The Angels hit the pause button on Jered Weaver's disappointing season, placing the veteran right-hander on the 15-day disabled list because of left-hip inflammation before Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics.
Weaver will undergo medical tests Monday to determine the severity of the injury. How much it has contributed to Weaver's 4-8 record, 4.75 earned-run average and American League-high 16 home runs allowed is unclear.
"There is more to it than just the hip stuff," Weaver, 32, said. "Obviously, the velocity is down. The stuff isn't as crisp. There are some things I have to get figured out. Hopefully this is a good time to do it."
Manager Mike Scioscia said Weaver has pitched with the condition "for the last couple of starts," which might explain why he is 0-4 with a 6.58 ERA in his last four games.
Weaver opened 2015 with an 0-4 record and 6.29 ERA. He was superb in his next five games, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA, before his recent downturn.
"I think it got to a point in his last couple of starts where you could see mechanically he's not where he wants to be," Scioscia said. "He's not leveraging the ball like he can, and I'm sure this would have to influence that.
"His stuff had picked up and you could see progress. His last couple of starts, it's been a little more of a labor for him. . . . His shoulder, his arm, feels great, but we have to find out exactly what's going on."
The 6-foot-7 Weaver throws with an across-the-body motion that scouts feel leaves him vulnerable to arm injuries, and Weaver, who is making the fourth trip to the DL in his career, has been slowed by biceps tendinitis throughout his career. He's had inflammation in his hip before but never severe enough to go on the DL.
"There's always stuff lingering — sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad," Weaver said. "Most of the time I can kind of get it to where it needs to be in between starts, but I just decided to [address it] instead of battling it all the time."
The fear with this type of injury is that there is a tear requiring surgery. Former Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos played several seasons with hip inflammation before undergoing surgery after the 2014 season.
"Naturally, you're always concerned, but we'll wait and see what the tests say," Scioscia said. "Jered will grind it out and find a way. Hopefully we'll calm this down, and that's all it takes."
For all that has gone wrong for the Angels this season, they haven't had any injuries in a rotation that has accumulated 41 quality starts, second-most in the AL, and a 3.98 ERA, sixth-best in the league.
Outfielder Alfredo Marte was recalled from triple-A Salt Lake to replace Weaver because with an off day Thursday, the Angels won't need a fifth starter until June 30. Off days on July 2 and July 6 also could mitigate the need for a fifth starter.
If Weaver is down for an extended period, it would test the organizational pitching depth that General Manager Jerry Dipoto worked to improve last winter.
The centerpiece of that effort, left-hander Andrew Heaney — acquired from the Dodgers for second baseman Howie Kendrick — is 6-2 with a 4.71 ERA at Salt Lake but has a 7.81 ERA over his last five starts.
Triple-A right-hander Nick Tropeano, acquired from Houston for Hank Conger, is scheduled to return this week from a shoulder injury. Among the other fill-in candidates are long reliever Jose Alvarez and triple-A right-hander Drew Rucinski.
Weaver hopes a few weeks off will benefit him — and the Angels.
"I'm just trying to get some things ironed out and come back and help the team win again," he said. "I'm not doing a very good job of that right now. Hopefully this little down time will help me get back to where I need to be."