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Injured pitchers closer to return to rotation, but when remains question

By in Press Enterprise on July 22, 2017

By Elliott Teaford

ANAHEIM — Matt Shoemaker threw from 60 feet and Garrett Richards threw from 90 before the Angels opened a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. One of these days, the Angels’ starting rotation might actually look the way it was once designed to look.

Friday was not that day, however.

Andrew Heaney threw four shutout innings with five strikeouts Thursday for the Angels’ Arizona League team, approaching the next step of his rehabilitation and recovery sooner rather than later. Tyler Skaggs is set to throw four innings in a rehab start Saturday at Triple-A Salt Lake.

It’s uncertain when, or if, all four might rejoin the Angels’ rotation. If they do, the Angels might have have some competition for jobs after spending so much of 2017 with a patchwork rotation that has somehow kept them within striking distance in the AL West.

“We’re a ways away from that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But anytime you have competition at any position it makes you a stronger team with that depth. So, we’re going to welcome it. I don’t think there’s anything in the scope of adding depth that’s an issue.

“We’re going to wait and see where we are. Tyler is a little ahead of Garrett. We’ll see how ‘Shoe’ is and we’ll see where Andrew Heaney is. We’re a ways away, but there will be some welcome decisions that we haven’t had in a while.”

Shoemaker (right forearm), Richards (right biceps), Heaney (reconstructive left elbow surgery) and Skaggs (right oblique) had missed a combined 291 games going into the weekend series against the Red Sox. They could have made up four-fifths of the Angels’ rotation if healthy.

Overall, the Angels had seven pitchers on the disabled list Friday.

SHOEMAKER UPDATE

After two weeks without so much as a game of catch, Shoemaker said he was happy to […]    

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