Jered Weaver threw harder Wednesday than he did in either of his two starts in April (Will Lester/ Staff Photographer)
Of all the positives the Angels could take from Jered Weaver‘s performance last night — just having him back on the mound stands out as the first — maybe the best is that he’s throwing faster.
According to FanGraphs.com, Weaver topped out at 92 mph on his fastball and threw it for an average speed of 87.3 mph, compared to 85.8 and 85.1 mph in his first two starts, respectively. All his pitches were faster across the board. He also got a lot more horizontal movement on his two-seam fastball and changeup, and the results followed: Weaver allowed five hits (four singles) and one run in six innings while striking out seven.
Ryan Madson was seen throwing off flat ground today in Tempe, but manager Mike Scioscia told reporters that the Angels’ presumptive closer still has no timetable to get back on a mound.
That’s essentially the status quo. Madson was dealing with soreness and inflammation in his right elbow last week. An MRI came back negative but his throwing program was put on hold. Opening day looked like a longshot for Madson then and still does now.
The 32-year-old missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.
At least the Angels don’t have to rebuild their bullpen from scratch. They can just go back to what (sometimes) worked for them last year — Ernesto Frieri in the ninth, Kevin Jepsen in the eighth, Scott Downs in the seventh — plus free-agent newcomer Sean Burnett.
Oh, about Burnett: He left camp today with stiffness in his lower back to undergo an MRI.
Stay tuned. The Angels’ bullpen is officially on watch.
Things are heating up in Arizona, literally and figuratively. These links are tepid at best: