After undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2014, Tyler Skaggs returned last season to log 89 innings, including rehab appearances and a 10-start run in the big league rotation. His 22.8 percent strikeout rate was better than any such rate in three big league seasons before the elbow surgery, so his stuff rebounded nicely. However, as is often the case with pitchers returning from that procedure, Skaggs' control was not all the way back to its pre-surgery form, leading to a career-worst 10.5 percent walk rate. There were flashes of brilliance, including four starts where he allowed zero earned runs and struck out 27 over 24.1 innings. Then he dealt with forearm tightness that caused him to miss three weeks in September, but he was fortunately cleared of any UCL damage. A 6-foot-5 southpaw with a 93 mph fastball, plus curveball and solid changeup, Skaggs still has the ingredients to be a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. The recent elbow injury and the fact he has not yet put it all together could lead to a draft day bargain.
Skaggs struck out five and walked one while tossing four shutout innings against the Brewers in a minor league game Monday, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports. He's on track to open the season in the rotation, which is a very encouraging position after he was slowed by weakness in his left shoulder in early March. According to Moura, Skaggs' fastball topped out at 94 mph, and sat at 91-92. His next start will come Saturday, and he's expected to go five innings in that outing in his second-to-last appearance of the spring.
Skaggs said he passed the team's strength test given the day after his Wednesday return to action, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports. The exam was given by someone on staff instead of a machine, though the left-hander fared well, either way. Skaggs had suffered from shoulder weakness recently, but his two scoreless innings Wednesday put him back on track to break camp on time as a back-end starter. The left-hander, who had spurts of brilliance in 2016 after returning from Tommy John surgery, could break out, or at least provide serviceable starts. The biggest test will come in his walk rate, which proved a tad high at 4.17 in 49.2 innings for the Halos last year.
Skaggs (shoulder) pitched two scoreless innings Wednesday, allowing no hits while striking out two and walking two. Skaggs was scratched from his last start due to shoulder weakness, but the 25-year-old looked good in his first appearance in 11 days. "Everything feels good. Everything feels strong," he noted afterwards. The Angels will likely ease him back into things, as he has a history of shoulder and elbow problems, but he seems to be past the shoulder weakness that was holding him back this spring.
Skaggs isn't concerned about his recent shoulder troubles, as he hasn't stopped throwing and is slated for a bullpen session Friday or Saturday, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Testing had reported weakness in Skaggs' shoulder, though he recently said he felt fine. The left-hander made a comeback last season after delays following Tommy John surgery, and he was serviceable in 2016, despite late-season woes. The potential breakout candidate hasn't shown blazing velocity this spring but still has time to build that up. That timetable may run closer to Opening Day than most fantasy players would like, however, and the 25-year-old should remain a mere stash candidate in mixed leagues.
Skaggs (shoulder) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Saturday and if all goes well he will rejoin the spring rotation next week, the Los Angeles Times' Mike DiGiovanna reports. His fastball fell from 89-92 mph at the start of his first spring start Saturday to 86-88 mph by the end of it, and his next start was skipped due to "a little bit of a deficit" in his previously injured left shoulder, according to manager Mike Scioscia. The Angels insist Skaggs will be fine, but it's hard not to discount him in drafts due to his track record of Tommy John surgery, which cost him all of 2015, and persistent shoulder problems last season that limited him to 10 starts.