The Los Angeles Angels have placed starting pitcher Jered Weaver on the 15-day DL, with a strained muscle in his back. The news was initially recanted by the Angels Twitter account, but a second tweet confirmed that Weaver would be heading to the DL, and that Garrett Richards would be replacing Weaver on the roster.
Weaver initially injured his back last night in the first inning against the Yankees. After throwing a ptich to Robinson Cano, Weaver winced in pain and walked off the mound, and was removed from the game. Weaver has been the Angels best pitcher this season, starting 11 games and throwing 69 innings, striking out 57 and walking 15. Weaver threw a no-hitter against the Twins on May 2nd, and was last season’s runner-up in the AL Cy Young voting.
Weaver has been a model of consistency for the Angels, and has started at least 30 games over the last six seasons, with 2006 and 2007 having some starts in the minor leagues in addition to major league starts to reach the 30 start plateau. The 29 year-old was given a five year, $85 million extension last summer which will keep him with the Angels until 2016.
Richards, who it appears will be Weaver’s immediate replacement in the Angels’ rotation, won’t be able to match his production. Last season, Richards made three starts over seven games in the majors, striking out nine while walking seven over just 14 innings. This season in AAA Salt Lake, Richards has made ten starts and thrown 56 1/3 innings, striking out 48 and walking 29. He’s not overly great, and the Angels are probably just hoping for him to keep them in games until Weaver is back, which hopefully, will be sooner rather than later.
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