Just when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim seemed to have turned the corner from a rocky start to the season, disaster came to roost in their rotation.
Update: Tuesday, June 12 at 11:40 a.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Jered Weaver continues to recover from a back injury. The latest step in his recovery was throwing 30 pitches in a bullpen session and he reported no issues, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.
Weaver will have another bullpen session Tuesday–this one from the rubber–and will throw a simulated game by the end of the week. If all goes well, he could re-join the Angels' rotation in time for next week's home series against the San Francisco Giants, having missed less than three weeks.
The Angels have been playing much better as of late, winning seven of their last 10 games and moving up to second place in the AL West. Getting their ace back in the rotation would provide another boost as the team looks to makes its slow start a distant memory.
Weaver was 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA before getting placed on the disabled list.
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UPDATE: Tuesday, May 29 at 6:26 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Bill Plunkett, the Angels beat writer for the Orange County Register, tweeted out that Angels have made a roster move to compensate for Weaver's injury.
Jered Weaver to DL with lower back sprain. #Angels promote Garrett Richards from Triple A.— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) May 29, 2012
The news that it is a lower back strain will come as a relief to Angels fans as it was originally feared it may have been a knee injury.
Richards has been a starting pitcher in Triple-A. It is unclear if he will take Weaver's spot in the rotation, and no matter what happens, he will be an option as long relief in the bullpen as the Angels try to recover from having to get nine innings of work from the pen when Weaver was hurt.
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According to Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, staff ace Jered Weaver left his start against the New York Yankees on Monday with what appeared to be a leg injury after throwing just 12 pitches.
A very, very angry Jeff Weaver just left game and came off the field, cursing at his body. Some sort of leg injury. Break for the YAnks.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) May 29, 2012
The Angels later revealed on Twitter that Weaver was having his lower back looked at by the team's training staff.
#Angels training staff looking at lower back injury for Weaver— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 29, 2012
The Southern California native gave up a run on two hits without recording an out before walking away from the mound in disgust. Weaver came into the Memorial Day holiday ranked among the American League leaders in wins, earned-run average, innings pitched and strikeouts.
The younger brother of former major leaguer Jeff Weaver, the Angels ace made a name for himself on the national stage when he blanked the Minnesota Twins for the 250th no-hitter in MLB history on May 2.
The 29-year-old Long Beach State alum was the 12th overall pick of the 2004 MLB draft and has established himself as one of the most durable pitchers in all of baseball in recent years, making no fewer than 30 starts per season over the previous four.
He made his big league debut two years later and has since gone on to garner two All-Star selections and top-five consideration for the AL Cy Young in each of the last two years.