What can the Angels realistically expect from Jared Walsh this season?

Jun 5, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) hits
Jun 5, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Los Angeles Angels first baseman Jared Walsh (20) hits / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Walsh was one of the Los Angeles Angels players I was really excited about heading into the 2022 season. He was coming off a year where he slashed .277/.340/.509 with 29 home runs and 98 RBI.

Walsh was a big reason the Angels felt comfortable enough to release Albert Pujols and looked like the first baseman of the future.

Unfortunately, Walsh had a miserable season in 2022 and now there are questions about him and his future.

What can Angels fans expect from Jared Walsh in 2023?

It's important to pay attention to the surgery Walsh had. He underwent thoracic outlet surgery which is much more common for pitchers. Star pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey underwent the procedure. Both never really looked the same after and both had trouble staying healthy.

For position players, this injury is much less common. Mike Zunino underwent the same procedure and missed much of the 2022 campaign

Because of the lack of knowledge about how position players bounce back from this injury, predicting how Walsh would react to it is hard to do. However, I'm confident he'll be just fine.

This injury was nagging Walsh for much of the season and he tried to play through it. He was actually pretty decent in the first three months of the season, slashing .260/.303/.462 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI.

From July 1 until he was shut down in late August, he slashed .133/.207/.213 with just two home runs and four RBI. He struck out 55 times in 150 at-bats while managing just 20 hits.

The Angels should look to ease Walsh back in a platoon role. They should sign a right-handed first baseman who can hit lefties well. Walsh has always struggled against southpaws so letting him play against the pitchers he does better against will help his confidence and increase his production.

I think Walsh will bounce back from his horrific 2022 now that he should be pain-free. He's expected to be ready for Spring Training, so we shall see how he looks.

Next. 3 outfielders not named Aaron Judge that the Angels can sign. dark