LA Angels get Young again as journeyman showing he belongs in Anaheim

Eric Young Jr. one of many major league ready players the Angels have in Triple-A who are ready to contribute when needed. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Young Jr. one of many major league ready players the Angels have in Triple-A who are ready to contribute when needed. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Angels sustained a big blow Sunday when reigning AL MVP Mike Trout went down with a thumb injury. With the news of Trout’s 1st ever stint on the DL will last at least 6 weeks the team prepared to play Atlanta in a 3-game series.

The LA Angels called up MLB veteran outfielder Eric Young Jr. from Triple-A Salt Lake Monday to “fill-in” for Trout while he is healing.  Now there is no one who could truly fill-in for Trout, Eric Young Jr. though is trying his best to do so.

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In Monday’s game Young Jr. went 1 for 4 and stole two bases, then on Tuesday he went two for

five with an RBI and then on Wednesday Young came up really big going two for two with a game winning homer.  So overall he is five for 11 with two runs scored and two runs driven in. Not a bad start.

Young Jr. is just another one of the players who have stepped up this season for the Angels when needed and have delivered.  In his career Young Jr. has played for five teams over nine seasons and is a career .248 hitter  with nine homers and 90 RBI’s. His greatest asset has been his speed as he has stolen 147 bases in his career.

Young Jr. alone will not be the answer for Trout as it will have to be a collective team effort to replace someone who does as much as Trout does.  So far the Angels have won their first series without him and now they are in the middle of the first of a four-game series against the Minnesota Twins.

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The next three weeks though will be tough as the Angels play many of the top teams in the majors starting with these Minnesota Twins who sit in first place in the Al Central.  The Angels then go on the road for a three-game series in Detroit against the Tigers, followed by a three-game series against the best team in baseball division rival, the Houston Astros.

After the short six-game road trip the Angels come home to face the first place New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals before heading out to the East Coast for six games against the Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Angels then return to Southern California to play a four-game series against the Dodgers with two games a piece in LA then Anaheim.

If the Angels can survive this stretch and still be in the playoff race without Trout that will bode well for the second half of the season when they get him back as well as Tyler Skaggs and possibly Garrett Richards.

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Another player who stepped up this week is Parker Bridwell who the Angels acquired from Baltimore in mid-May.  Bridwell covered the second spot start for an injured Alex Meyer pitching fairly well going six innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four batters to collect his first big league win Tuesday night.

Bridwell was sent back down to the minors on Wednesday as Alex Meyer has been activated to start tonight against the his former team the Twins.  However, Bridwell did a pretty good job early in the 9-3 win against the Braves only allowing a to the Braves Matt Kemp in the third prior to the Angels nine-run outburst in the bottom of the third.

For now things have gone okay in Trout’s absence, but will that continue throughout his time on the DL.  Angel fans and the team hope so.  The Angels have been so resilient all season, but this will be a major test of that resiliency.