The Angels are winning, but they continue to lose players to injury, rendering extended success ever more difficult to obtain.
On Saturday, the Angels placed left-hander Tyler Skaggs and first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day disabled list. Both players were hurt in the club’s victory over Texas on Friday night at Globe Life Park.
Skaggs felt a pinch in his right side while recording a fifth-inning strikeout, stayed in for one more batter, then told the team he felt something that was later diagnosed as an oblique strain.
On Saturday, he said the feeling within the muscle was improving.
“Not like a lot better than yesterday, but I definitely feel better, which is encouraging,” Skaggs said.
Cron fouled a fastball off the top of his left foot and sustained a bruise. He said he did not expect to need 10 days away from playing.
“I woke up and I could at least move a little bit,” he said Saturday. “With a limp, but it’s still a lot better today. It’s unfortunate, but it’s nothing too serious.”
The 10-day DL is new to MLB this season under the sport’s renegotiated collective bargaining agreement. In previous seasons, players had to spend at least 15 days on the DL, unless they had suffered a concussion. The reduction in necessary time away has led teams to disable players more freely.
The Angels have already placed 11 men on the disabled list this season, 10 of whom are currently sidelined.
To replace the latest injured players, the Angels called up right-handers Daniel Wright and Jose Valdez from triple-A Salt Lake. Wright had just been demoted on Monday; Valdez spent much of last season as an Angel but had been relegated off the 40-man roster for 2017.
He needed to be added to it Saturday, so the Angels designated left-hander Greg Mahle for assignment.
Skaggs and Cron will return to Southern California on Sunday and visit with club physicians Monday, according to Angels general manager Billy Eppler. The rest of the team will spend that day in Seattle, off before beginning a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.
First baseman Luis Valbuena is expected to be activated Tuesday. He has missed all of April because of a hamstring strain suffered late in spring training. A decision between keeping Cron or fellow first baseman Jefry Marte loomed upon Valbuena’s activation. Now, they will wait, hope to heal, and eagerly await Monday’s off day for their first break in three weeks.
“It’s just a lot of baseball we’ve played,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “More games than anybody in baseball. That off day will be welcome.”
Nobody had played more games than the Angels entering Saturday, but both San Diego and Arizona had played the same number.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura