The Los Angeles Angels have played decent baseball through the early parts of the regular season, and sitting near the top of the American League West standings, manager Phil Nevin has managed them to a 19-16 start entering play on May 8.
With a bit of shuffling around the middle infield prior to calling up rookie Zach Neto, he’s been given the majority of starts at shortstop. Luis Rengifo and Brandon Drury have alternated starts at second base and Anthony Rendon is locked in at third.
Drury has been a key contributor with his bat becoming a weapon in the Angels’ offense, but first basemen have posted a combined wRC+ of 90, which ranks 21st in all of Major League Baseball. They are sorely missing the firepower from Jared Walsh, and according to Doug Padilla of The O.C. Register, he’s moving closer to a return:
“He came in today feeling really good and we had a good conversation,” Nevin said. “There are some hurdles that he has to go over in the next few days early next week and I think we can start discussing a little bit of a timetable when we get to that point.”
The unfortunate part of Walsh’s recovery is that his status isn’t related to the shoulder injury that he dealt with last season, but rather the insomnia and persistent headaches which sparked up near the end of Spring Training. Because there wasn’t a clear line plan to combat those issues, Walsh and the Angels have been on a wait-and-see timeline.
Another positive sign is Walsh has done nothing but improve since his initial diagnosis and at the very least they’ll have a clearer picture in the coming days.
Outlook for Jared Walsh when he returns to the Angels
Walsh underwent surgery to address his thoracic outlet syndrome following the 2022 season, but if Spring Training stats were anything of value, his .400/.512/.686 slash across 35 at-bats with two homers and six RBI were definite indicators he’s recovered from the shoulder.
Nevin would certainly ease Walsh into the mix, but his left-handed bat would lengthen the lineup and provide protection to the bevy of right-handers in the batting order.
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