The Angels have received devastating news on injured Tyler Skaggs; the promising left-hander is out for the season and all of 2015, as he will undergo Tommy John surgery Wednesday, reports the Orange County Register’s Jeff Fletcher. The rehab time for Tommy John surgery is 12-18 months and Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters the club won’t rush Skaggs back until 2016 because “the great likelihood is if you remain conservative, you make better decisions.”
The Angels were already known to be pursuing rotation help on the waiver wire, but presumably, the definitive loss of their No. 4 starter for roughly one calendar year will cause their search to accelerate. Dipoto, however, says that pursuit will focus on back-end starters.
“I don’t know too many circumstances where your young starters gets hurt and you are compelled to go chase the top of the market. We’ll stay focused on the type of model we set up. We do feel like we have enough depth to absorb the loss right now.“
The Halos selected Skaggs with the 40th overall pick in the 2009 draft but eventually traded him to the D’Backs in a trade for Dan Haren, only to reacquire him this offseason in the Mark Trumbo trade (Dipoto was on the acquiring end of both of those deals, as he was Arizona’s interim GM for the Haren deal).
Skaggs, who only recently turned 23, was enjoying his return to the Angels organization. In 113 innings of work this season, the top prospect had begun to deliver on his potential, posting a 4.30 ERA with 6.9 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and a 50.1 percent ground-ball rate. ERA estimators such as FIP (3.55), xFIP (3.67) and SIERA (3.75) all felt that Skaggs was better than his ERA.
Skaggs had emerged as a solid fourth option behind Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, with Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago serving as internal options for the fifth spot. Those five arms will now comprise Scioscia’s primary rotation now, however, and given Wilson’s tremendous struggles of late, that creates a great deal of uncertainty. At this point, I’d be surprised if the Angels didn’t acquire an additional arm to add some stability to the middle or back of the rotation.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.