The Angels will activate right-hander Julio Teheran from the injured list Wednesday, tweets Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. The team has yet to formally announce the move, but Fletcher notes that manager Joe Maddon indicated as much on a pre-game radio appearance last night. It’ll be Teheran’s 2020 debut and mark his first start as an Angel. The longtime Braves righty inked a one-year, $9MM contract as a free agent this past offseason.
Teheran, 29, opened the season on the injured list after receiving a positive Covid-19 test just before he was slated to report to Summer Camp. Teheran told the L.A. Times’ Mike DiGiovanna that he was symptomatic in late June and early July, but he was eventually able to join Angels summer camp about three weeks ago. He’s previously stated that he only believed himself to be about a week behind schedule, and Teheran reportedly tossed a three-inning simulated game with about 55 pitches thrown last week. He may not be fully stretched out just yet, but he should be able to up his pitch count from that level in tonight’s debut against the Mariners.
An early return from Teheran is a welcome sight for the Angels, who have already been dealt a brutal blow in the rotation after Shohei Ohtani suffered a strained flexor mass. He’s not expected to pitch again this year, leaving the Angels with a rotation mix of Teheran, Andrew Heaney, Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning and a slew of fifth starter candidates. The Angels have enjoyed strong starts to the season from Bundy, Canning and Heaney, creating some hope that the staff will be able to withstand the loss of Ohtani. Lefty Patrick Sandoval and right-hander Matt Andriese have each started a game apiece as well.
Teheran once rated not only as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball but as one of the top five overall prospects in the game according to each of Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. He posted a terrific 3.03 ERA in his first two full seasons back in 2013-14 but ultimately settled in as a durable mid-rotation workhorse. Over the past seven seasons in Atlanta, Teheran has averaged 32 starts and 190 2/3 innings per season, logging a cumulative 3.64 ERA with 7.9 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 1.16 HR/9 and a 38.3 percent ground-ball rate.