Heaney pitched in Tuesday night's 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, and saw multiple oddities occur, in the form of both a nose bleed and velocity drop. The average velocity on Heaney's fastball dropped suddenly from 93 MPH in the first inning, to 91 in the second, and down to 88 in the fourth.
According to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, "doctors have assured the Angels that Heaney's ulnar collateral ligament is healthy," which means Tommy John surgery will not be required.
Heaney, 24, is coming off a season that saw a 6-4 record and 3.49 ERA in 18 games with the Angels. He was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers the off-season prior, in exchange for Howie Kendrick, just hours after he was traded from the Miami Marlins.
Nick Tropeano is expected to fill the hole in the Angels rotation, which would come around Monday. However, Tropeano is expected to start Friday, for the Triple-A affiliate, Salt Lake Bees. The team can limit Tropeano's innings and pitch total Friday, or skip his start and move the rotation around to be fitting.
The Angels had unquestioned depth over the off-season, but it is now being questioned following the loss of C.J. Wilson to injuries and Jered Weaver to a nagging neck/back problem. Weaver is expected to return soon, as is Tyler Skaggs, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. This leaves the Angels starting pitcher depth questioned at Tropeano, Kyle Kendrick, Chris Jones and Nate Smith.
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