LA Angels Roster: Injuries to key players have come at the worst time
By Alfonso Cerna
Losers of five-straight games, losers in 11 of their last 15 contests, and sitting in last place in the AL West with a 13-17 record, this has been without a doubt the worst stretch of Angels baseball this season. Adding insult to the poor play is the injuries this team has sustained in this span of losing.
This also comes at a time where the Halos choose to designate Albert Pujols for assignment on Thursday.
Here’s a list of the Angels roster moves beginning May 4:
- May 4:
- Select the contract of INF Phil Gosselin, DFA’d OF Scott Schebler
- Listed OF Justin Upton day-to-day (left knee contusion)
- May 5:
- Reinstated RHP Mike Mayers from IL
- Recalled OF Juan Lagares and OF Taylor Ward from Salt Lake
- Placed INF Anthony Rendon on IL (left knee contusion)
- Optioned RHP James Hoyt to Salt Lake
- Designated RHP Ben Rowen for assignment
- May 6:
- DFA’d 1B/DH Albert Pujols
- Selected contracts of OF Jon Jay and C Jack Kruger
- Reinstated RHP Félix Peña from IL
- Placed RHP Chris Rodriguez on IL (right shoulder inflammation)
- Placed C Max Stassi on IL (concussion)
That’s a lot to take in over a span of three days, but it’s currently where the Angels stand right now. Some of the biggest losses come in the form of Anthony Rendon and Chris Rodriguez.
Injuries continue to test the Angels in their worst stretch of play this season.
This is the second stint on the injured list for Rendon this season who fouled a ball off his knee on Monday. His previous IL trip was due to a strained groin which kept him out of action from April 11-April 25. Rendon was just starting to heat up during a time the Angels needed some third base production, posting a .400 batting average with two home runs and six RBIs in his last 15 at-bats.
Aside from his bat, Rendon’s glove will be missed as well. The Angels have been fundamentally terrible to put it lightly. They currently lead the majors with 31 errors and six of those have come from the third base position during Rendon’s absence.
Angels No.4 prospect Chris Rodriguez is another key piece who will leaves a hole in a now struggling bullpen after he suffered shoulder inflammation on Wednesday night.
Rodriguez owns a 2.30 ERA, 3.03 FIP, 1.085 WHIP, and 9.8 K/9 in 15.2 innings as a reliever. The 23-year-old was one of, if not the most reliable options for the Halos ‘pen which has now fallen apart in the past two weeks worth of games.
These were statistics heading into Thursday night against the Rays:
In case you missed last night’s contest, it got a lot worse. The Angels let a three-run lead and a great outing from Andrew Heaney slip away. It began in the seventh inning when Mike Mayers allowed a solo home run, and then gave up two more runs in the eighth. It only got worse, as Aaron Slegers and Félix Peña came in and allowed two runs each as the bullpen imploded in a seven-run eight inning.
The scary part is Slegers and Mayers had been two of the more reliable late-inning arms this season. Now the Halos hold the sixth-highest ERA in the majors (5.05).
There are still options on the free-agent market who can help. Roberto Osuna and Shane Greene are two of the best arms that come to mind, but I wouldn’t bet on either being a priority for GM Perry Minasian and owner Arte Moreno. If I had to guess, I’d assume they will try and fix any bullpen issues internally, calling up players they have stashed away like AJ Ramos and Noe Ramirez.
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It only gets more difficult for the Angels from here. They just finished game No.7 of a 13-game stretch before their next scheduled off day. Their last day of rest came on April 29, and the Halos have played a stretch of 23 games in 24 days which began on April 19.
Maybe they can catch a break this weekend, as they host the struggling Dodgers (17-15) for the first of three games beginning on Friday, but right now they’re saying the same thing about the Halos.