This season didn’t go the LA Angels way and a huge part of that was because of the amount and length of injuries to some big names.
It first started with the grueling injury of Dexter Fowler. It then went on to affect some more household names like Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Patrick Sandoval, and Justin Upton all missing significant time.
Angels fans have always been wondering, why so many injuries? They’ve also been wondering whether the team is really being honest about them. The injuries on this team are surprising and do warrant some digging in on them.
LA Angels injuries are cause for concern.
“There are times to speculate and there are times to go out there and put out the news,” Jared Tims, LA Angels podcaster, states as he pondered the topic of injuries.
He mentioned how powerful social media can play a role in fans speculating injuries, and he always takes it with a grain of salt. He’s been covering the Angels and their farm system for a long time, he understands that injuries occur throughout sports and that there are a lot of factors that go into determining an injury. While there is an understanding that Perry Minasian has been a great communicator so far with the team, the injuries do raise some eyebrows.
“I’d like to see the Angels be a little bit more transparent with their fans. I think it’s a trust thing with the fans. I think it was handled in a sense, poorly,” said Tims when asked about the injuries of Trout and Rendon.
Missing your two biggest bats in the lineup does issue concern, and how their treatment is going is another important task. While it made sense that Trout wasn’t coming back due to where the team was positioned at the end of the season, the timeline of his injury and statements made by the team didn’t add up.
At first, the team remained hopeful to get Trout back in the 2nd half of the season. However the goalpost kept getting moved further and further until there was no more games left.
“I think there have been misdiagnosed or injuries that have got worse over time. I think the Justin Upton one was really weird because Joe (Maddon) literally gave up a layout of that day,” said Angels writer Taylor Blake Ward, when asked about whether he was shocked about the amount of injuries and specific ones.
Ward has also covered the team for many years like Jared and has built his reputation throughout the team. This question was followed up by a conversation about the Upton injury and how surprising the injury was as Upton was good to go until almost game time.
“I don’t know where the translation is getting lost or where these injuries are progressing or regressing either way. I think Joe (Maddon) has his hands tied half the time.”
This shows that clearly there is some type of miscommunication happening when it comes to a player’s health and Joe Maddon is just reporting the news he’s given. We have to understand that being a manager means receiving information on numerous players and reaching a decision on a player’s health is sometimes out of his hands. That would explain Maddon’s upbeat attitude toward a situation as information is being given from both the player and training staff that is looking after them.
So if we’re looking for a scapegoat here, Maddon isn’t the one that fans should be hollering at, but that does beg the question, where do fans vent their frustration too?
In an article written by Angels writer Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Minasian addressed the concerns of players’ overall health by stating “We’ll go through each individual injury. What was done the past offseason, who they worked with, what they did in-season, time in the weight room, time in the trainer’s room.
What their recovery was like. What their routine is. It’s going through each individual player.”
A question regarding this statement is, why wasn’t this being done before? That answer may lie between the time former Angels General Manager, Billy Eppler, was let go and when Perry Minasian was hired.
The one bright spot, other than watching Shohei Ohtani, that both Ward and Tims agreed on is that the Angels farm system looks on-pace despite the significant amount of call-ups. Both agreed that all of the players within the farm system that got a chance to prove themselves were on track to get called up, regardless of injuries on the major league club. It will be a while to see if these players like Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh, Reid Detmers, and Jansen Junk ever develop to what Angels fans expect, but that should be some light in the darkness that was the Angels season in 2021.