Right fielder Dexter Fowler was brought in to provide a steady, veteran presence at a position that the Los Angeles Angels severely lacked in options. In five games, he had already helped the Angels immensely with his situational batting and solid fielding.
However, he had to leave their game early on Friday after landing awkwardly on second base trying to make an offensive play. He was removed from the game via a cart, but was ruled out with a knee contusion at the time. The following day, he was placed on the 10-day Injured List with a knee sprain after manager Joe Maddon said he wouldn’t need it.
Now, the news keeps getting worse, as he has been ruled out for the season with a torn ACL, via Angels PR:
MEDICAL UPDATE: An MRI on Dexter Fowler’s left knee yesterday revealed a torn ACL. Surgery will be performed at a later date. Recovery time for the outfielder is expected to be 6-9 months.
— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) April 11, 2021
This is a huge disappointment for both the Angels and Fowler. For Fowler, coming to Anaheim was a chance to prove he still has something left in the tank while playing for a team that needed a player of his caliber. At 35, it may be hard to get more chances in the big leagues after a torn ACL.
For the Angels, they now have to search for other options in right field. After recalling Jaime Barria on Saturday when Fowler was placed on the 10-day IL, the Angels are left with just three true outfielders in Mike Trout, Justin Upton, and Juan Lagares.
Jared Walsh and Jose Rojas will likely also have to spend some games in left or right field while the Angels search for other various contingency plans.
Maddon says Angels are evaluating options
With Fowler now out for the rest of the season, Maddon and the Angels will have to find a legitimate back-up option. Maddon gave some quick thoughts shortly after Fowler’s diagnosis, according to Jack Harris of The L.A. Times:
#Angels manager Joe Maddon said "for the near future, we’ve chosen to go with Rojas and Lagares" (with potentially a little bit of Walsh too) to take over in right field
Long term, he said they'll evaluate other options, including the guys currently at the alternate site https://t.co/bTpQjoBLDT
— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) April 11, 2021