Earlier in the season, Jared Walsh provided much of what he gave the Los Angeles Angels the prior two years, a consistent left-handed bat with considerable power, but unfortunately, his production has cooled off amidst a prolonged slump.
Walsh got a hot start following the All-Star break by posting a 175 wRC+ in his first five games, but since then he has fallen flat. Since June 27, he has a wRC+ of six and is just 3-for-32 in his prior eight games.
Without Mike Trout to lengthen the lineup, a few guys in the Angels lineup are being pitched differently, and Walsh is the unfortunate beneficiary of some difficult times which has caused manager Phil Nevin to lower him in the batting order, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“He’s scuffling,” Nevin said. “It’s definitely not going to stay that way. It’s just a temporary thing to take a little pressure off for a day with the way the matchup is today.”
On the season, Walsh hasn’t been terrible, but this stretch of games is highlighting what is just a below-average year. His 90 wRC+ and 29% strikeout rate is even more difficult to deal with given he’s posted a walk rate of just 5.2%, leading to a .277 on-base percentage.
Nevin believed that much of Walsh’s issues came from his lack of aggressiveness at the plate and was perhaps being too passive when taking fastballs during at-bats, that changed worked for a bit until it didn’t.
Angels set home run record in loss to Oakland Athletics
Thursday afternoon’s matchup with the Oakland Athletics was the perfect opportunity for the Angels to secure their first home series win since June. At home against one of the worst teams in baseball, the recipe for success was blatantly obvious.
Instead, the Angels not only walked away with a series loss, but they did so in grand fashion, making MLB history in the process. Over the course of nine innings, the Angels hit seven solo home runs. Two from Shohei Ohtani, and one each from Kurt Suzuki, Jo Adell, Jared Walsh, Taylor Ward, and even Mickey Moniak.