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OC Register: Angels content with pitching depth, despite Andrew Heaney’s injury


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TEMPE, Ariz. — Despite Andrew Heaney’s injury, which could have him starting the season on the injured list, the Angels don’t seem to be interested in adding rotation help from outside the organization.

General manager Billy Eppler said Friday they don’t believe Heaney’s injury is that serious. Heaney is out with elbow inflammation, the same condition that resulted in him postponing his 2018 debut until April 13.

“Andrew is showing progress at this time,” Eppler said. “The imaging we’ve done doesn’t show anything going on with ligaments or muscles or anything like that.”

Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez are still available as free agents, but there are no indications the Angels are pursuing either one.

Asked if the Angels have any plans to acquire rotation help, Eppler said: “We have starters we are comfortable with.”

Tyler Skaggs, Matt Harvey, Trevor Cahill were expected to start the season in the rotation, and all are healthy. Although Skaggs missed a start because of forearm fatigue from working on a new pitch, he is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game Friday afternoon.

Jaime Barría, Felix Peña and Dillon Peters are also healthy. All three are candidates to round out the rotation beyond the top three. Peters, who is scheduled to start a split-squad game Friday afternoon, has allowed one earned run in 10 innings so far this spring.

Peña has allowed four earned runs in 11 1/3 innings. Barría has allowed seven earned runs in 12 2/3 innings, but he likely came into camp with an edge based on his 3.41 ERA in 26 starts as a rookie in 2018.

Beyond that group of healthy starters, the Angels also have top pitching prospect Griffin Canning, who is likely to be up at some point in 2019.

José Suarez, the No. 2 pitching prospect, had been shut down because of a shoulder problem, although the Angels also don’t believe that’s serious.

Nick Tropeano, who was shut down earlier this spring with a shoulder problem, is expecting to be able to throw off a mound Tuesday. He wouldn’t be ready to pitch in the majors until mid- to late April, he said.

JC Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is expected to be back sometime in June.

ALSO

Justin Upton (knee tendinitis) and Zack Cozart (strained calf) are scheduled to get at-bats in minor league games Friday afternoon. They could bounce between games and get as many at-bats as they need, in a short time. Neither will play in the field. Both players have said they expect to be ready by Opening Day. …

Michael Hermosillo (hernia surgery) is still dealing with scar tissue and has not been able to play in a game this spring, with no game coming up soon. Hermosillo was expected to be one of the top two candidates to win the fourth outfielder job, but Peter Bourjos is now almost certain to win that spot. …

Manager Brad Ausmus said the Angels aren’t sure whether they will go with seven or eight relievers to start the season.

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