The Angels gave veteran reliever Scott Downs a three-year contract worth $15 million during the offseason as part of an effort to bolster their bullpen. With Downs, Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Rodney, Jason Bulger, and Kevin Jepsen - among others - the Angels put together a relief corps they hoped would serve to effectively shorten ballgames and reduce the pressure on their starters.
With that in mind, the team got some bad news on Wednesday morning. Downs has fractured his left big toe, and now he's going to begin the season on the disabled list.
It isn't a major injury in that it isn't going to keep Downs out of action for a long time, but it does still weaken a team looking to get off to a strong start to prove the doubters wrong. Downs has posted a 2.36 ERA over the last four years and for however long he's out of action, the Angels are going to miss one of the league's top bullpen lefties.
Behind Downs, Takahashi is the only lefty reliever on the 40-man roster. It's worth noting that Downs twice went on the DL in 2009 for injuries to the same toe that he's fractured. For more on Downs and the Angels, check out Halos Heaven.