If you saw the Los Angeles Angels game against the Boston Red Sox Wednesday night you saw one of the most gruesome leg injuries in recent memory for the Angels.
Los Angeles Angels reliever Jake Jewell freshly called up from Salt Lake City on Wednesday morning uncorked a wild pitch to the Red Sox Mitch Moreland. J.D. Martinez went racing down the third base line trying to score on the play and Jewell ran to cover home plate in hopes of preventing Martinez from scoring. What happened next was just ugly.
Jewell reached out catch Angel catcher Martin Maldonado’s throw and his right spike got caught in the dirt near home plate causing the ankle to bend backwards underneath his body awkwardly. Jewell went down in pain and stayed down while the Angel trainer looked at his right leg. He eventually had to be carted off the field and was slated to undergo x-rays to determine the extent of the damage to his right ankle and foot.
This was another one of those freak injuries that seems to have befallen the Angels this season. Jewell will almost assuredly be out for the season with the injury making him the fifth Angel pitcher this season to be lost for the rest of 2018. This is not to mention Matt Shoemaker (injured after his first start) and Shohei Ohtani (UCL Sprain) who could both be done for the season as well with arm injuries. Ohtani is likely to come back as at least a DH this season, but on the mound is much less likely.
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In another move yesterday (the reason Jewell was recalled) starter John Lamb was place on the disabled list due to left shoulder and elbow inflamation. Lamb is the eighth starting pitcher to land on the disabled list for the Angels and the 11th pitcher overall to be on the shelf.
The only pitchers to have started a game for the Angels this season and not land on the DL (hopefully they won’t) are Jaime Barria, Tyler Skaggs, Felix Pena, and Parker Bridwell. Pena and Bridwell have only made two starts a piece, whereas Barria has been in the rotation since late May and Skaggs is the only starter to have made it through the whole season without any major issues. Skaggs did have some hamstring tightness that caused his last start to be pushed back a few days, but he officially has not missed a start this season, knock on wood (knock, knock).
The Angel position players have fared a little better, but they have not escaped the injury curse that is the 2018 Angels. It was just announced yesterday that Zack Cozart, who suffered a left shoulder subluxation on June 14th diving for a ground ball, will be lost for the season due to a torn labrum in his shoulder which will require season-ending surgery.
In addition Ian Kinsler, Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, Kaleb Cowart, and Rene Rivera have all spent time on the disabled list for various injuries. Rivera is the only one of these players to be on the shelf for extensive time as he suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee that required surgery. Rivera hopefully will return after the All-Star break in late July.
This is not to mention some of the minor injuries a few players are dealing with and trying to play through. Most notably Mike Trout who has been playing with a sprained finger that has relegated him to DH the last eight games.
At one point recently the Angels had 15 players on the disabled list, which is a club-record. If this was the first season that injuries had been a major issue it would be one thing. However, this has been going on since 2015. It has been really bad especially for the Angel pitchers. Eight Angel starting pitchers have had UCL tears in their elbows and six of those have required Tommy John surgery. This is not counting Matt Shoemaker and C.J. Wilson. Wilson’s career was cut short by arm injuries and Shoemaker has missed significant parts of each of the last three seasons.
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The question is when is it going to end. Do the Angels need to have a priest come and perform an exorcism throughout all of Angel Stadium? I wish I knew or at least somebody knew the answer to this question other than the Man Upstairs, because this has been borderline insanity. Let’s just hope and pray that no more Angels have to suffer major injuries this season. Maybe if we can get everyone back healthy we can actually climb back into the AL Wild-Card Race. If not 2018 will go down in infamy and become another lost season for the Angels.