The Angels have reinstated left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney from the injured list, per an official club announcement. Heaney will start Sunday’s game against the Rangers in his season debut. To make room for Heaney on the active roster, right-hander Jaime Barria has been optioned to Triple-A.
The 27-year-old Heaney is prepared to make his 2019 season debut, which couldn’t come sooner for the struggling Angels—the team’s own starting pitching has perhaps been the most substantial impediment to the Halos’ postseason aspirations. On Sunday, though, the club will welcome back Heaney, who enjoyed a breakout 2018, which marked the first time in his Major League career that the injury-riddled southpaw was able to make 30 starts in a season.
Last year, Heaney struck out 180 batters in as many innings, leading many to express optimism that he could anchor the 2019 Angels rotation, a development that has been years in the making due to Heaney’s injury-marred past, which included a Tommy John surgery that cost him most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons. For that reason, the elbow issues that landed him on the IL to open this season were that much more troubling. However, Heaney has served his time and is in position to provide a considerable boost to an Angels team that has endured more than its fair share of health-related misfortune.
Barria, who will go the minors, has kicked in 14 1/3 innings for the Halos, mostly coming out of the bullpen. Following a rookie season in which he posted a 3.41 ERA in 26 starts, Barria has worked out of a long-relief role this year, though he has gotten work as a starter in Triple-A Salt Lake, where he has a 6.58 ERA in 5 games.