Los Angeles Angels: Jeff Weaver

Weaver gives some gear to Cooperstown

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
6:28
PM PT
People from the Late Show with David Letterman approached the Angels about having Jered Weaver do their Top 10 list Thursday, the day after he threw the 250th no-hitter in major-league history, but it fell through at the last minute.

“Production problems,” Weaver said.

Weaver kept the ball that Torii Hunter caught for the final out and the lineup card. He gave the Angels his game jersey and another ball to ship to Cooperstown.

They’re not the first Weaver artifacts at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Two other balls -- one from his combined no-hitter with Jose Arredondo against the Dodgers and one from the game he pitched against his brother, Jeff -- were already housed in upstate New York.

The next challenge for Weaver: repeating it. Not the no-hitter -- Johnny Vander Meer is the only pitcher to throw two straight -- but just beating the Minnesota Twins again. His next start is Monday in Minneapolis.

“It’s my biggest pet peeve about being a pitcher. It’s tough,” Weaver said. “Obviously, facing the same hitters twice, you have to pitch a little different, but it’s hard to pitch different because you have to pitch to your strengths and the opposing team will know that.”

Weaver said he received 116 text messages from well-wishers, friends and fellow players.

Jered Weaver gets 1,000th strikeout

April, 16, 2012
4/16/12
8:54
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ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver became the eighth player in franchise history with 1,000 career strikeouts on Monday night, getting Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick to swing through a changeup in the sixth inning.

The 29-year-old right-hander received a standing ovation as the milestone flashed on the Angel Stadium video board and again as he walked off the mound at the end of the frame.

With the strikeout, Weaver and older brother Jeff became the sixth set of siblings to record 1,000 career strikeouts.

Jered Weaver, all grown up

July, 12, 2011
7/12/11
2:12
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One thing you never have to worry about with Jered Weaver is his desire to dominate an opponent. Watch him closely when he pitches and -- even if you can't hear what he's saying -- his body language is as easy to read as a Dr. Seuss book.

He gives up a single and he looks like he wants to fight someone.

"I've never competed against a more competitive pitcher, and a pitcher who will do anything it takes to make sure that he keeps his team in a ballgame," was how Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington put it when he named Weaver his starter for Tuesday night's All-Star game.

The challenge for Weaver hasn't been motivation, it's been maturity. Weaver is one of those guys who never really got tested until he reached the major leagues. He was a two-sport star at Simi Valley High and he could dominate at Long Beach State easily enough without much more than his 95-mph fastball.

But since Weaver made his big league debut in 2006, it's been one hurdle after another, some pretty high. To understand how he reached this pinnacle, you have to grasp how he got over each of those plateaus.

Lesson 1 was in the business of baseball. The Los Angeles Angels sent him back to the minor leagues even after he had gone 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA. Results, of course, aren't the only things that matter in the big leagues. The Angels had an expensive, veteran staff that year and Weaver was the odd man out -- mostly because of seniority -- when they needed a roster spot for Bartolo Colon to come off the disabled list.

Even what should have been a joyous moment for Weaver became bitter-sweet. When the Angels brought him back up, they made room for him on the roster by designating his brother, Jeff, for assignment. It worked out fine for everybody -- Jeff Weaver pitched brilliantly for the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the World Series that year -- and Jered finished 11-2. But that transaction must have made for some awkward feelings in the Weaver family living room.

Later came some struggles, but who doesn't have those? Weaver had a 4.33 ERA in 2008.

All that stuff was adversity. The next blow was tragedy.

Weaver had become close friends with Nick Adenhart during spring training in 2009. There were elements of a big brother-little brother relationship working there. Weaver, seven years younger than Jeff, had never gotten to experience being a mentor. He had always been the one taking advice. Adenhart had agreed to move into his apartment in Long Beach. But in the early hours of April 9, Adenhart was killed by a drunk driver, hours after his best major league start.

Since then, Weaver has carved Adenhart's initials in the dirt behind the mound before every inning.

Weaver looks a lot like he did in his rookie season. He's still got the long, stringy hair, the lanky build, the funky delivery. If anything, his shoulders have gotten broader, his arms thicker.

But his personality isn't quite the same. He's a little less brash, a little more humble. The making of an ace can be a tortuous path.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.289 29 92 89
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 29
RBIM. Trout 92
RM. Trout 89
OPSM. Trout .932
WJ. Weaver 14
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOG. Richards 164