Watson hits injured list with calf strain

May 2nd, 2021

The Angels placed left-handed reliever on the 10-day injured list with a left calf strain before Sunday’s series finale against the Mariners. Right-handed reliever James Hoyt was recalled from the taxi squad to take Watson's place on the roster.

Watson, 35, has been one of the club's best relievers early on this season, posting a 1.08 ERA with six strikeouts and one walk in 8 1/3 innings. His last appearance came on Wednesday against the Rangers, when he threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He'll be eligible to return on May 9 against the Dodgers.

"It just went on me a couple days ago and I tried to get some treatment done to eliminate an IL stint,” Watson said. “But it’s a smart move now. Just nip this thing, and come back as soon as I can. You don’t want to turn a 10-day thing into a two-month thing and nagging throughout the year. I just thought it was better to do it now and get past it, physically and mentally.”

Watson, who signed a one-year deal worth $1 million shortly before the start of the season, has a career 2.78 ERA in 11 years in the Majors. He’s been remarkably durable, only going on the injured list once in his career prior to Sunday. He broke his wrist trying to make a diving play on a bunt on Sept. 4, 2019, and he missed the rest of that season with the Giants.

“That was the first time I went on the IL, and I fought to stay off it then, too,” Watson said. “I take a lot of pride in taking the post and being out there for the guys. This is definitely new territory for me.”

Hoyt, meanwhile, was purchased from the Marlins on March 29 and he is coming off a strong season with Miami, posting a 1.23 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. He's pitched parts of five seasons in the Majors with Houston, Cleveland and Miami, recording a 3.71 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings.