Kernels' Skaggs bides time before leaving

Tyler Skaggs
Tyler Skaggs

CEDAR RAPIDS - Tyler Skaggs still rides the bus, goes on road trips. He shows up to Memorial Stadium for home games the same time as everyone else.

He's a full-fledged Cedar Rapids Kernel. For about another week.

"Kind of just hanging out," Skaggs said with a smile after his team's 7-4 loss Sunday to Quad Cities.

The 19-year-old pitcher is the "player to be named" in last week's big trade between the Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Angels got all-star Dan Haren and gave up former Kernels Joe Saunders, Rafael Rodriguez and Patrick Corbin.

They also agreed to send another player to Arizona. Meet that other player.

"I was kind of shocked about it," Skaggs said. "I didn't think it was going to be me ... It kind of set in on me real quick."

Here's the real strange part about this deal. Via Major League Baseball rules, Skaggs can't officially go to the Diamondbacks until he has been in pro ball for a year.

He didn't sign his contract last year with the Angels until Aug. 7. So he sits (literally) and waits until his one-year anniversary, which is Saturday.

"It's weird because I can't really help my team," he said. "I'm kind of just sitting on the bench until August 7 when everything will be figured out. The team has lost two in a row, so it's been kind of hard watching them lose. It's going to be rough leaving them after being here the whole season. It's going to be roughing leaving the Angels organization.

"I don't know. I guess I'm just taking it day by day and cherishing the time I have left here. Hopefully I'll see all these guys (next year) in spring training."

Skaggs said he expects to leave Cedar Rapids this coming Sunday for the D-backs' low-A club in South Bend. He pitched his last Kernels game July 23 in Dayton, throwing five shutout innings.

"I can long toss and run. That's it," Skaggs said. "I can't lift weights, I can't throw bullpens or anything. It's just long toss and run and sit on the bench.

"I'm very excited about it. My opportunity there is going to be really good."

The Kernels (63-39, 20-14 second-half) dropped a third consecutive game as newcomer Max Russell was roughed up for nine hits and five runs over five innings in his first pitching start. Shelby Miller, the Cardinals No. 1 draft pick last year, threw five innings for QC to get the win.

With Skaggs leaving, Garrett Richards promoted and Fabio Martinez on the disabled list as of Sunday, Cedar Rapids now has an entirely new starting rotation from the beginning of the season.

"That's just the way it is," said Kernels Manager Bill Mosiello.

The Kernels and River Bandits conclude their three-game series Monday at noon.

Somebody needs to get Kernels pitcher Young-Il Jung a new hat or a hairpin or something. His cap fell off his head 10 times during the sixth inning Sunday.

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