Jered Weaver likely won’t ever regain the form that made him one of the best pitchers in the majors just a few seasons ago. But he won’t ever admit it.
Weaver’s dramatic drop in velocity, among other things, has raised serious questions about the 33-year-old’s ability to remotely resemble the player that was a three-time All-Star. Concern reached new heights when his fastball topped out at 82 mph in spring training.
After throwing 60 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday in his attempt to return from neck soreness that bothered him throughout the spring, Weaver said he is confident it’s all coming back.
“One hundred percent, guarantee it,” Weaver said.
Weaver said he expects to make his 2016 debut as the Angels starter on Sunday in the finale of a four-game series with Texas.
His endurance and velocity remain question marks, but he hit 86 mph on the radar gun during his simulated game.
“I’m just going to go as hard as I can for as long as I can and let (Angels manager Mike) Scioscia make the decision,” Weaver said. “I mean it’s going to take a while for me to build up arm strength. I’m not going to lie about that. Give me two months and look out.”
Scioscia preferred to see how Weaver recovered from his 60 pitches on Tuesday before committing to a Sunday start.
“As he got into his probably second inning, you saw his stuff start to pick up and I think he threw the ball well and hopefully it’s the start of getting him where he needs to be,” Scioscia said. “His velocity picked up as he went on, so hopefully it’s a good sign.”