Angels starter Andrew Heaney, out with a torn ulnar collateral ligament since April, will now be out of commission until 2018.
Heaney was acquired by the Angels from the Dodgers in December 2014 in a trade for Howie Kendricks, five hours after being a part of a trade from the Marlins to the Dodgers for Chris Hatcher, Austin Barnes, and Enrique Hernández. Through 18 starts last year, the 25-year-old had a 3.49 ERA and 1.202 WHIP over 105.2 IP.
After leaving training camp as L.A.’s No. 2 starter this season, he made only one start on April 5, going six innings against the Cubs, after which discomfort in his elbow led to a plasma injection on April 30. After six weeks of stem cell treatment, it was determined that not enough progress had been made and it was time for words no pitcher wants to hear: Tommy John.
The year has not been kind to the Angels’ pitching staff. Prior to Heaney’s announced absence, the Halos were already going without C.J. Wilson. Garrett Richards, Joe Smith, and Cory Rasmus. Richards is currently undergoing the same stem cell treatment that failed Heaney, while Wilson and Rasmus have prospective return dates of “TBD.”
And yet, as we continue toward the end of July, Angels GM Billy Eppler has said neither the loss of Heaney, nor potentially prolonged loss of Richards, “won't affect his decisions before the trading deadline,” according to the OC Register. The Angels are currently 32-47, good enough for last place in the AL West.