The LA Angels Spring Training is underway, with pitchers and catchers are getting into their routine in Tempe. What had been an overall slow Spring Training thus far picked up some steam on Thursday, with the team’s first injury, and hype building over a special young player.
Matt Harvey‘s Pain in the Butt
Arguably the LA Angels biggest signing of the offseason, Matt Harvey suffered a glute strain while doing agility drills on Wednesday. He, along with manager Brad Ausmus, confirmed it would not put his availability come Opening Day in jeopardy, as Harvey is only expected to be sidelined for 10 days.
Even if Harvey takes more time than expected to get back on track, he still has an overwhelming amount of time until the start of the season. Odds are he will be healthy enough to make one or two starts in Spring Training.
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It is also worth noting his absence from workouts is precautionary, as Harvey claimed if it were the regular season, he would take anti-inflammatories and be able to pitch if called upon.
A Non-Shohei Two Way
After a season watching Shohei Ohtani come to the United States and promptly dominate competition as a two-way player, there is a revolution across the MLB as teams look for the next Ohtani. The Angels might have stumbled upon one themselves.
Jared Walsh was a 39th round pick out of the University of Georgia for the Angels. During his collegiate career, Walsh was featured as a pitcher and as an outfielder/first baseman. Upon being drafted he become strictly a position player, except for the rare mop-up role as a relief pitcher in the minors last year.
However, in those eight appearances last season, Walsh posted a 1.59 ERA in 8.2 innings. He impressed Angels’ brass enough to be sent to an instructional league over the offseason to work on a potential role as a left-handed reliever. This Spring Training, Walsh will focus solely on pitching in hopes of contributing in Anaheim at some point in 2019.
It is worth noting Walsh would be used differently as Ohtani, strictly as a relief pitcher. He would go straight from the field to the mound in a possible scenario. In this situation, the Angels would also forego their ability to use a designated hitter for the rest of the game.
Although he hasn’t yet, Walsh told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register he plans to discuss a two-way role with Shohei Ohtani at some point.
More News and Notes from Day Three of Spring Training:
- Shohei Ohtani told media that his swinging is currently somewhere between 70-80 percent effort. His next step in rehab as a designated hitter will be hitting off a tee.
- JC Ramirez is scheduled for a 45-pitch bullpen tomorrow. He will only throw fastballs, and the first 15 pitches will be thrown to a catcher standing in front of the plate. However, his final 30 pitches will be the first time since his surgery that he will be throwing to a squatted catcher.
- Michael Hermosillo revealed he had a surgery to repair a sports hernia which effected him through most of the 2018 season. He aggravated it while playing in the Dominican Winter League, and opted for surgery. The Angels’ #11 prospect struggled in limited MLB action last year, and could be due for a breakout year.
- Daniel Hudson, the Angels’ most recent signing, commented on the state of free agency in the MLB and a possible MLBPA strike, stating “I hate to say it, but it’s not looking good right now”.