When I heard the news, my heart was broken. I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing. Long story short, I was scarred. Our Angel (pun intended) Garrett Richards would be headed for Tommy John surgery, putting him on the disabled list until mid-2017. Devastated, I looked to the second news alert I had received, “Report: Angels P Andrew Heaney has damaged UCL.”
“This must be the end,” I thought. The two best pitchers on the Angels pitching staff simultaneously received devastating injury reports, both including their ulnar collateral ligaments (UCL).
Richards had seriously injured his knee less than two years ago, completely unrelated, but equally as devastating. The Angels rallied, turning that pain into power, managing to compose a 30-15 record to complete the 2014 season, finishing in first place.
But now what?
With the Angels needing (at least) two pitchers, the alternatives are few and far between. Tyler Skaggs has nearly completed his Tommy John recovery, but isn’t ready just yet. Nate Smith and Kyle Kendrick are residing in Salt Lake, the Angels Triple-A affiliate, neither being attractive options. Cory Rasmus and Jose Alvarez are on the major league roster, but both are better suited to be swing-men/long-relievers. This leaves Tim Lincecum, Kyle Lohse, and recently-designated John Danks as external options, and won’t sign unless Arte Moreno crosses the Luxury Tax threshold.
Let’s dive into these potential replacements: