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Angels reliever Robert Stephenson ruled out for the season with elbow injury

In Sports
April 18, 2024

Robert Stephenson’s year is over before it could begin.

The Los Angeles Angels announced on Wednesday night that Stephenson, just months after inking a $33 million deal with the franchise, will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

Stephenson had yet to make his debut with the Angels this season after he signed with the club this past offseason. He sustained a shoulder injury before he could pitch in any preseason games, and he was gearing up to make his return this month.

Stephenson was facing hitters earlier this week in Anaheim, according to The OC Register’s Jeff Fletcher, and then he was sent to their Triple-A affiliate in Utah. But on Saturday, while pitching with the Salt Lake Bees, he was pulled from the game after throwing just four pitches. He called for a trainer after throwing four balls, and his night was done.

Robert Stephenson signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Angels this past offseason

Robert Stephenson signed a three-year, $33 million deal with the Angels this past offseason. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

The Angels have not gotten into specifics about Stephenson’s elbow injury, though they are expected to do so on Thursday. Either way, if he’s out for the season in mid-April, the injury must be extremely significant.

Stephenson, 31, spent last season with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays. The reliever appeared in a career-high 60 games throughout the year and held a 3.10 ERA with a 3-4 record.

Stephenson signed his three-year, $33 million deal with the Angels in January, though there was an option in that contract that could be triggered if he misses a specific amount of time due to an elbow injury. Because he’s now out for the season, the Angels will be able to keep him for just $2.5 million in 2027, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

The Angels hold a 9-9 record this season after they beat the Rays 5-4 on Wednesday. They’ll wrap up a four-game series with the Rays on Thursday before heading to Cincinnati for a three-game run with the Reds starting on Friday.

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