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Angels’ Heaney shut down with inflamed elbow

TEMPE, Ariz. — Andrew Heaney, a legitimate candidate to start on Opening Day, has been shut down with what Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus described as elbow inflammation. An MRI revealed no structural damage, and Ausmus said it isn’t expected to be a long-term injury, but Heaney might have to begin the season on the injured list.

“I’m frustrated,” Heaney said, “but it’s something we just have to take care of now.”

Heaney was originally scratched from his March 3 start because of elbow inflammation but was cleared to resume throwing. He pitched again Friday, recording the first two outs against the Chicago White Sox, but informed the team that he was continuing to feel discomfort and was promptly shut down.

Heaney seemed to deal with a similar ailment last spring, but he was able to make his 2018 debut on April 13 and remained healthy throughout the season, posting a 4.15 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a 4.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 180 innings.

The Angels haven’t made a decision on whether Heaney will start the season on the injured list, but Ausmus said they are “getting close to having to.”