Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs won’t make scheduled start Friday because of shoulder weakness

Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs talks with catcher Martin Maldonado after warming up in the bullpen prior to a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox on March 4.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs has been scratched from Friday’s exhibition start against the San Diego Padres because of shoulder weakness, a setback the team considers minor but one that is troubling considering Skaggs’ recent injury history.

Skaggs missed the entire 2015 season while recovering from elbow ligament replacement surgery and was limited to 10 starts in 2016 because of the elbow and persistent shoulder problems.

Skaggs was scheduled to throw two innings in his first spring start against the Chicago White Sox on Saturday but could not finish one. He walked four batters, and his fastball, according to scouts in attendance, fell from 89-92 mph at the start of his outing to 86-88 mph by the end of it.

Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday that the team’s medical staff put Skaggs through a post-game strength test that showed “a little bit of a deficit” in the shoulder “that has corrected itself.”

Skaggs is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday and will be folded back into the rotation next week. Right-hander J.C. Ramirez will start in Skaggs’ place on Friday.


“He’s fine,” Scioscia said of Skaggs, “but we’re just trying to stay ahead of some stuff.”

The Angels have used strength tests to evaluate pitchers in the past, but Scioscia said they will use them on a daily basis this season in an effort to avoid arm injuries that could be caused or exacerbated by fatigue.

“It’s a great tool to see [what direction a pitcher] is moving,” Scioscia said, “and it lets you stay ahead of some stuff.”