Nick Tropeano Tears UCL, Tommy John Imminent

Nick Tropeano has suffered a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. When will the injuries stop, and how harsh is the future becoming?

ANAHEIM -- The American culture has a saying, "bad things come in three's." In the case of the Los Angeles Angels, it's not just a saying, but a reality.

Garrett Richards. Andrew Heaney. Nick Tropeano. All with ulnar collateral ligament tears.

Tuesday afternoon, the Angels announced that Tropeano had suffered a medium-to-high tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but will explore alternate opinions before opting for Tommy John surgery.

"It's upsetting, it's a tough blow to me," said Tropeano. "I wanna be out there, I wanna pitch, I wanna help this team win - it sucks."

A rarity for Mike Scioscia and his staff, just three Angels' pitchers from 2000 to 2015 suffered torn ligaments in their elbow that may require Tommy John surgery, and now, three in four months.

"[We're] looking in the mirror saying, 'what's going on?'" said Scioscia. "You definitely look internally. You analyze everything from your throwing program to how you monitor guys."

As for the injury itself, it wasn't even apparent to Tropeano himself as he walked off the field at the end of the second inning on Monday night, and was soon lifted from the game.

"It felt like day two soreness after a start," Tropeano said. "It wasn't anything that was alarming to me."

As "Nitro" meets with doctors, he'll explore options aside from surgery such as stem-cell injections - which both Heaney and Richards explored as options - as well as PRP shots.

The injury leaves holes in the current and future rotation for the Halos.

With three arms already down in Heaney, Richards and C.J. Wilson - and Tropeano joining the bunch - the rotation now sits at Hector Santiago, Matt Shoemaker, Jered Weaver and Tim Lincecum; with Jhoulys Chacin likely making his way from the bullpen and Tyler Skaggs rejoining the team soon from his final rehabilitation steps of Tommy John surgery.

Weaver, Lincecum and Wilson become free agents at the end of the year, Richards and Heaney likely won't pitch in 2017, which leaves three controllable arms. The farm system isn't exactly screaming in pitching talent at the upper levels, either.

"Our depth is stretched," Scioscia said.

The future is a scary place already, and for the Angels, it's a scarier place. One thing is guaranteed, the injuries have taken their toll on the Angels season.

"This might be a fluke thing but naturally you have to look from within to make sure the process is correct."


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