Angels southpaw John Lamb will undergo Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, according to a team media release. Lamb just hit the disabled list a few days ago due to shoulder and elbow inflammation.
Lamb signed a minor league deal with Los Angeles in the 2016-17 offseason and made three starts for the team this year, which represented his first taste of MLB action since pitching for the Reds in 2016. Lamb was solid in his first outing but struggled in his next two starts, and he’ll end the year with an ugly 7.20 ERA and four homers allowed over just 10 innings pitched.
The surgery represents the latest setback for Lamb in a career that has been marked by injuries and off-the-field issues. Considered one of the game’s top pitching prospects in his early days in the Royals’ farm system, Lamb was never quite the same after undergoing his first Tommy John procedure in 2011. He has also battled back injuries and served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive for a drug of abuse. Over 129 2/3 career innings with the Reds and Angels, Lamb has a 6.25 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 3.25 K/BB rate, with the long ball being a consistent problem (1.8 HR/9) for the left-hander.
The Angels have been ravaged by pitching injuries over the last few seasons, and Lamb is now the fourth Halos pitcher (after J.C. Ramirez, Keynan Middleton, and Blake Wood) to require Tommy John surgery in the last two-plus months. Jake Jewell is also gone for the season after undergoing right fibula surgery, while Matt Shoemaker could potentially miss the rest of the year after he needed to go under the knife to fix a split tendon in his forearm. All told, Anaheim currently has a whopping 11 pitchers on its disabled list, including front-of-the-rotation names like Garrett Richards and Shohei Ohtani (though Ohtani may be close to a return as a hitter, if not yet as a pitcher as the team continues to monitor his UCL sprain.)
The Angels have a severe injury curse hanging over the whole organization.
They certainly have a severe lack of pitching, managerial, mechanics and fitness coaching talent.
Long Duc Dong
Wow this is crazy
I think you’re like cursing them now, it was a really good joke for a while but now it’s just the truth. TJs everywhere
Management should look into the conditioning program for their pitchers. Free agent pitchers should beware
How is it BS. Not only can Players can be superstitious but it’s obvious somewhere in the org, whether it be the pitching coach, pitching philosophy of the org, or somewhere else that something has to change because this is not just random injuries at this point
John Lamb is ten days from his 28th birthday, has had decreasing velocity each of the last three seasons, and arrived just over a year ago with 768 professional innings in 131 games in the KC and CIN organizations.
There cannot possibly be a MLB team anywhere with a conditioning program so damaging and suspect that it would ruin Lamb in such a modest percentage of his career games and innings.
And yet… Seriously though, if it was just Lamb, I don’t think anyone would say a word about it. But when he is the 11th pitcher on your 40 man, questions need to be asked.
Legitimate. Not a crazy thought at all.
FB 89.4 mph in 2016, 89.2 mph in 2018. Similarly, his other pitches stayed the same, while his CT even went up by more than half a mph. There is no noticeable loss of velocity to be found from 16-18
Lamb has had back surgeries at the end of 2015, and again after 2016. That is why the 2mph drop across the board from 2015 to 2016.
The Angels had him on a 60 pitch limit down in AAA this season after fatigue developed over just his 70 IP last year. They had to know this was likely coming, yet pushed on anyway.
Could better strength & conditioning practices and/or more monitored & controlled usage the last 1.5 years been able to prevent this? Who knows for sure, but it is at least possible
You make a good point about fatigue after just 70 IP on a 60-pitch count that I’d been unaware of him having last year. There could be instances that LAA and other organizations could shut certain guys down sooner under such circumstances.
I heard the Angels get a significant discount on these surgeries because of all the business they bring in.
Long Duc Dong
But one get one
This truly is getting hard to believe at this point
This says more about the coaching staff then it says anything about “A bad year” for the Angels. I don’t believe in coincidences and this is too many.
Granted, the players themselves do have injury histories to begin with. But this is definitely being helped along quite a bit by Strength & Conditioning practices and the players being pushed & overused when actually playing – issues which will run the risk of getting out of hand (as they are at the moment) when the players already have injury risks going in.
Instead the Angels go to solution at signs of a problem seems to be a plasma shot and another 80-100 pitches. It’s rather shocking to be honest
You believe in the grassy knoll shooter too?
The Angels are falling apart at the seams. Curious if the team will review their conditioning of the team.
Lots of guys’seasons ending today crazy!
I think MLB should look into how the Angels are handling their pitchers because every year they have massive injuries to their pitching staff
He was a fun guy to watch with the Reds, mixing a ~90mph fastball and ~65mph curve. Most pitchers change speeds, but the differences in his case were drastic. It’s amusing to see guys guess wrong.
The Angels need to package some prospects to San Diego for pitching help before they get gobbled up by some other team. Ross Stammen or swap Ross for Richard.
I doubt LAA would want to admit the mistake of letting Yates hit the waiver wire and become what he has, to just pay the price in prospects to reacquire him.
But could see any one of Ross, Richard, Stammen, Cimber, Lyles or Erlin having interest to LAA.
The conspiracy theories are entertaining to read.
Until the last couple years, the Angels seemed to avoid these kinds of surgeries while other organizations were haunted by Tommy John. I think the run of bad luck has just settled at the Big A in recent years.
From 2000 to 2013, the only major pitching injury I can recall is perhaps Bartolo Colon in 2006-07. If anything, the Angels coddle their starting pitchers. Scioscia pulls pitchers rather quickly instead of letting them work through their struggles. They’ve invested more in training and conditioning staff in recent years when for years it was just two guys – Ned Bergert and Rick Smith. I would think there would be more injuries to their relief pitchers given how quickly they go to the bullpen.
Yeah, maybe something has changed, but that doesn’t line up to what I see as an overly cautious approach. It’s not like Scioscia’s running starting pitchers the way Billy Martin did with the Oakland A’s in the early 1980’s.
Not counting some guys who were released/reassigned, there are 16 pitchers, 8 of them starters who have/would’ve made MLB Starts (and not counting a couple hitters too) on the DL right now between merely their MLB and AAA rosters, almost exclusively with “overuse injuries” (those which are often avoidable with proper stretching and use monitoring)
And yet it’s a “conspiracy” to say that is more than just an unprecedented coincidence?
It would definitely be worthwhile for the Angels, Mets, and any other team that has chronic issues with pitcher health in recent years to research the Astros strength and training program. I don’t think any of Houston’s SPs have been on the DL this year, and without looking I’m pretty confident they’re the only organization who can make that claim this year.
Because the Astros would be happy to open up their playbook for competitors lol
The season is a bust for us. There is no reason to get rid of prospects for those guys. I think we should just ride it through. If we are going to acquire anybody, it should be guys we can see in 2019 and beyond.
As for Kirby Yates, I doubt anybody is kicking themselves over in Anaheim. He had one appearance with the Halos, allowed a homer, and the outs that he got were long fly balls that were caught at the warning track. Any team would release him with that appearance and with his track record at the time.
This season and the last 20!!!
Another one bites the dust, to season ending surgery. It’s not the year of the dog or whatever animal it is, its the year of Tommy John Surgery and other season ending surgeries.
We’re exactly halfway through 2018, and John Lamb will be the 60th player in the Major League system (majors and minors combined) to undergo Tommy John surgery this year alone. In 2017 there were 103 players in the ML system who had the surgery, so we’re on pace to surpass that.
Well what are they do to these guy
Isn’t it possible that instead of the Angels conditioning program not being sufficient, that the organization values attributes in a pitcher that correlate to elbow problems? To me, it seems like they are targeting a lot of pitchers who are lanky and have 3/4 deliveries and tend to throw sweeping sliders and sharp cutters. If they value long arms and velocity, then that could be attributed to why their pitchers have so many elbow problems. They also target rebound candidates that could be lightning in a bottle, which could be guys who have already had arm injuries. That’s the coincidence.