LA Angels Series Preview: Taming the Green Monster
By Ryan Falla
The truest test
Is there any test for ones mettle better than the brutal, unforgiving enviroment of Fenway Park? Boston fans are as rowdy as they come and the energy they bring to their stadium is explosive. The Red Sox may not be having the most fulfilling season, but that doesn’t change the fact that a Fenway is one of the few parks in baseball that offer a playoff environment in the regular season. It will be fun to watch the kids like Luis Rengifo or Matt Thaiss perform in front of the Fenway Friendly, but even more exciting will be watching Patrick Sandoval perform in Boston. Sandoval will be making just his second MLB debut after a strong 8 strikeout outing against the Reds that kicked off his Major League career.
Sandoval’s last outing saw him receive little help from the Angels infield as Matt Thaiss commit multiple errors while Luis Rengifo bobbled an easy double play which eventually saw that lead runner score. One of Sandoval’s best skills is ground ball production, so if he can get help from his infield while nabbing some strikeouts there is no doubt he can have a quality outing. Andrelton Simmons is out with injury, so we’ll probably be seeing about the same infield unless David Fletcher is manning the hot corner over Thaiss.
This Angels team is about as close as you can get to what the 2020 squad will look like aside from the starting pitching overhaul that will likely happen in the off-season. The only notable change in the offense may be the absence of Kole Calhoun and the presence of Jo Adell, but that’s really it. There is the chance that Tommy La Stella would come back to the team as a free agent, but that all depends on how he looks when he returns from his injury. The only change this team needs is in the starting staff, but even then we’re seeing pieces for 2020 come together with the potential that Sandoval brings to the table.
After this four game series in Boston the Angels will head back home to face the Pirates.