The Los Angeles Angels sent two players to their alternate training site prior to Thursday’s deadline requiring teams to trim their rosters to 28 players.
The Los Angeles Angels made a pair of roster moves following Wednesday’s game. Both infielder Matt Thaiss and pitcher Jose Rodriguez were optioned to the team’s alternate training site, as announced by the Angels’ PR team on Twitter.
Negotiations between the MLB Players’ Association and the league were ongoing earlier this week in regard to how to handle the impending roster reduction. After the Marlins and Cardinals were decimated in recent weeks due to COVID-19 outbreaks, both sides opted to make only one roster reduction in 2020, with teams reducing from 30 to 28 on Thursday. Prior to the agreement, teams were facing another reduction to 26 players two later.
Once the agreement was in place, the Angels had until noon eastern to make their final roster decisions. However, that move appears to have come following Wednesday’s loss to the Mariners.
After appearing in nine games for the Angels in 2019, Jose Rodriguez was added to the active roster on August 1st. However, he’s appeared in just one game out of the Angels bullpen, throwing 1.2 innings of scoreless baseball against the Houston Astros the following day. The 24-year-old will return to Long Beach where he will presumably get more work in intrasquad games.
The same could be said for the 25-year-old Matt Thaiss. After hitting a combined 22 home runs in the minors and with the Angels in 2019, Thaiss got a late start in summer camp due to a COVID-19 diagnosis. He ended up making the team out of camp, but appeared in just five games for the Halos. In 10 at-bats, he notched two hits and three strikeouts in limited action.
Angels will have another roster move coming soon with Andrelton Simmons
Andrelton Simmons has been on the injured list since July 27th, a result of a misplaced lunge at first base that caused the shortstop to roll his ankle. While initial reports indicated the injury would only cost him a few games, it appears that the healing is not progressing as fast as everyone hoped.
In speaking with the media on Wednesday, manager Joe Maddon indicated that Simmons is healing, but he isn’t yet ready to rejoin the team.
"“From what I read today, he is progressing, but it’s not progressing as quickly as it could’ve possibly.” – (h/t Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com)"
When Simmons is ready to rejoin the team, the Angels will have to make a corresponding roster move to accommodate his addition. Currently, the team has been utilizing David Fletcher at shortstop, with Luis Rengifo handling second base.
While Rengifo would appear to be the odd-man-out when Simmons returns, he’s also been pressed into duty with Tommy La Stella being limited to DH duties due to a bad back. If Rengifo is still playing regularly and the only healthy reserve in the infield (following Thaiss’ demotion), Taylor Ward could be optioned. He’s become somewhat of an extra piece with Jo Adell now up and the Angels platooning Justin Upton and Brian Goodwin in left field.