It’s not wholly accurate to say that Tyler Skaggs has an up and down career up to this point. Skaggs has mostly been down, flashing brief glimpses of top-of-the-rotation stuff between bouts of injury and ineffectiveness. The young Angels‘ hurler was set to break through this year, finally ready to make a mark and help push a rotation with many question marks into a rotation worthy of contender status. For his first two starts, it seemed like more of the same ineffectiveness for Skaggs. Skaggs gave up five earned runs in each start without getting out of the sixth inning. Over his last three starts, however, Skaggs seems to finally hit the switch.
Against the Kansas City Royals, Skaggs threw seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Against the Toronto Blue Jays Skaggs again threw seven innings, allowing only two runs with four strikouts. Against the Rangers, Skaggs had six strikeouts in five innings with only one run allowed before he left with what’s been diagnosed as a right oblique strain. Skaggs says he feels fine and may only miss one start, but that’s also what Garrett Richards said and you see how that’s turned out. That right there is kind of how it’s been working for Skaggs in his tenure with the Halos.
In 2014, Skaggs followed up six innings of one-run ball with a gem, throwing a no-hitter with two outs in the fifth, with seven strikeouts to boot. Then Skaggs felt discomfort in his arm, and he was on his way to Tommy John surgery and didn’t pitch again for two years. Whenever Skaggs seems to finally flip that switch, something interrupts what seems like the turning point. For the Angel’s sake, hopefully this is a minor injury as it’s being called. With Richards hurt, the Angels need Skaggs to pitch like an ace. Skaggs has all the potential in the world to at least be a number two type pitcher in a good rotation, if not an ace, but instead continues to be a question mark.