ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -The Los Angeles Angels will start the season without ace John Lackey, who is out three to four weeks because of a strained right triceps.
Lackey underwent an MRI in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Friday that confirmed Dr. Lewis Yocum's diagnosis.
The right-hander has already started rehabilitation and will not participate in any baseball activities until he is re-evaluated, the team said Saturday.
Lackey made his first spring training appearance last Monday, pitching 1 2-3 innings against Oakland. He said he threw without pain.
The Angels begin the season March 31 at Minnesota. Lackey won 19 games last year and led the AL with a 3.01 ERA.
Lackey's injury, plus a shoulder injury to Kelvim Escobar that has kept him out of exhibition games, leaves the door open for top prospect Nick Adenhart to potentially earn a spot in the rotation.
``Personally, I understand what that means,'' said Adenhart, who has a 4.26 ERA in four spring training starts spanning 14 2-3 innings. ``It opens up a spot. From the beginning of camp I felt like I was coming in to compete for a job and that was still my mind-set going out there today.''
The 21-year-old Adenhart allowed three runs and four hits with four strikeouts in four innings Saturday against Arizona.
``If we feel that he's ready then he's going to be a candidate,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ``He had better stuff today than he had in any other outing this spring. We're still evaluating Nick to see where he is. I think he has an incredible future. Where he is right now is something that we're going to pay a lot of attention to and talk a lot about in the next couple of weeks. ... We're not going to force him if he's not ready.''
Dustin Moseley, who made eight starts last season and had been pegged for long relief this year, is another possibility. He is recovering from ulnar nerve surgery and has worked three innings this spring.
Right-hander Nick Green also figures to be in the hunt.
``Our goal right now is to get as many guys as we can that can get into that role and make the best decision,'' Scioscia said.
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