In a season riddled with injuries, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward is just the latest Angel to be placed on the IL.
Ward was hit in the face by an Alek Manoah pitch and immediately left the game. Ward did not play on Sunday after being placed on the 10-day IL and he was just transferred to the 60-day IL after the Angels acquired Randal Grichuk and C.J. Cron.
There're 62 days left in the regular season, so that's pretty much ruled out. He can maybe return if the Angels make the postseason, but that appears to be unlikely. This is a big blow to the Halos.
Taylor Ward's season is likely over after being placed on 60-day IL
Ward's season has been an interesting one. He came into it with monstrous expectations following his breakout campaign in 2022, and started it on a strong note. He had a terrific spring, and looked great for the first 11 games. He had an .871 OPS in those games and was playing a terrific left field as well. He then fell into a very prolonged slump.
In Ward's next 40 games, he slashed .192/.260/.262 with two home runs and 11 RBI. He was doing almost nothing for over a month while primarily hitting leadoff in front of Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Ward wasn't hitting for power and wasn't drawing walks, two things he excelled at last season.
In the 46 games he played following that slump, Ward slashed .288/.377/.541 with ten home runs and 30 RBI. He had been walking more and hitting for much more power. He had a 1.047 OPS in 20 July games. That's the Ward we were expecting heading into the season.
Now, his season has come to an abrupt halt and likely finish. The Angels were struggling offensively, but Ward was arguably their most productive hitter not named Shohei Ohtani.
Thankfully Perry Minasian acted fast and landed Grichuk, who figures to replace Ward in the outfield. This is a brutal injury not only for Ward who had been on fire for almost two months, but for the Angels who have needed every bit of his bat. Now Ward joins the large list of Angels who are currently hurt, while Grichuk looks to pick up where Ward left off.