Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 13
Matthew DeFranks of MLB.com has good news for Angels fans regarding Tyler Skaggs:
Tyler Skaggs had successful Tommy John surgery today. #Angels— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) August 13, 2014
A bit of bad news just got a whole lot worse for Tyler Skaggs and the Los Angeles Angels.
The starting pitcher—who had already been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained forearm on August 1—will require season-ending Tommy John surgery that could also cost him a large chunk of the 2015 season.
From the team's official Twitter account:
Club announced today that LHP Tyler Skaggs will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his left elbow.— Angels (@Angels) August 10, 2014
Alden Gonzalez provides comments from Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto:
Dipoto said Skaggs injury "certainly changes our approach" in offseason pursuit of SP, but for backend guys on short deals; not top tier SP.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) August 10, 2014
Gonzalez passed along more from Dipoto:
Our model is what you are looking at...We feel like we have front men, we have middle men, we have back-of-the-rotation starters. We will try to create as much depth as we can, both with back-of-the-rotation starters and bullpen.
I don't know too many circumstances where your young starter gets hurt and you are compelled to go chase the top of the market. We'll stay focused on the type of model we've set up.
Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register has more details:
#Angels Tyler Skaggs had 3 MRIs. First two weren't conclusive. 3rd showed partial tear. On Friday he opted for TH surgery.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 10, 2014
Suffice to say, this is a major blow for the Halos.
The 23-year-old had proven to be a solid fourth starter for the Angels, going 5-5 with a 4.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 86 strikeouts in 133.0 innings pitched. With Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson manning the first four spots in the rotation, the Angels seemed poised to make a run at the postseason.
At the time of the announcement, the team was 68-48, four games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West and comfortably holding on to one of the two available wild-card spots.
Without Skaggs, however, the team will now likely turn to the waiver wire in search of another reliable starting pitcher. That search may not be as fruitful as the club would like, however, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:
Gotta think Skaggs news will make #Angels more aggressive on waiver wire for SP depth, but not much out there, esp for team w/ their record.— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) August 10, 2014
The hope will be that Skaggs has a swift recovery and is able to return next season, but equally important will be that the progress and development he showed this year isn't halted. While he faces a long road in recovery, there's no questioning his potential, so expect the Angels to work him back very slowly.