Notes: Anderson surgery; Teheran reports

July 18th, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels reliever was diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow after an MRI exam earlier this week and is set to undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Dr. Keith Meister will perform the operation in Dallas.

Anderson was a regular member of the bullpen the past two seasons, posting a combined 4.75 ERA with 127 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings pitched. He said he suffered the injury on the first pitch he threw to in an intrasquad game last week.

Anderson didn’t initially think it was a serious injury. He thought it was bone spurs or bone chips after being examined by trainers and a doctor, but an MRI exam revealed a full tear of the UCL.

“It’s an issue I’ve never had,” Anderson said via Zoom on Friday. “It’s an issue you think won’t ever happen because I take care of my body and the things I put and do to make sure I’m able to do what I can every day and perform at a peak level. I felt totally fine and for years never had any issues with my elbow.”

Anderson, 27, said the goal is to return before the end of the 2021 season. He’ll be away from the club the entire ’20 season because his rehab will take place in Texas. He won’t count toward the club’s 60-man player pool as a result. He said one silver lining is he’ll be able to spend time with his dogs, as he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see them this season.

“It’s a weird feeling knowing you’re only going to miss the 60 games we’re supposed to have this season,” Anderson said. “I’m really looking forward being able to come back. Everybody’s rehab is different. Some guys breeze through it. Some guys have peaks and valleys. Some guys only have one setback. It’ll be however I heal, but I plan on healing as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Angels manager Joe Maddon was impressed by what he saw from Anderson before the injury and was disappointed to hear the news. Like Anderson, Maddon didn’t think anything looked off during the outing until Anderson noted some discomfort after pitching.

“I was so eager to watch this guy and work with this guy,” Maddon said. “He's a wonderful young man and teammate.”

Teheran arrives to camp
Right-hander made his long-awaited arrival to Summer Camp on Friday, but Maddon wasn’t sure when Teheran will officially rejoin the club for workouts. It could be as soon as Saturday, and Maddon was excited about having him in camp. Teheran isn’t considered likely to be ready for Opening Day but could join the rotation early in the season.

“He is here, and I know he's in contact with the trainers,” Maddon said. “He's here, and I think that's the big thing, as opposed to being out of town. So it seems like everything's pointing in the right direction. I’d give you a final analysis if I had it, but I don't. But I'm encouraged by the fact that I was able to talk to him walking in from the parking lot today.”

Ohtani swinging well offensively
Hitting coach Jeremy Reed had nothing but praise for the way two-way star has been swinging the bat. Reed said Ohtani was dealing with more knee pain than he let on last season before he ultimately underwent left knee surgery in September. Ohtani saw his power numbers decline in the second half last year, hitting just four homers, but Reed believes it was because of his knee issue.

“This is the best I’ve ever seen him,” Reed said via Zoom. “I think the knee is healthy. I think there was some typical pains that he was going through last year that I don’t see any sort of grimace at all. The positions he’s getting into lead me to believe that he’ll be as good as ’18, from a launch standpoint, or better.”

Rendon scratched
Third baseman was scratched from the Angels’ intrasquad game Friday night because of oblique tightness and is day to day, the club announced. It’s not considered a major injury, and the Angels will have an update on Saturday. David Fletcher started at third in his absence.