Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney was slowed in spring training by inflammation in his elbow, manager Brad Ausmus said Sunday morning at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
The injury did not require an MRI exam nor did it necessitate Heaney being shut down baseball activities. He threw long toss on Saturday, did so again from 120 feet on Sunday and participated in all pitcher fielding practice drills.
The inflammation cropped up after Heaney’s first start of the spring on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics. He would have been in line to pitch Sunday, but the Angels skipped his start to allow him to recover.
“I just said something and they were like, let’s get this out now,” Heaney, 27, said. “They were pretty immediate with their determination.”
Heaney, who had elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2016, started the 2018 campaign on the injured list because of elbow inflammation. He shook the injury quickly enough to make 30 starts and lead the staff with 180 innings, the most in his career. In his comeback season, Heaney threw his first complete game in a shutout of the Kansas City Royals on June 5 and threw at least 100 pitches in eight outings. As other Angels starters fell victim to injury, Heaney was the only constant in the rotation.
Heaney and fellow left-hander Tyler Skaggs will be counted on to bear the brunt of the Angels’ starting workload in 2019.
Ausmus was not concerned by Heaney’s injury. He said Heaney should be ready to resume throwing off a mound in a bullpen in the next day or two.
“He’s doing a lot better,” Ausmus said.
Angels infielder Zack Cozart was a late scratch from Sunday’s game against the Oakland Athletics because of tightness in his left calf. The Angels announced the injury will be reevaluated on Monday morning. … American League rookie of the year Shohei Ohtani hit pitches flipped to him by a coach for a third straight day. … Kaleb Cowart, the Angels’ first-round pick of the 2010 draft, said he threw than 20 pitches in a B game on a minor league field at the Angels’ spring training complex Saturday and did not feel overly tired from being in camp as a two-way player. The Angels have not announced when Cowart will pitch in a Cactus League game, but he is scheduled to make his spring debut Monday as a first baseman.