An MRI performed on Los Angeles Angels reliever Keynan Middleton revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced Monday.
Middleton is seeking a second opinion, the team said.
He has been placed on the 10-day disabled list.Right-hander Felix Pena was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Middleton, 24, was removed from Sunday’s game against the Twins in the top of the eighth inning because of elbow discomfort with a 1-1 count on Minnesota’s Eddie Rosario.
Middleton had just returned from the disabled list last Thursday after being sidelined with elbow inflammation.
“It’s tough news,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think anytime a pitcher has news that there’s some damage to any part of their arm, obviously there’s great concern. We’re going to take this one step at a time and see what happens.”
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Middleton has been a key cog in the back end of the Angels’ bullpen this season and was the club’s primary closer before his initial DL stint, logging a 2.04 ERA with six saves over 17 2/3 innings. No other Angels reliever has more than one save this year, though veteran Jim Johnson has drawn most of the closing opportunities of late.
“I don’t think we ever had one guy that was the ninth-inning guy,” Scioscia said. “Keynan was pitching the eighth inning the other day. We’ve got some guys in the back end that are going to have to get outs for us, and how they line up in a certain game right now will be dictated by how the game unfolds and some matchups and things like that. But we’re confident that we’re going to have arms down there that will get the outs we need.”
The Angels are hoping to incorporate right-hander Blake Wood into their relief corps soon. Wood, who has been on the DL since April 23 with an elbow impingement, pitched a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Monday night.
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