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OC Register: Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards progressing toward return to Angels rotation

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ANAHEIM — Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs, the Angels’ two starters who are down with hamstring injuries, are both moving toward returning to the rotation.

Skaggs, who was scratched from his scheduled start on Thursday night but not placed on the disabled list, played long toss on Friday. He will have a bullpen session on Saturday, after which the Angels will have a better idea of when he can pitch.

Skaggs had said on Thursday night he was aiming for Sunday or Monday, although Sunday would now be out if he throws a bullpen on Saturday. The Angels still don’t have a starter listed for Sunday, but Felix Peña is a likely candidate.

Richards said he’s feeling better and has extended his long toss out to 120 feet.

“The next step is to get off the mound and see how it feels,” Richards said. “Shouldn’t be too much longer. Probably within the next few days.”

Richards said he was expecting he would need a rehab assignment before returning.

Richards conceded that this hamstring injury might end up being a blessing if it provides a break for his arm in the middle of a long season. Arm injuries limited him to 62-1/3 innings combined in the last two years, and he’s already thrown 68-1/3 innings this year.

“It definitely doesn’t hurt,” he said. “Obviously you want to be grinding with the guys, but sometimes you have to listen to your body.”


Jim Johnson (back) said he’s still feeling some discomfort, and it’s not healing as quickly as he’d like. He is throwing, though, as he tries to keep his arm in shape while waiting on his back. …

The Angels recalled newly acquired right-handed reliever Deck McGuire and optioned Eduardo Paredes, who would not have been available on Friday after throwing two innings on Thursday. McGuire began this season with the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing six earned runs in 8-1/3 innings. He was then designated for assignment and claimed by the Texas Rangers, but they also designated him and traded him to the Angels after just one game in the minors.


Angels (Jaime Barría, 5-3, 3.57) vs. Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman, 0-5, 7.71), Saturday, 6 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM)

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