Heaney called up to start vs. Astros …
The Angels called up top prospect Andrew Heaney to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Astros, pushing previously scheduled starter Matt Shoemaker back a couple days to iron out some of his mechanics.
Heaney, who was acquired from the Dodgers for second baseman Howie Kendrick, was 6-2 with a 4.71 ERA in 14 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake, posting a 1.53 WHIP while walking 2.9 batters and striking out 8.5 per nine innings.
The 24-year-old left-hander posted a 3.02 ERA in his first nine starts, but has given up 27 runs (24 earned) in his past 27 2/3 innings.
“There’s a statistical part of the [Pacific Coast League] you have to take into consideration, so we obviously rely very heavily on what our coaches see,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “And I think that Andrew’s ready for the challenge. He’s pitched well. I think he’s made a lot of progress through Spring Training, and I think he can come up here and pitch like he can.”
The Angels are off on Thursday, then Shoemaker will start Friday’s series opener against the Mariners, with Garrett Richards going Saturday and Hector Santiago on Sunday.
The Angels wanted to give Shoemaker a couple of extra days to work with pitching coach Mike Butcher on commanding and locating his fastball. The 28-year-old right-hander has a 5.20 ERA in 13 starts, giving up 15 homers in 72 2/3 innings.
“It definitely doesn’t hurt right now, I’ll put it that way,” Shoemaker said of the extra rest. “It definitely doesn’t hurt.”
Heaney — ranked first in the Angels’ system and 20th overall by MLBPipeline.com — essentially takes the rotation spot of Jered Weaver, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a inflammation in his left hip. The Angels sent down outfielder Alfredo Marte after Tuesday’s 13-3 loss to eventually get back to a five-man rotation.
With off days factored in, the Angels also need a fifth starter on Tuesday and July 11. Weaver, who will start throwing again at the end of the week, could return as late as July 21 and miss only two starts.
Heaney entered Spring Training with a chance to win a spot in the rotation, but gave up 19 runs in 24 1/3 innings.
They believe he’s a different guy now.
“The reports are that Andrew is ready for the challenge in the Major Leagues,” Scioscia said. “It’s been brewing for a while. He’s been knocking on our door and he’s ready to take this opportunity.”