Tyler Skaggs has pitched so well he might be creating a problem for the Angels. Skaggs, 22, who starts Saturday, has averaged 6 2/3 innings over his first 10 starts. If he maintains that through the full season, making 32 or 33 starts, he would surpass 200 innings. He has not thrown more than 158 2/3 innings as a pro, and that was in 2011, between Class-A and Double-A. Last year, Skaggs pitched 148 1/3 innings between Triple-A and the majors. He has never pitched more 38 2/3 innings in the majors. Standard practice in the industry has been for young pitchers to increase their innings gradually, usually by no more than 20 or 30 percent from year to year. It’s why some teams have either shut down young pitchers or moved them to the bullpen, to limit their innings. So far, the Angels aren’t worried about Skaggs, but they are watching closely. “I think you have to look at it,” pitching coach Mike Butcher said. “It’s a real thing. Guys start accumulating a lot of innings and it takes a toll on you. Mike (Scioscia) and I and Jerry (Dipoto) have all taken a look at it and are very aware of it, but he’s very efficient. When those things happen, he may have less pitches than a lot of guys who hit that amount of innings.” Skaggs’ efficiency – atypical for a young pitcher – is what has allowed him to pitch so many innings. He’s averaged 3.51 pitches per batter faced, the lowest figure for any Angels starter.
Angels' Skaggs is in it for the long haul
Orange County Register | May 31