Is there Cause for Concern with Tyler Skaggs?

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Updated: March 8, 2017

It goes without saying that the Angels suffered through a terrible year in their staff last year, for many reasons, but reasons for optimism were there heading into this season. One of those reasons was the potential health of their young starters with high upside such as Garrett Richards, Alex Meyer, and Tyler Skaggs.

Skaggs and Meyer differ from Richards in that Richards has proven that he can be a front-line starter at this level when healthy, whereas Skaggs and Meyer have yet to deliver on their vast potential and prized-prospect status.

While it’s just a small sample size, Meyer and Skaggs have been less than stellar this Spring, but there’s something even more concerning with Skaggs; injury. Yes, the dreaded ‘I’ word

Meyer is only considered to have an outside chance at a spot in the rotation, but Skaggs is being relied upon to take a huge step forward and fill a major role in the rotation, and the fact the he struggled mightily in his first start and then was scratched for his next start is concerning.

Skaggs was expected to throw two innings in his first start, but couldn’t make it out of the first inning after walking four. Even more concerning was the fact that Skaggs’ fastball dropped from 89-92 MPH to only 86-88 MPH, which is barely better than what you’d see in batting practice.

Skaggs then failed a postgame strength test on his shoulder, and even though it’s being waved off as ‘minor,’ (what injury isn’t at this point?) there is definitely cause for concern when you consider Skaggs’ recent injury.

It becomes even more concerning when you consider Skaggs’ injury history, which is considerable. Skaggs only made ten starts last season after missing all of 2015 due to Tommy John, and has never started more than eighteen games in a season, for various reasons.

When you’ve yet to prove yourself at the major league level, you have to continue to take positive steps forward instead of steps backward, regardless of whether it’s a regular season game or a meaningless Spring game, and if Skaggs is unable to put together a strong Spring, you have to wonder if he’s destined to end up in the minors to begin the season.

It may be early in Spring, and there’s plenty of time for Skaggs to put together an impressive Spring and seize a spot in the rotation, and it’s still more likely that he ends up there. Skaggs has yet to prove himself, though, and the early signs are not encouraging. Here’s hoping that Skaggs can turn it around sooner rather than later.

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