The Angels placed left-hander Jason Vargas on the disabled list Friday and said the pitcher will undergo further tests next week for what has been diagnosed as a blood clot under his left arm.
“You always want to keep pitching. But at the same time I’d rather not have a blood clot,” said Vargas, who has won six of his last seven decisions. “If I was pitching and it came loose then it could really cause some issues. So I’m definitely glad the staff recognized it and we got it taken care of and looked at. And we’re going through the right channels.”
Vargas is scheduled to be examined by a doctor at UCLA on Monday. The team will wait until then before determining treatment going forward but surgery appears likely.
Vargas said he had some unusual feeling in his left hand before his last start but pitched Monday anyway, holding the Seattle Mariners to two runs and four hits in seven innings, striking out a season-high nine batters. He also played catch Thursday without pain.
“There’s no doubt he could go and pitch with it right now if he had to,” Angel Manager Mike Scioscia said. “But along the lines of a person’s well-being — and as further tests were done just to see what is happening, what was causing the sensation he had — they discovered something there that needs to be addressed. So we’ll see what happens.
“He was throwing the ball great. But that’s not the issue. The issue obviously is trying to take care of this so he can keep going forward.”
Vargas said he was told that a blood clot below the arm is not unheard of for players who frequently use their arms above their heads, such as volleyball, tennis and water polo players.
The move to the DL for Vargas (6-4, 3.65 ERA) is retroactive to June 18. He has been replaced on the roster by right-hander Billy Buckner.
Right-hander Jerome Williams (5-2, 3.14) will take Vargas’ spot in the rotation.