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3 starters playing their way out of LA Angels’ 2022 plans down the stretch

Juan Lagares, Jack Mayfield, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Juan Lagares, Jack Mayfield, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Justin Upton, LA Angels
Justin Upton, LA Angels. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 starter playing his way out of LA Angels’ 2022 plans down the stretch: Justin Upton

Here’s what I mean when I say that Justin Upton has played himself out of the LA Angels’ plans down the stretch:

Upton will obviously receive playing time next year, but may be a part of an outfield platoon instead of being a full-time starter.

Next year, the Angels are getting Mike Trout back. They’ve already brought up Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh, who have both flashed. Those two have honestly been better than Upton since Upton’s injury.

Since Upton was hurt at the end of June, he has hit .126/.200/.242 in 26 games. He’s driven in just nine runs in that time, and hit just three homers. He’s scored only seven runs.

Despite Upton going to be paid $28 million next year, I can’t help but wonder if Joe Maddon is going to plan on him not being a full-time starter in one of the corner spots. As of right now, Adell and Marsh have earned significant playing time next year.

If I’m Maddon, I may have to play all three in the remaining two outfield spots. I can’t DH Upton, as I already have the best DH in baseball. I can’t play him at first, because I already have one of the best first basemen in the American League.

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It’s not Upton’s fault, as the injury is clearly what got to him. He was on a tear before he got hurt. This is a tough business, however, and I’m not sure that Upton will remain a full-time starter next year.

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