LA Angels News

LA Angels will start 2nd half without Albert Pujols, but getting pitchers back.

By David Rice
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 03: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches as his career home run number 600 clears the wall, a grand slam in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 3, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 03: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches as his career home run number 600 clears the wall, a grand slam in the fourth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 3, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /
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The LA Angels showed some signs of life over their last 12 games against the Seattle Mariners and the LA Dodgers.  Despite only going 6-6 in that stretch they played much better against two good teams.

Leading the charge during this stretch for the LA Angels was Albert Pujols.  Pujols hit a modest .270 in that stretch but slammed four home runs and drove in 10 runs.  Unfortunately his left knee, which has been bothering him over the past month finally was too much for the Machine to play through.

So the Angels decided to place Pujols on the disabled list to give him some extra time to rest the knee.  He will be eligible to come off the DL next Monday and if everything goes as planned Pujols will do just that.  While Pujols has not hit for a high average this season he has been pretty productive hitting .251 with 16 homers and driving in 52 runs.

Pujols had just tied Ken Griffey Jr. for 6th place on the all-time home run list by hitting his 629th and 630th home runs to lead the Angels to a series-clinching victory over Seattle.  He also moved past Rod Carew and tied Rickey Henderson on the career hits list with 3,055.

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With the Angels needing to get started quickly if they hope to catch the Mariners for the second wild-card spot they will need to play well these last two weeks of July.  Hopefully, Pujols getting some down time will help him get rejuvenated and keep providing some more offense to complement Mike Trout and Justin Upton.

Upton is another player the Angels need to have a strong second half as he produced at about the same clip as Pujols. Upton is also hitting .251 with 19 homers and 54 RBIs, which is good, but not like his MVP-caliber season in 2017.

The Angels will also get some reinforcements back that should help their ailing pitching staff.  Nick Tropeano and Jim Johnson could be activated as early as this weekend which will help to solidify both the rotation and the bullpen.  Jim Johnson is 2-2 with a 3.93 ERA with a 1.34 WHIP out of the bullpen.  Nick Tropeano is 3-4 with a 4.83 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Rene Rivera, the Angels back-up catcher early in the season could also return in the next month which could help some as well as starter Matt Shoemaker who may be close to going out on a rehab assignment soon in hopes of coming back to the Angels.

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Shoemaker has been out since early April with what was classified as a right forearm strain, but could be related to last year’s nerve impingement surgery.  Shoemaker has been throwing over the past few weeks and the next step would be a rehab assignment.

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Hopefully the second half will be much better then the first half for the Angels.

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