LA Angels Insider Injury Tracker: Wilson, Gentry, Heaney, Skaggs

Craig Gentry celebrates his double during the Angels' preseason game against the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium Sunday. ///ADDITIONAL INFO: angels.0404.kjs --- Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register -- 4/3/16 The Los Angeles Angels take on the Chicago Cubs at Angel Stadium during a preseason game at Angel Stadium Sunday. 4/3/16

Photo by KEVIN SULLIVAN / Orange County Register — 4/3/16

Welcome to the LA Angels Insider Injury Tracker! Here we will have updates on injured Angels players. This will be running post that will last throughout the 2016 regular season. Here are the latest reports:

May 1, 2016

  • The list just keeps getting longer and longer. Gentry had been dealing with back spasms for close to a week. His move is retroactive to April 26.
  • CJ’s target for his return has finally been established as early June. He’s begun throwing long toss, and in the next week or so will ease his way back into his normal workouts.
  • There’s a big possibility CJ may return as a reliever.
  • Heaney received an injection that will have him out for 6 to 12 weeks. Additional tests revealed no structural damage to his elbow, particularly his UCL, and the lefty will not require surgery.
  • There are no injury concerns over Shoe’s performance. He told reporters after Saturday’s game in Texas that he felt as good as he’s felt all season so far. But even when he made good pitches, batted balls were finding holes. Perhaps it was just a bad luck start. But given the righty’s overall start to the season, Gentry’s injury, the need for more length in the bullpen, and Robinson’s opt-out, the Halos needed a shake-up.
  • Tyler Skaggs has had his shoulder examined in Los Angeles. However, there is no official word yet on his status beyond shoulder fatigue. The young lefty was in the final stage of recovery from Tommy John Surgery when he felt weak in his shoulder after his last start at AAA Salt Lake. This could mean that Skaggs could be out for a month or so longer, or it could just be a minor setback for a kid who hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

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LA Angels Insider Transaction Tracker: Shoe, Robinson, Achter

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Welcome to the LA Angels Insider Transaction Tracker within the Eppler’s Domain category. Here we will be listing daily Angels transactions for the 2016 regular season. Major transactions will be analyzed in separate articles. This will be a running post that will last throughout the end of the season.

May 1, 2016

  • The Halos also have Thursday off, which was the Bearded One‘s next scheduled start, so it looks like they’ll just skip that spot in the rotation. In the meantime they’ll need some more outfield and pitching depth to correspond with new additions to what has turned into a rather long disabled list.

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2016 Game 25: Angels at Rangers

5-1-16

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2016 Game 24: Angels vs. Rangers

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2016 Game 23: Angels at Rangers – 5:05pm PT

4-29-16

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2016 Game 22: Royals at Angels

4-27-16

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2016 Game 21: Royals at Angels

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Kansas City Royals (12-7, 2nd AL Central) at Los Angeles Angels (9-11, 4th AL West)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Angel Stadium

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Sunny, 66F, Wind WSW 8mph

Pitching Matchup

Edinson Volquez (3-0, 1.46 ERA)

Edinson Volquez, wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum on April 15, 2016 (Thearon W Henderson?Getty Images)

Edinson Volquez, wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Coliseum on April 15, 2016 (Thearon W Henderson?Getty Images)

Volquez has gotten his 2016 season off to a fine start winning 3 of his first 4 starts so far, and the Royals are 4-0 in games he’s started. He has also given up just 4 earned runs across 24 2/3 innings in his 4 games so far. His last start was Thursday at home against Detroit and Volquez tossed 7 shutout frames, liminting the Tigers to just 5 hits in a game the Royals won 4-0.

~VS~

Jered Weaver (2-0, 3.12 ERA)

Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on April 10, 2016 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on April 10, 2016 (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Having started his 2016 season with a couple of quality starts sandwiched around a shaky one, Weaver will be looking to build on the encouraging results he saw in his last outing Thursday in Chicago. In that game Weaver gave up just 1 run on 3 hits over 7 innings, but perhaps more importantly he seemed to get stronger as the game went along, hitting as much as 85mph on the gun in the 7th inning. The Angels went on to win that game 3-2, giving Weaver his 2nd victory of the season.

Game Notes

  • Volquez hasn’t had much good fortune against the Angels – he’s 1-3 career against them with an unsightly 9.42 ERA. But he’s coming off a solid outing against the Tigers — seven scoreless innings in a 4-0 win.
  • Weaver is coming off a really good start against the White Sox, giving up just one run and allowing five base runners in seven innings. His fastball hit 84 and 85 mph several times, and even touched 86 once. That’s actually an improvement for him. He has a 2.77 ERA in 14 career starts against the Royals, but allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 10 1/3 innings against them last year.
  • Struggling right-handed Angels hitters C.J. Cron (.153/.242/.220) and Johnny Giavotella (.136/.156/.136) were both out of the starting lineup on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see when they play in the series with two more Royals right-handers slated. The Angels have left-handed-hitting first baseman Ji-Man Choi and switch-hitting infielder Cliff Pennington to replace them.
  • Yunel Escobar (4-for-15) and Albert Pujols (4-for-10) are the only ones who have any real experience against Volquez.
  • Kendrys Morales finds Weaver good hittin’ – he is 8 of 14 (.571) against Weaver.

Starting Lineups

Kansas City

Angels

AL West Standings

  1. Seattle: 10-9 (.526)
  2. Oakland: 10-10 (.500)
  3. Texas: 10-10 (.500)
  4. Angels: 9-11 (.450)
  5. Houston: 6-14 (.300)

Other AL West Matchups

  • Oakland @ Detroit – 4:10pm PT
  • NY Yankees @ Texas – 5:05pm PT
  • Houston @ Seattle – 7:10pm PT

2016 Game 20: Royals at Angels

4-25-16

 

Congratulations to Albert Pujols on hitting his 564th homerun, surpassing Hall of Famer and former Angel Reggie Jackson for 13th all-time!

 

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Angels Insiders: Shoe, Bullpen Depth

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We’re entering the third week of the 2016 season and the Angels are 8-11. Another slow start, and fans are hoping their club can overcome it again. One of the culprits of this slow start is Matt Shoemaker. The Bearded One has had a strange season so far, with two excellent starts and two terrible starts in between. It’s been back and forth for the righty so far. With Tyler Skaggs almost ready to return, and with a good performance from the Halos starting rotation as a whole, Shoe could find his way into the bullpen soon. But that’s not a bad thing. Matt has had success as a long reliever with the Angels. And that may be the role he is best suited for. Here’s more on Shoemaker and other things happening in Anaheim:

  • Shoemaker’s start on Sunday was actually an uncharacteristic outing. He threw a lot of balls, which is something he doesn’t do very often, even when he’s struggling. Shoe had a career BB/9 of just 2.0 for his career coming into this season. What ballooned his ERA in 2015, from his 3.04 in 2014, was allowing 24 home runs in 24 starts. His splitter was up. In ’14 it was down. And looks like it’s still up. That’s basically all Shoe needs to do to get back on track. Keep the splitter down and avoid the long ball.
  • Some grumbling a have been going around about sending Jose Alvarez down for Neal Cotts. In case you didn’t remember, the Halos signed Cotts on April 7. And although it’s early, Alvarez has a 5.79 ERA in just 9 1/3 innings. But Small sample, yes. However, no bullpen looks the same in August as it did in April. And Jose may be one of the first to go. As we speak, Cotts has a 1.46 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
  • That’s not all. Al Albuquerque and Javy Guerra both have ERA’s under 2.00 at AAA Salt Lake. Something to look into soon. The way things are going right now, we could see Alvarez and Fernando Salas replaced by any combination of those three. And if anyone else struggles, we could see all three in the Halos bullpen soon.
  • And if anyone is wondering why the Angels have the relievers they have with those three veterans in the minors, well it was basically a case of letting guys like Cory Rasmus and Mike Morin bounce back from their injuries and seeing what they can do. The Halos basically threw them a bone. But they’re not on a very tight leash.

2016 Game 19: Mariners at Angels – 12:35pm PT

4-24-16

Seattle Mariners (8-9, 3rd AL West) at Los Angeles Angels (8-10, 4th AL West)

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Angel Stadium-day

Weather Forecast @ 1st Pitch: Partly Cloudy, 75F, Wind SSW 9mph

Pitching Matchup

Wade Miley (0-2, 8.04 ERA)

Wade Miley delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 19, 2016 (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Wade Miley delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on April 19, 2016 (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Now with his third team in as many seasons, Miley’s first year in Seattle has been a struggle so far. His first two starts of the season did not go well at all as he gave up 5 and 6 earned runs respectively, but his last time out Tuesday in Cleveland was particularly alarming. In that start Miley lasted just 3 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs, but of particular concern was the fact that he walked 4 of the final 5 batters he faced. He took the loss in a game the Mariners lost 3-2. For what it’s worth, Miley is 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA in 2 career starts against the Angels.

~VS~

Matt Shoemaker (1-2, 4.70 ERA)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on April 8, 2016 (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Matt Shoemaker delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on April 8, 2016 (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

After a disastrous season debut at home against the Rangers, Shoemaker has bounced back nicely having given up just 2 earned runs over his last 12 1/3 innings across two starts. In his last start Tuesday in Chicago, Shoemaker held the White Sox to just 2 runs on 6 hits over 6 1/3 innings, but took the tough luck loss as the Angel offense gave him zero support, and the Angels eventually lost the game 5-0.

Game Notes

  • With Miley being a lefty, Angels skipper Mike Scioscia will likely go with Craig Gentry in left field in place of Rafael Ortega, who started the first two games of the series. Gentry has been struggling, though, hitting just .129 (4-for-31).
  • Mariners center fielder Leonys Martin has hit .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles against Shoemaker and right fielder Seth Smith is 3-for-8 with a pair of home runs. On the other side, third baseman Kyle Seager has hit just .143 (2-for-14), though he does have a home run against the right-hander.
  • Miley had success against the Angels in the first two starts of his career against them, both last year with the Red Sox, as he went 1-0 with a 0.60 ERA with just one earned run and five hits in 15 innings. He beat the Angels at Fenway in May with one run and four hits over eight frames, then took a no-decision at Angel Stadium in mid-July after throwing seven scoreless frames with just one hit, two walks and six strikeouts in a 1-0 loss.

Starting Lineups

Seattle

  1. LF-Nori Aoki -.217
  2. RF-Seth Smith – .294
  3. 2B-Robinson Cano – .235
  4. DH-Nelson Cruz – .273
  5. 1B-Adam Lind – .283
  6. 3B-Kyle Seager – .127
  7. C-Steve Clevenger – .214
  8. CF-Leonys Martin – .193
  9. SS-Ketel Marte – .214

Angels

  1. 3B-Yunel Escobar – .260
  2. 2B-Johnny Giavotella – .146
  3. CF-Mike Trout – .302
  4. DH-Albert Pujols – .132
  5. RF-Kole Calhoun – .308
  6. C-Geovany Soto – .316
  7. SS-Andrelton Simmons – .232
  8. 1B-C.J. Cron – .161
  9. LF-Craig Gentry – .129

AL West Standings

  1. Oakland: 10-8 (.556)
  2. Texas: 10-8 (.556)
  3. Seattle: 8-9 (.471)
  4. Angels: 8-10 (.444)
  5. Houston: 6-12 (.333)

Other AL West Matchups

  • Oakland 1, Toronto 1, Bottom 3rd
  • Texas @ Chicago White Sox – 11:10am PT
  • Boston @ Houston – 5:05pm PT