The Los Angeles Angels are showing signs of life this past week and are starting to play with a little bounce in their step, however if the team is to make the playoffs they will probably have to do it without team sparkplug Johnny Giavotella. Giavotella who has been out since August 20th and on the disabled list since the 24th of August due to a mysterious ailment, finally found out what he is dealing with. The condition is called fourth nerve palsy, which is causing Giavotella to see double every time he looks down or to his left. He is still hoping to play this season, but a timetable for his return has not been set which means the Angels will rely on Taylor Featherston and Grant Green until Giavotella is able to play again. Neither of which have the same enthusiasm and knack for coming through in the clutch as Giavotella, but with David Freese coming back recently the Angels might be able to live without Giavotella a little easier.
So with Giavotella out the Angels didn’t need anymore bad news, unfortunately they got some over the weekend as Albert Pujols revealed that he has been playing through pain in his right foot that has led to soreness in his surgically repaired right knee. The left foot injury has caused Pujols to overcompensate on his right leg which caused the soreness in the knee prompting Pujols to inform Angels manager Mike Scioscia that he didn’t think he could play in the field over the weekend against the Rangers. So until further notice Pujols will be the every DH for the Angels, which actually may be a blessing in disguise as it allows C.J. Cron to be in the every day line-up at first base and he has been hot as of late hitting .310 with 4 home runs and 19 RBI’s over the last month. Cron also is a slight upgrade defensively although Pujols is a solid fielder, Cron is younger and has a bit more range.
C.J. Cron (left) and Albert Pujols (right) hope there are plenty of reasons to celebrate down the stretch in September Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
One final injury that is also concerning to the Angels is to pitcher Matt
Matt Shoemaker hopes to only miss one start with right forearm strain. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Shoemaker who will miss his start Monday against the Dodgers due to a right forearm strain. Shoemaker has had a roller-coaster season posting a 7-9 record with 4.31 ERA which caused him to be sent to the minors in mid-August, but since his return Shoemaker has given up 1 run in 14.1 innings in two starts. Nick Tropeano will take Shoemaker’s turn against the Dodgers tonight, but hopefully for Shoemaker this will be the only start he will miss.
Time will tell on all the Angels injured players, hopefully we haven’t seen the last of Giavotella or Shoemaker this season and Pujols will be able to play through the pain and be effective as the team needs all three of these players healthy if they are to make a playoff run.