The Angels had hoped to have two of their injured starting pitchers return in the two weeks that remain before the All-Star break. That goal is looking unlikely.
Left-hander Tyler Skaggs, out since April because of an oblique strain, was scheduled to pitch for the first time Saturday on opening night of the Arizona League. Just before first pitch, he reported feeling soreness in his oblique and abdominal muscles, and the Angels scratched him from his start.
The Angels said Skaggs would continue to throw in the coming days “as tolerated.”
If Skaggs had remained on schedule and made three minor league starts as planned, the earliest he could have returned was July 9, the last day of the first half.
There was better news regarding right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who has been out since June 14 because of a forearm strain. He resumed throwing in Anaheim after passing further tests by team doctors Friday.
“Shoe, as far as all the major stuff, got a clean bill of health,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “This is hopefully a day-to-day thing to see how his long toss progresses. Obviously, he’s going to have to get off of a mound, and we’ll see how he responds.”
Scioscia said it’s unlikely Shoemaker will be fit to start the next time his rotation spot comes up, Friday against Seattle. The next time through would seem more plausible.
Fister arrives in Boston
Red Sox right-hander Doug Fister, set to start against the Angels on Sunday four days after they released him, declined to say whether he was surprised the Angels did not promote him to the majors one month into his tenure with the organization.
Speaking to local reporters for the first time, Fister preferred to offer platitudes about the vagaries of his profession.
“It’s funny and ironic, the way the world is,” Fister said. “But, for me, it’s just another start. I’m excited to be here. I try not to look at the rearview mirror too much.”
Fister said it was not a difficult decision to request his release after the Angels asked him to remain in triple A.
“It was something that I was willing to take a risk,” Fister said. “There are ups and downs throughout life.”
The Angels scratched third baseman Yunel Escobar from Saturday’s lineup an hour before first pitch because of a left thumb strain. Cliff Pennington replaced him. … Center fielder Mike Trout has been hitting off of a tee in Anaheim, where he returned Thursday after spending the early part of the week at home in Millville, N.J.
Follow Pedro Moura on Twitter @pedromoura