The 26-year old hasn’t been great in Triple-A this season, as he has allowed four earned runs in just 3.2 innings. An ERA north of nine is never something you want to see from one of your team’s pitchers, but Curtiss is likely to see some action this week.

Before Skaggs went down, Barria was used in a long-reliever role during Felix Peña’s last start. With Barria now likely to start for Skaggs, that likely puts Curtiss into that role considering his history as a starter. In general, it is important for the Angels’ starters to go deep into games this series, but now it is critical the Halos can get at least five innings from Pena in his start.

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While Skaggs hasn’t pitched at the ace-level he did in the first half of 2018, he has still be a solid pitcher thus far, and seemed to be improving each start while showing flashes of being the ace the Angels see him as. Him hitting the IL is not great for a club sitting around .500, but with Barria waiting in the wings, they’re well equipped to at least survive without Skaggs.

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