The Los Angeles Angels have done a remarkable job this season staying competitive regardless of the injuries that plague the roster. They lost Mike Trout to a Grade 2 calf strain on May 17, and are actually above .500 since, going 21-19 in that span. Meanwhile, Justin Upton caught fire as a leadoff hitter, then proceeded to be placed on the 10-day IL with a back strain.
For the Angels, there have been very few moments where the team had all of their weapons at their disposal. Luckily, Shohei Ohtani, Jared Walsh, and even bounce-backs from Anthony Rendon and David Fletcher, have allowed them to win games and stay alive in a crowded playoff race.
Luckily, it appears that there is finally something good to say about the Angels injury situation, as both Upton and Trout have made steps that signal a return to play, with the former potentially being ready as soon as this weekend, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
The Angels received some positive news on the injury front. The expectation is that outfielder Justin Upton (back) will be activated off the injured list this weekend. He’s eligible to be activated Friday, and it’s possible he returns then. Mike Trout (calf) took 50 swings off a tee Tuesday and threw at 90 feet. He also jogged on an AlterG anti-gravity treadmill.
The Angels host the Baltimore Orioles in a three-game set this weekend. It will be interesting to see if Upton’s return means him going directly back to the leadoff spot. Fletcher recently got his leadoff spot back after improving his mechanics from the No. 9 hole, giving Joe Maddon a difficult decision.
Given the way Upton was playing, it will be great to have him back in the lineup regardless of where everyone hits. In the month of June, Upton batted .338/.463/.631 while hitting four home runs and batting in 11 runs.
Trout, on the other hand, cannot be activated until at least July 17 after being placed on the 60-day IL. However, this update gives some hope that when that day comes, he’ll be ready to go. Calf strains are a tricky injury, but the Angels appear to have done a great job managing it.
Jose Suarez replacing Dylan Bundy in the rotation
Maddon made another bold move with his starting rotation — similar to switching out Jose Quintana for Patrick Sandoval — by replacing Dylan Bundy with Jose Suarez. Bundy has been struggling for some time now, while Suarez has been remarkable in a long relief role.