Los Angeles Angels try to regroup after losing Garrett Richards and Andrelton Simmons
By David Rice
The Los Angeles Angels struggled through the month of April finishing with an 11-13 record. With the offense struggling the pitching stepped up and carried the club through the first month. The Angels were starting to show some signs of life offensively, but then the bottom fell out.
Last Friday, the Angels announced that staff ace Garrett Richards would be lost for the season due to a tear in his Ulterial Collateral Ligament (UCL) and he will miss the rest of the season and part of next season. As if that weren’t enough, last Sunday prized shortstop Andrelton Simmons tore a UCL ligament in his thumb and will miss two months or of the 2016 season.
If you’re an Angel fan you are probably afraid to ask the question ‘What more can happen?’ because it just might happen. The Angels are trying to keep a positive mental attitude (PMA) even though it seems like the season may be crashing down on them. However, that has been tough lately with the injuries, and amidst a five-game losing streak (also seven losses in last eight games).
Angels general manager Billy Eppler has made two moves in the interim in hopes of righting a quickly sinking ship. Eppler first acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan from the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later and cash, to help fill the hole at shortstop left by the Simmons injury. Simmons, know as a defensive wizard saved the most runs last season with his glove, Ryan was number two behind Simmons in the runs saved category. Ryan is a career .234 hitter in nine major league seasons, which won’t help the Angels anemic offense any, but his defense will be a great addition in Simmons stead. Ryan is also known as a great clubhouse guy as well in his time with the Nationals, Cardinals, and Seattle and loves to keep the mood light, which the Angels would welcome at the moment.
As for the pitching side of things, Eppler acquired Jhoulys Chacin a right-handed pitcher from the Braves to fill the hole in the rotation left by Richards untimely injury. In order to make room for Chacin the Angels designated rule 5 draftee Ji-Man Choi for assignment. the Angels are hoping he will clear waivers and then accept an assignment to Triple-A. Chacin is a career 41-51 with a 3.82 ERA in eight major league seasons with the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Braves. The Angels gave up low-level minor league left-handed pitcher Adam McCreery to acquire Chacin.
Chacin is not Garrett Richards and Ryan is not Andrelton Simmons, but for now they will have to do. Hopefully, these two will make a positive impact.