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Angels ace Jered Weaver puts 'dead-arm' phase behind him

March 21, 2013|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels' Jered Weaver throws during the first inning of an exhibition against Italy on March 6.
Angels' Jered Weaver throws during the first inning of an exhibition… (Morry Gash / Associated…)

TEMPE, Ariz.—Jered Weaver’s right arm is alive and well. Cuffed around by the Oakland Athletics in his last exhibition start, when he went through a spring-training “dead-arm” phase, the Angels ace threw 89 pitches in 6 1/3 innings of an intrasquad game Thursday and was pleased with the results.

“I’m back on track,” said Weaver, who was rocked for eight runs and three homers in two innings against the A’s on Saturday. “The first two innings felt like the same thing, but the last four innings I threw I was where I needed to be as far as mechanics and timing. I knew where the pitches were going and had a feel for off-speed stuff.”

Weaver, who is scheduled to start the April 1 season opener at Cincinnati, allowed two earned runs and nine hits, struck out five and walked none. Of his 89 pitches, 58 were strikes. In preparation for interleague play in a National League park, he also got two sacrifice bunts down.

“He started off just trying to find his rhythm, but the last three or four innings, you saw it coming,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “His last 20 pitches were terrific. He’s happy. He’s definitely back on track.”

Weaver is scheduled to make one more exhibition start, against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tuesday night. Though he has battled shoulder tendinitis in the past, he is confident his issues Saturday were related to the dead-arm phase many starters go through in spring training and nothing more.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Weaver said of the “dead-arm” condition. “I just know in my last start I didn’t have a feel for anything and didn’t know where the fastball was going. But everything felt comfortable the last four innings today.

“It’s good to know I have the arm strength to get into the seventh inning and feel good. It was uplifting to feel like I did my first couple starts of spring. It’s a step in the right direction.”

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