The Los Angeles Angels have been playing stellar baseball to begin the 2021 season, winning seven of their first 11 games thanks to some incredible performances at the plate and on the mound. However, this hasn’t come without issues, as the Angels team that is about to finish their six-game road trip looks somewhat different from the group that started it.
When the Angels flew to Dunedin, Florida to face the Toronto Blue Jays, only Felix Pena and Franklin Barreto were on the injured list, and they had been placed there before the season. Then, the health of the roster took some big hits over the course of just a few games.
It started with Dexter Fowler tearing his ACL, an injury that will force him to miss the entirety of the season. Then, Anthony Rendon was placed on the 10-day injured list due to a groin issue. He wasn’t alone for long, as both Max Stassi and Juan Lagares joined him there shortly after.
Joe Maddon did not seem too concerned about Stassi’s injury, but thinks it will be potentially two weeks before he’s back in the lineup, according to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“It’s one of those things where he got hit by a foul tip and as a catcher, I’ve had the same injury and it gets the point where you can hardly put your finger in the glove,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Hopefully, it’s maybe 10 days to two weeks. But you never know.”
As for Lagares, Maddon felt it was the best decision to put him on the 10-day IL as a precautionary measure due to some calf tightness.
“He ran around a little and he felt better, but not to the point where we feel comfortable about him not hurting it more,” Maddon said.
In just the span of four games, the Angels had to use the entirety of their taxi squad, including Jon Jay and Jack Mayfield starting as the No. 8 and No. 9 batter in the lineup on Tuesday. A team that appeared to have significant depth at the beginning of the season is now hanging on by a thread.
Despite all of this, the Angels have a chance to take a 2-1 series win from the Kansas City Royals and the Blue Jays, finishing 4-2 on the road trip. All things considered, the Angels will have to look at that as a win.
Shohei Ohtani still working through blister
While Ohtani is playing extremely productive baseball at the plate, he has not pitched since April 4 because of a blister. Maddon and the Angels continue to say the blister will not be a long-term issue, but he has already missed one scheduled start and could miss another this upcoming weekend.