Advertisement
Angels

Jered Weaver waves off retirement question before Angels’ 2-0 win over Yankees

Jered Weaver
Angels starter Jered Weaver is 8-11 with a career-high 5.47 earned-run average this season.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

The Angels presented David Ortiz with a painting. They gifted Vin Scully with a vintage microphone, a windbreaker from his high school, and silver from a New York hotel in which he worked as a teenager. On Sunday, the Angels commemorated Mark Teixeira’s final visit to Anaheim with a scoreboard message: “Mark Teixeira, Congratulations on a Great Career.”

“That was very nice,” Teixeira said.

Ortiz, Scully and Teixeira each has said he is retiring at the end of the season. The Angels certainly would throw a grand farewell for Jered Weaver, their longtime and homegrown ace, but Weaver has not said whether he plans to retire when his contract expires at the end of the season.

“There’s still a lot of season left,” Weaver said Sunday. “When the time comes to answer those questions, I will.”

Advertisement

Weaver spoke before the Angels’ 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees, in which Andrelton Simmons twice singled home Albert Pujols — once when the 36-year-old Pujols took an extra base on Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner, the other after Pujols took an extra base on Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Pujols had three hits, and he would have had four had Ellsbury not robbed him of a home run.

Jhoulys Chacin and three relievers combined on the six-hit shutout.

Teixeira said he started considering the retirement decision in spring training.

“I think every player is going to go through it,” he said. “It’s just a matter of, do you walk away or do they tell you it’s time to go?”

Advertisement

Teixeira said he empathized with Weaver and would not dare suggest what he should decide. In his case, Teixeira said, his body betrayed him, and he increasingly spent more time preparing for a game in the training room rather than in the batting cage.

“Once you get to that point, it’s time to shut it down,” Teixeira said. “It’s hard enough to play this game at 100%.

“Everybody is so different. For me, I’m 36 years old. I’ve done everything I wanted to do in the game. My kids are older right now. They need me. They want me to be home.”

Weaver, 33, is 8-11 with a career-high 5.47 earned-run average. Opponents have a .902 on-base-plus-slugging percentage against him, the highest against any major league starter.

However, in an injury-ravaged season for the Angels’ rotation, no one has started more games for the team than Weaver.

“Jered is the one starter that has come out of spring training and made every start,” Angels General Manager Billy Eppler said. “He’s had runs of being effective at this level this year. We’ve noticed some things going in a positive direction for him.”

Indeed, his fastball velocity has risen over the course of the season, suggesting he may be regaining some strength even as he alters his approach so he can compete with diminished velocity. The 84.4-mph figure for this month is up more than 1 mph from April, and the highest it has been in 14 months, according to Brooks Baseball.

“He has the durability to keep the team in the game,” said Scott Boras, the agent for Weaver. “It may not be the two-run dynamic, but three or four runs, and you’re keeping the team in the game.

Advertisement

“He’s a young man. This guy can pitch. He can do what he’s doing now for a long time in this league. There’s a lot of teams that frankly don’t have people of that competency pitching for them every five days.”

Boras said he expected to meet with Weaver after the season to discuss the pitcher’s future and said it would be up to the lifelong Southern California resident to decide whether he would consider pitching for a team outside the area. Eppler said he would have conversations with Weaver “when the time is appropriate” but said the Angels would give Weaver the ball every fifth day for the rest of the season.

“No matter how I’m feeling, I’m going to go out there and take the ball,” Weaver said. “I’m not going to give up on my team, no matter what kind of situation we’re in.

“There’s a sense of pride to go out there and finish out a season, no matter what is going on or how your body is feeling. They pay you a lot of money to do so. I’ve definitely never been a quitter and never not gone when things haven’t been 100%.”

Weaver said he attributed his work ethic to watching his father, Dave, an electrical contractor who would get up at 5:30 a.m. for work and sometimes return home on hands and knees, because his back hurt so badly.

“He’d drive forever,” Weaver said, “and crawl underneath houses and into attics and run wire and get electrocuted and fall off ladders.”

Get electrocuted?

Advertisement

“Every now and then, he’d get a little jolt,” Weaver said with a grin. “He wasn’t working with high-voltage stuff. But, every now and then, he’d forget to turn the power off.”

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

Twitter: @BillShaikin


Newsletters
Get our daily Sports Report newsletter
Advertisement