The Los Angeles Angels had two of their relief options hit the long-term injured list in José Quijada and Austin Warren, and the unfortunate diagnosis is Tommy John surgery to repair their ulnar collateral ligaments.
Angels manager Phil Nevin and general manager Perry Minasian have been able to maneuver their way in terms of usage and depth. The Angels bullpen has been a solid source of production to the team and one of their reliable groups, despite the injuries and some struggles they have dealt with.
Quijada’s potential impact to the team was greater than that of Warren and the 27-year-old has wrestled with the idea of losing an entire season, according to Doug Padilla of the O.C. Register:
“It was a big deal for me and I talked to my wife and she asked how I can take this so level-headed and I said it’s just stuff that happens in baseball,” Quijada said through an interpreter. “I just have to keep my head up high and get ready for the next season.”
With Quijada and Warren looking at a 12-to-15-month rehab timeline, the pair will be aligned in their return to game action:
Warren said he talked to Quijada on Friday and the two pitchers have vowed to support each other during recovery and push each other during the rehab process.
The Angels should expect them to get back to pre-injury form, given the success rate of UCL repairs. However, the club needs to continue their run of picking up the pieces and finding production from various arms in the organization.
What are the Angels losing in José Quijada
Although Quijada didn’t have the outstanding numbers in his short line of appearances this season, but his high octane, high-leverage mentality is something Nevin and his staff will absolutely miss down the stretch.
Quijada displayed a few huge moments in this year’s World Baseball Classic, and his ability to pitch up in the zone forced hitters to get on top of his mid-to-upper 90s fastball to be successful. Had the Angels not gone out and signed Estevez, the left-hander could have been on the short list of names given a shot as the team’s closer.
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