Angels manager Mike Scioscia tells reporters, including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter link) and Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com (Twitter link) that left-hander Andrew Heaney has “plateaued” in his rehab from left forearm tightness. Heaney is “still feeling something when he throws harder,” per Fletcher. Gonzalez adds that Heaney is stuck playing catch from 60 feet and unable to ramp up his workouts from that point. The 24-year-old Heaney hit the disabled list earlier this season after experiencing a drop in velocity over the course of his lone start of the season. The Halos, who are without C.J. Wilson for an indefinite time and have seen Jered Weaver’s velocity dip to the very low 80s, and a prolonged absence would only further raise questions about the starting staff. On the plus side, Nick Tropeano has stepped up with a pair of excellent starts for the Angels in Heaney’s stead.
A few more notes from the AL West…
- Hector Santiago of the Angels is showing an early velocity bump, as MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez explains. The southpaw matched a career high of ten strikeouts in a sterling start yesterday, aided by a heater that touched 96 mph. He has posted an average fastball velocity of over 92 mph over his first three starts after hovering below 91 mph in the past two seasons. Notably, Santiago is showing significant improvement in other important areas, with a 12.0% swinging strike rate and 47.3% ground-ball rate that dwarf his career marks.
- Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards examines the two-year, $36MM contract extension to which Adrian Beltre agreed with the Rangers, writing that Beltre’s steady excellence at the plate and in the field gives the contract significant bargain potential. Perhaps more interestingly to some, Edwards juxtaposes Beltre’s age-31 through age-36 seasons with some of the game’s all-time great players and does the same with projections for his upcoming seasons, noting that Beltre is building quite the Hall of Fame case.
- Mariners catcher Mike Zunino is off to a blistering start at Triple-A Tacoma this season, batting .447 with six homers through his first nine games/40 plate appearances. However, manager Scott Servais tells Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune that Zunino isn’t in line for a quick promotion to the Majors as a result of his torrid opening stretch. “It needs to be a process for (Zunino),” said Servais.“And if he does take an 0-for-10, how is he responding to that? … But Mike needed to get off to a good start, which he did. Have success and (experience) confidence-building. It’s really, really good for him. And for us.” For the time being, Chris Iannetta and Steve Clevenger are the catching options for the Mariners on the 25-man roster.