Weaver to Begin Season on DL

by Bryce McRae on March 21, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


Just two days after reporting he felt no pain while throwing 45 pitches in a bullpen session, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting pitcher Jered Weaver (biceps, shoulder) experienced some stiffness in his shoulder and will now begin the season on the 15-day disabled list, as reported by ESPNews.

Weaver had been suffering from chronic biceps tendonitis all spring, although it was thought he had beat that until the shoulder stiffness reared its ugly head. Weaver was set to begin the season in the No. 4 spot in the team's rotation. He will now likely be replaced by either starting pitcher Dustin Moseley or relief pitcher Hector Carrasco, although Moseley is the leading candidate to replace him.

In his first season in the majors in 2006, Weaver got off to a brilliant start, going 9-0 over his first 12 starts. He ended the season 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA. At just 24, he was set to continue his upward ascent before the biceps and shoulder injuries sidelined him.

Weaver will end up on the 15-day disabled list, but the Angels haven't ruled him out for his second scheduled start of the year. One unknown is that because of his young age, it is unsure how Weaver's body will respond to the injury, though. It could be something that nags him all year. One thing is for certain: The Angels will likely be overly cautious with him. They just have to look to the Minnesota Twins and starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (elbow) as an example of how an injury can be a lot more serious than initially thought.

For your fantasy team, this hurts as Weaver was likely slated to be a solid No. 3 starter for your team. Moseley should be an adequate replacement for the Angels but not on your fantasy team. Moseley went 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA in three games (two starts) last season. Carrasco was better as he posted as 7-3 record with a 3.41 ERA, although he made most of his 56 appearances out of the bullpen, starting only three games.

If you've already had your draft, replacing Weaver could be tough. While sifting through the list of undrafted pitchers, names like Colorado Rockies starter Jeff Francis or Minnesota Twins starter Boof Bonser could very well be available. Francis is on the verge of becoming Colorado's ace. Last year he went 13-11 with a 4.16 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Bonser went 7-6 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.28 WHIP last year. He matured as the season wore on, including a 4-1 record, 2.63 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings in September. He has been electric this spring, allowing three runs with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.

Two pitchers to look at would be Baltimore Orioles starting pitchers Daniel Cabrera and Adam Loewen. Both have outstanding stuff and although they have yet to put it together at the major league level, they have potential to be solid No. 2 starters. Both could also be poised for breakout seasons.

One deep possibility if you prefer someone with more experience could be Seattle Mariners starting pitcher, and Jered's brother, Jeff Weaver. Jeff has always had good stuff but was never able to put it together until last fall, when he was a key part of the St. Louis Cardinals team that won the World Series. Just two seasons ago, he had a 14-11 record and a 4.22 ERA while pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also had 157 strikeouts in 224 innings. He struggled last year for the Angels before going to the Cardinals, but it seemed to finally come together for him at the end of the season. He is also moving to Safeco Field, which is one of the better pitchers' parks.

As stated above, the Angels will likely be cautious with Weaver as they don't want the injury to get worse. He is scheduled to throw another 45 pitches in a simulated game Wednesday, March 21, or Thursday, March 22. Keep an eye on KFFL for any news as to when he is expected to return.

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About Bryce McRae

Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.

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