A bad day turned worse when Fernando Rodney , Jordan Walden and the Kevin Jepsen (rather epically) managed to relinquish a 4-1 Halo lead heading into the 8th inning, leading to a 6-4 come back victory for the White Sox. Only hours before the bull pen debacle, the Angels learned that first basemen Kendrys Morales would need to undergo yet another surgery on the ankle he injured last May.
A tough pill for the angels to swallow, the prospects of the Halo lineup certainly look a lot better with Morales in the middle. What’s maybe worse than this awful news is how the Angels have handled Kendrys recovery and supposed comeback from a PR perspective. It has been an epic fail on their part as the club continually issued a series of mis-diagnosis’ and were overly optimistic for Morales’ return.
The result is a jilted fan base who despite the club’s current first place standing is still not content with Angels Management. Let’s take a quick look at just how poorly the communication was handled and how far off the team was on Kendrys possible return.
After initially correcting the diagnosis and confirming Morales would indeed be loss for the season last May, The Angels stated in December that Kendrys Morales would be ready to start the 2011 season that coming April.
“We’re anticipating him to be full go in spring training,” Manager Mike Scioscia said at the winter meetings.
The company line didn’t change in mid-February, even though Morales was not running when the team opened spring training.
“I have no doubt he’ll be 100% by the start of the season,” Scioscia said on the first day of camp.
Then came Spring training and suddenly the tune changed. In late March the ambiguous coach speak started and Morales’s return was pushed out to sometime in May with Scioscia saying:
“Hopefully — definitely — he’ll be running on this road trip,” Scioscia said on Thursday. “We’ll be able to see where he is. The progression of running 100 percent is still a variable right now. Once he runs 100 percent, he’ll play in games the next day.
“This jump from baseball activities to being ready for games might come within four days, might come within 10 days. You never know.”
In late April the timeline was pushed out until June with Scioscia sounding more pessimistic:
“His progress has been slow. … He’s having problems getting full explosion when he runs.” Scioscia said.
DVR forward to last Friday, as the Halos finished their sixth week of the season without their best hitter, the theme song changed— and the timeline for Morales’ recovery was pushed out yet again.
Asked if he was surprised how slowly Morales is recovering, Scioscia’s response contained even more gloom and probably the most overt signs of frustration he displayed on the topic saying:
“It hasn’t even been a year yet,” Scioscia said. “It was a serious injury. You have to be patient through some parts of it.”
While its certainly not time to pile on, the Angels clearly botched this rehab and recovery. Now they will need to press on and hope that Mark Trumbo continues to improve at the plate or that maybe they can acquire some thump before the trade deadline. Otherwise this is a nice team with good pitching and “grit” but one that likely lacks the offensive firepower of a team capable of winning it all.