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OC Register: Angels’ Austin Warren needs season-ending Tommy John surgery

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ANAHEIM — The bad news for the Angels’ bullpen kept coming Friday, long before the first pitch against the Texas Rangers.

Two days after the club said left-hander Jose Quijada was set to have Tommy John surgery, right-hander Austin Warren learned he would have the same fate. Both pitchers will be lost for a full year, with their surgeries both scheduled to take place on May 17.

Although not as serious, left-hander Aaron Loup went on the injured list on Friday with a right hamstring strain. To take his place in the bullpen, the Angels recalled right-hander Andrew Wantz.

Despite Loup’s early-season struggles, the Angels went into Friday’s game as one of five teams in baseball with an ERA under 3.00. They were one of three teams in the American League West with such a lofty mark, along with the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros.

“It’s more on the cautious side, but I don’t think it’s much of a big deal,” Loup said. “But we’re kind of not in a situation where I can take three, four days to kind of get it right with where the bullpen is right now. So it’s probably better off to take the IL stint so we can have a full pen for these big divisional games against the Rangers and Astros.”

Loup struggled to participate in the bullpen’s success with an 0-2 record and a 7.00 ERA in 11 appearances (nine innings). In his most recent outing, Thursday in St. Louis, Loup gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

“Injuries are never good, obviously, but it might give him a chance to step back and look at whether (his struggles) are machinal, physical,” Manager Phil Nevin said. “But he will be the first to admit that he hasn’t pitched as well as he can, as well as he’s capable of.

“I have to be honest with you, I know the numbers, I know he’s had some ups and downs but I remember this guy as really, really good and it hasn’t been that long ago.”

The Angels hoped Loup and Quijada could have formed a formidable left-handed duo out of the ’pen. Quijada did his part with four early saves and eight consecutive scoreless outings to open the season. But he was crushed for five runs in an outing against the Kansas City Royals on April 22 and gave up a pair of runs last week against the Oakland Athletics.

The news only got worse as an IL stint led to the discovery that he needed Tommy John surgery.

“It was a big deal for me and I talked to my wife and she asked how I can take this so level-headed and I said it’s just stuff that happens in baseball,” Quijada said through an interpreter. “I just have to keep my head up high and get ready for the next season.”

Warren said he talked to Quijada on Friday and the two pitchers have vowed to support each other during recovery and push each other during the rehab process.

Warren had seven outings between Triple-A Salt Lake and the Angels, and while he did not feel any discomfort on the mound, persistent elbow soreness after his April 23 outing against the Royals led to his surgery diagnosis.

“It’s tough. I’ve never had any elbow issues,” Warren said. “I was praying every day, hoping it wouldn’t be this. But it is what it is and I will be back in a year. … I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I knew after the first MRI that I had a tear. I went for a second opinion and had a doctor help me make my decision. It made it a lot easier.”


First baseman Jared Walsh continues to move closer to taking live batting practice, but Nevin still doesn’t know when that moment will occur.

Walsh has been out all season while he gets treatment for a neurological issue that caused headaches and insomnia. He has started on-field activities but has not progressed to seeing live pitching.

“He came in today feeling really good and we had a good conversation,” Nevin said. “There are some hurdles that he has to go over in the next few days early next week and I think we can start discussing a little bit of a timetable when we get to that point.”


Nevin said he exchanged texts with Rangers manager Bruce Bochy on Thursday but starting Friday, the good friends became stern competitors.

Bochy was Nevin’s manager in San Diego when the current Angels skipper revived his playing career with 24 home runs in 1999, 31 in 2000 and 41 more in 2001 when he made his only All-Star Game appearance. Nevin hit 156 home runs in seven seasons with the Padres and had an .862 OPS.

Nevin even coached one season under Bochy with San Francisco in 2017.

“I had some good years under him and I feel like I owe him a lot,” Nevin said Friday. “We’ve become good friends since my retirement and obviously we both do the same job now. But it will always be somebody I look up to, 100 percent.”


Rangers (RHP Nathan Eovaldi, 3-2, 3.93) at Angels (LHP Reid Detmers, 0-2, 4.85), Saturday, 6:07 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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