MLB News: Another Notable Pitcher Done For The Season With Elbow Injury

The pitchers keep falling. One of the key bullpen arms signed as a free agent this past offseason, Robert Stephenson, who had yet to pitch for the Los Angeles Angels, is done for 2024 before he even got started. Yes, elbow injury. 

Stephenson was expected to play a huge role in the Angels bullpen as a high-leverage late-inning reliever after signing a 3-year, $33 million contract. He spent the spring with shoulder soreness, which slowed his progress. 

Stephenson finally appeared in a rehab game earlier this week, but called for the trainer complaining of elbow soreness after issuing a four-pitch walk and exited the game. 

The 31-year-old raised his stock considerably last season with an impressive 38 innings after getting dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays in June. He compiled a 2.35 ERA for the Rays (good for a 179 ERA+) and a 7.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had added a new cutter to his repertoire which made a huge difference in his arsenal.

In an interesting clause in his contract, the Angels bought themselves a little insurance against just such an eventuality as the spot Stephenson is in now. The Angels gain a club option for the 2027 season valued at $2.5 million -- that would kick in if he spends "130 consecutive days on the injured list with an elbow ligament injury during 2024-26."

That will obviously kick in now.

Photo: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports