When the Los Angeles Angels Opening Day roster was released, it was surprising to see Jake Lamb as part of the 26-man mix. Lamb signed a minor league deal with the team over the offseason and hadn't been effective at the big league level since 2017 with Arizona.
With Jared Walsh on the IL, the Angels needed a natural first baseman. Guys like Gio Urshela and Brandon Drury are capable, but Lamb is a first baseman even if he isn't the best defender in the world.
After a slow start, Lamb has come up with some key hits of late including a game-tying pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning in St. Louis in the game the Angels eventually won on a Mike Trout home run. To say Lamb being sent down was surprising would be an understatement, but after a deeper dive, it does make sense.
LA Angels make right call sending Jake Lamb down
The Angels sent Lamb down to the minors with no corresponding move. Could that move be Trey Cabbage? Could David Fletcher make his return? Maybe even Mickey Moniak? I'm not sure who the Angels will promote, but it seems this was all about sending Lamb down.
Doing it now instead of even two days later is outlined in Jeff Fletcher's tweet. The Angels are able to send him down without putting him through waivers where 29 other teams can claim him. The Angels are able to keep their depth and not DFA him. This is something they'd have to do very soon anyway as Jared Walsh approaches his return.
For now, the Angels will bring someone in to replace Lamb for the short term. I'd like to see Cabbage come up and get a couple of starts to see what he can do. He certainly deserves it the way he's played in the minors.
Lamb wasn't playing much anyway, and the Angels preserve their depth. When Jared Walsh comes back, Lamb would've been gone anyway. Now we wait and see what the corresponding move is.