Angels First Pitch: Ohtani’s final tune-up, Heaney hurting

Mike Trout, Joe Maddon, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Mike Trout, Joe Maddon, Los Angeles Angels (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Angels’ Opening Day starter Andrew Heaney skips a start

For the second consecutive season, Andrew Heaney has been tabbed as the opening day starter for the Angels. However, as we all know, he failed to make that start in 2019 and missed the first several months of the season.

With the season opener for the Angels on Friday in Oakland, Heaney gave the Angels a bit of a scare on Saturday when he missed his final intrasquad start. However, the decision to skip the start appears to be entirely precautionary.

In talking with the media on Sunday, Heaney noted that he woke up with some back stiffness and voted to err on the side of caution.

"“I just felt like, as quick as our build-up was gonna be in this Spring Training, and then with the season being as short as it is, it was just smart to be cautious. I feel ready after 85 pitches my last time out. Felt good with all of my stuff. I’m ready to go. I feel fine.”"

With Heaney’s history of injuries, the team wants to see him not only make it to his first start but also stay as healthy as possible for the shortened season. There is a sense of ease knowing that Saturday’s scratch was due to some stiffness and not an arm injury.

After going 4-6 with a 4.91 ERA, a 4.63 FIP, and an 11.1 K/9 in 2019, Heaney is looking to regain the form he showed during a breakout campaign in 2018. In career-best 30 starts and 180 innings two seasons ago, Heaney went 9-10 with a 4.15 ERA, a 3.99 FIP, a 4.00 K/BB ratio.

He’ll make his first career opening day start on Friday against the Athletics.