Though no timetable was set for Skaggs’ return, Manager Mike Scioscia seemed optimistic that the 23-year-old, who injured himself in the fifth inning of Thursday night’s 1-0, 13-inning win over the Orioles in Baltimore, would pitch again this season.
But Skaggs, who underwent an MRI test Friday, said doctors told him he had a strain of the “flexor tendon,” which is part of the forearm but is in a more sensitive location and could be a precursor to a more serious injury.
Flexor tendons are tissues that help control movement in the hand, which might explain why Skaggs lost the feeling in his fingers after he said he “over-pronated” his arm on a changeup he threw to strike out Delmon Young to start the fifth.
Dylan Bundy, one of Baltimore’s top pitching prospects, was originally diagnosed with a flexor mass strain in the spring of 2013, but four months later, he was found to have a slight tear in the ulnar collateral ligament.
Bundy underwent the reconstructive elbow procedure known as Tommy John surgery and has been sidelined for the past year.
Scioscia said Skaggs will seek other medical opinions “to determine exactly what’s going on,” but when asked if Skaggs would see Dr. James Andrews, the renowned surgeon who performs the bulk of the Tommy John procedures on major league pitchers, Scioscia said, “I don’t believe so.”
A team official later confirmed that Skaggs would see a doctor in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.
Skaggs maintained an optimistic outlook about the injury.
“I have no clue right now,” he said, when asked about a timetable for his return. “It’s pretty sore. I’m just going to take it day by day and stay positive and look forward. ... We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, it gets better in time. There is really no prognosis. It’s kind of on me and my body and my arm.”
“The initial indication is that it’s going to take a little time to settle down,” Scioscia said. “We’re going to take it one step at a time.”
Hector Santiago, who was expected to be bumped to the bullpen or to triple-A Salt Lake when C.J. Wilson returns from a right-ankle sprain on Saturday, will now remain in the rotation, taking Skaggs’ spot. The left-hander threw two scoreless innings of relief to gain the win Thursday night.
The Angels recalled starter Michael Roth from double-A Arkansas to take Skaggs’ roster spot because the left-hander can provide length out of the bullpen.