Angels Reliever Ryan Tepera Placed On Injured List With Shoulder Tightness
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
March 30, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ryan Tepera (52) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the eighth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have seen their fair share of early-season bullpen struggles, which would spell more of the same as in years prior. Owning a 3.43 collective reliever ERA, their problems aren’t too large, but sustaining that requires every arm at manager Phil Nevin’s disposal.

Ryan Tepera was signed over the previous offseason to add an arm to specialize in high-leverage spots, and his 3.61 ERA in 57.1 innings with 17 holds provided just that. But as volatile as relievers are in Major League Baseball, the right-hander has allowed five earned runs through four innings this season, allowing opposing hitters to post a .500 batting average.

His struggles were apparent in his last outing, and it became worse when he started dealing with a shoulder injury, according to Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:

Tepera said he felt a strange tightness in his shoulder during his outing on Saturday. He remained in the game for a few more pitches, but he eventually signaled to the dugout that something was wrong, and he was removed from the game.

“Obviously after that feeling, in the back of my mind, I just didn’t want to let the next couple of pitches go,” Tepera said.

The Angels and Tepera are hopeful that the injury doesn’t keep him out for an extended time period, as the bullpen well can run dry fairly quickly at any point. Thankfully, he isn’t expected to miss more than the time spent on the IL:

“I’m not too worried about it,” Tepera said on Sunday. “It was more of a scare thing than anything.”

The Angels don’t possess a top-end closer option as they had in Raisel Iglesias, but they have a decent collection of upside arms who can get the job done. But the most difficult task is putting them in the best position to succeed, which has been the toughest part of closing out games.

Angels recall Andrew Wantz to fill Ryan Tepera’s slot

After needing a roster spot for Griffin Canning, the Angels optioned reliever Andrew Wantz to make room for the starter. Although he had a great start to the season, Wantz having options made him a candidate to take the trip to Triple-A for the time being.

But with Tepera out, Wantz and his scoreless ERA are the perfect replacement in the Angels bullpen.

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