6:42pm: Skaggs’ MRI revealed no damage to his surgically repaired ulnar collateral ligament, tweets Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. General manager Billy Eppler told reporters that Skaggs has a “mild flexor pronator strain” and will sit out for the next week (also via Moura, on Twitter). The southpaw could still pitch again in 2016, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
7:52am: Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs has been scratched from his outing today with tightness in his forearm, as Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times was among those to tweet. Instead, he’ll head in for an MRI on the trouble area.
The organization is surely holding its breath while awaiting the results of the imaging. Skaggs, 25, finally returned recently from his August 2014 Tommy John surgery. After two years of recovery, another scare in the elbow area is the last thing anyone wanted to go through.
Things had been progressing rather well for the talented southpaw before this news. In his nine starts on the year, he logged 48 frames with a 4.13 ERA and excellent 9.4 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9. The hope, surely, is that he will be able to log thirty-plus high-quality starts in 2017.
For the Halos, any questions surrounding Skaggs are yet more concerning given the healthy-related uncertainty of other key arms. Andrew Heaney is already out for all of 2017 after his TJ procedurew, while Garrett Richards remains a question mark as he tries to stave off a UCL replacement. As I just explained in assessing three key needs for the organization, securing pitching depth is essential — but figures to be a challenge with a low-supply free agent market.
It’s certainly too soon to jump to any conclusions about Skaggs, who is obviously and understandably being handled with added care. As MLBTR contributor Bradley Woodrum has written in explaining his statistical assessment of Tommy John likelihood, prior TJ surgery is a significant indicator of future susceptibility, and Skaggs had already been slow to make his way back.