Latest Robert Stephenson injury update makes Angels’ quiet offseason look even worse

More bad news on the injury-front for the Halos.
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Robert Stephenson
Los Angeles Angels pitcher Robert Stephenson / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Angels' offseason was a bit of a snooze-fest. Yes, there were rumors abounding throughout the winter about the Halos' interest in this player and that player, but in the end, LA came away with virtually no additions in free agency or via the trade market.

The biggest free agent acquisition the Angels secured this past offseason was right-handed relief pitcher Robert Stephenson. A former first-round pick, Stephenson put up good numbers for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2023, and the Angels decided to invest $33 million over three years in the reliever.

As it turns out, that investment may have been sorely misplaced. Stephenson began the year on the injured list after suffering a shoulder ailment during spring training. The injury kept Stephenson off the Angels Opening Day roster, and a rehab assignment was necessary before the right-hander would be ready to return to the active roster.

However, Stephenson exited his first game back after throwing just four pitches, all of which missed the strike zone.

Latest Robert Stephenson injury update makes Angels’ quiet offseason look even worse

Pitcher injuries have been dominating the Major League Baseball water cooler this spring, and it would appear as though Stephenson will now be lumped in with the rest of the hurlers who've been sidelined due to various arm issues this season.

Stephenson entered his first rehab assignment with the Salt Lake Bees, walked the first batter he faced, and summoned the training staff from the dugout. The Bees' manager took Stephenson out of the ballgame almost immediately, and the Angels will send the reliever off for further testing. That's not what you want to hear if you're an Angels fan.

With owner Arte Moreno cutting payroll this past offseason, GM Perry Minasian didn't bring in too much talent from outside the organization. Other than Stephenson, the Angels signed Aaron Hicks to a bargain-basement deal (most of which the New York Yankees are paying), inked Miguel Sanó to a minor-league deal after the slugger missed the 2023 season, and tried to resurrect the career of Drew Pomeranz despite the fact that the left-hander hadn't seen a major league mound since 2021.

The Angels' winter was dreadful, and if Stephenson's latest evaluation reveals more doom and gloom, the team's offseason spending will be seen as an utter joke.

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