The L.A Angels placed Dan Haren on the 15-day DL for the 1st time in his 10-year career because of stiffness in his lower back.
The club made the move a couple of days after the 3-time All-Star ultimately acknowledged his back has been bothering him since spring training.
“There’s definitely a lot inflammation, which was just causing the stiffness that I’ve got to try to knock out,” Haren said. “It’s not especially even a pain-management thing as much as it is just getting back to physically throwing the way that I’ve thrown for however many years in the major leagues. So rather than keep going out there at roughly 70% or so, I thought it was good timing for me to take a step backwards and try and get back to 100%for the stretch run.
“The pain that I had was manageable. It was almost like my mind was telling me ‘yes’ and my body was telling me ‘no.’ I didn’t truly lead on that this was perhaps bugging me in one start or another because I never wanted there to be any excuses for my bad performance. In 8 or 9 years of starting pitching, I’ve pitched through plenty of pain.”
Haren is six-eight with a 4.86 ERA in 17 starts and has struggled through most of them in an unusually rocky season. The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-2 with an 8.67 ERA over his previous 5 outings, including a 9-5 loss at Cleveland in which he gave up 7 runs in 4 1/3 innings. After that game, he told manager Mike Scioscia it was time to get him healthy again. Football odds
“I think I was doing damage to the team by going out there at less than 100 percent and trying to win ballgames,” Haren announced. “So I went and chatted to Sosh, and I claimed basically, rather than making 16 more starts not being 100 percent, I would prefer to make 14 starts at 100 %. If I was pitching for a team in last place, I’d likely just finish off the year like this and get it sorted at the end. But I’m convinced my last 14 starts or so are going to mean a lot to this team, and with a little luck I am able to make a few more in October as well.”
Scioscia is hopeful Haren will be well placed to return to the rotation for the road series against the Tigers that begins July 16.
“When you are talking about back (injuries), it could be a wide selection of things,” Scioscia said. “It might have been something in the intense nevertheless it doesn’t look much like that’s the situation at the moment. It looks like he’s going to be fine.”
Haren has been an uncommonly sturdy pitcher, leading the majors with 254 starts since his 1st full big league season in 2005. He has thrown at least 215 innings in every one of the past 7 seasons, the majors’ longest active streak.
L.A. recalled right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen to fill Haren’s roster spot.