Sunday night’s contest between the Angels and Rangers was supposed to be a good ol’ fashioned pitchers duel. Two aces at the top of their game pitching in what was expected to be a low scoring affair. Boy were we wrong. Angels’ ace Jered Weaver left the contest after suffering an injury to his left (non-throwing) elbow after he landed awkwardly making an attempt at a Mitch Moreland single up the middle. X-rays after the game came back negative and an MRI showed a sprained elbow. Basically, Weaver suffered trauma to the ligaments that provide stability to the elbow, which can range from a grade 1 (minimal tearing, overstretch) to a grade 3 (near to full tear). Based on early reports, it doesn’t seem to be serious, although without full details, it’s all speculation at this point.
So what does this mean for Weaver moving forward? The main positive to take away from this injury was that it happened to his non-throwing arm. Yes, there is a propensity for a pitcher to change his mechanics in order to tolerate pain, which is totally a possibility with Weaver. To me, it seems that the biggest effect this will have on him is with his fielding and if he has to wield a bat during interleague play. With no interleague games scheduled until late May, Weaver should be just fine in regards to batting. I can see this injury costing Weaver 1 start, 2 if they’re cautious, as they’ll also have to take a look at his delivery mechanics to make sure the stability around the elbow isn’t too compromised. The Angels have a fantastic training staff that’ll take great care of him, with Physical Therapist Bernard Li being one of best out there. So expect Weaver to come back just fine with the potential for a 1-2 start subbatical.
More information should be out in the next couple days, so keep posted for when Weaver gets back out there and tests the elbow a little bit. At this point, all signs point to avoiding the DL. However, his response to a return to pitching will be the basis of how quickly he bounces back.