The Los Angeles Angels finally had Chris Rodriguez make the leap from MLB reliever and Minor League starter to the MLB starter. On August 2, Rodriguez took the mound for his first career start for the Angels. Eight days later, he pitched again in the first game of a doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays.
In those two starts, Rodriguez put together some nice work. He pitched 10.0 innings, allowing 10 hits, four earned runs, and four walks while striking out nine. There was some room for improvement in terms of allowing less hard contact, but overall the Angels were impressed.
Now, it may be some time before the Angels see him again, as he was placed on the Injured List with Triple-A Salt Lake, via MLB.com:
Rodriguez was placed on the 7-day IL with a right lat strain while with Triple-A Salt Lake. Rodriguez last pitched in the Majors on Aug. 10, when he threw four innings and allowed one run in Game 1 of a split doubleheader against the Blue Jays. After primarily being used as a reliever, the rookie made his first career start on Aug. 2 and has a 3.60 ERA in 10 innings as a starter.
In the Minor Leagues, the shortest IL stint is seven days instead of 10, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the injury is short term. In fact, Joe Maddon made it clear that he will likely need longer than that to recover from the lat strain, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Joe Maddon on Chris Rodriguez: "I would not anticipate a quick return."
Adds that he doesn't know the severity of the injury with specificity. https://t.co/syL2aDqelD
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) August 15, 2021
A lat strain — even a minor one — can be relatively difficult to deal with. The lat is one of the most important muscles in the body as it runs from the hip all the way through the back and to the shoulder. This is especially concerning for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has already missed significant time this season due to a shoulder injury, and has missed even more time in past years due to back injuries. This seems to be another on a growing list of these types of issues for him.
With Rodriguez, the talent was always undeniable, it was just a matter of staying healthy. Hopefully, he can be back quickly to avoid any concerns of long-term issues.
Mike Trout working to get back
There have been no indications that Mike Trout will be shut down for the season, as the Angels star is continually working to get back into the lineup. He still is progressing towards running at full speed without discomfort, at which point he’ll need a rehab stint before returning to the Angels.