Several reports have surfaced this afternoon that Los Angeles Angels ace pitcher Jared Weaver could miss as much of 4-6 weeks of action after being diagnosed with a broken right elbow, an injury he suffered during Sunday’s win over the Texas Rangers in Arlington.
The loss of Weaver will force the Angels to call up minor leaguer Dane De La Rosa to fill a bullpen spot and also forces Garrett Richards back into the starting rotation even after a move to a relief role this season after finishing 4-3 in nine starts and a total of 30 appearances for the Halos in 2012.
Needless to say this a very tough break for an Angels squad who will be battling from one day to the next in what arguably could turn out to be the best division in the American League, if not all of the MLB. Should Weaver indeed mix 4-6 weeks of action, we’re talking at least as many missed starts, requiring that unproven guys like Richards rise to the occasion and play with consistency.
Ironically, Weaver’s injury also places an impetus on the Angels offense to score in bunches and deliver on the power which they promise on paper with a lineup that includes Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and Josh Hamilton. It may be that it’s necessary for Los Angeles to outscore teams in the interim — at least through mid-May or so when Weaver returns to action — and not be overly concerned with how the pitching situation shakes out in his absence.
The Angels should be an offense-first team anyway, but now it appears their hand is forced to be productive every day and not have their Big Four hit a wall collectively on any given night.
It’s an interesting development for a team many favored prior to the 2013 season to win the AL West, and just as many believe could dethrone their division rivals, the Texas Rangers, en route to another World Series appearance.