The Los Angeles Angels turned their full attention toward the 2022 season, a move that was foreseeable after a series loss to the Oakland Athletics. Their biggest signal of this was calling up Chris Rodriguez to make his first MLB start and calling up Jo Adell to get a second chance in the big league outfield.
Part of this decision-making process was due to the injuries to Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon. Both have been out for quite a long time and do not have a set timetable for their return. This uncertainty makes it difficult to assume they’ll be back in time to help the team go on a postseason run. Instead of waiting and treading water, the Angels decided to go to their youth to prepare for next season.
That preparation involves Adell becoming a full-time outfield starter alongside Brandon Marsh, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
Joe Maddon said that Jo Adell will play and Eaton/Upton will split playing time.
So, vs RHPs
LF Adell, CF Marsh, RF Eaton
LF Upton, CF Marsh, RF Adell
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 3, 2021
Justin Upton and Adam Eaton splitting time makes sense. The two have struggled mightily this season at the plate, with Upton especially having a tough time with right-handed pitching. Meanwhile, Eaton has long had issues hitting lefties, making this the perfect platoon split.
Adell played 38 games for the Angels in the shortened 2020 season, but very clearly was not ready for MLB pitching. He slashed .161/212/.266 in that time, leading him to be optioned to Triple-A to begin the 2021 season. It was there that he really figured out his power at the plate.
In 73 games for the Salt Lake Bees this season, Adell is slashing .289/.342/.592 with 23 home runs and 69 RBI’s. He does have a tendency to strike out a bit too much, K’ing 99 times this season, but has shown improvements in walk rate since the beginning of the year.
Clearly, the Angels feel he’s done enough at the Triple-A level to warrant being the fill-in for Trout as he recovers from a Grade 2 calf strain. Tuesday, he’ll take the field for his first MLB start of the 2021 season, teamed up with Marsh in what could be a new-look Angels outfield.
Chris Rodriguez and Reid Detmers also make debuts
In the last few days, the Angels have done what fans have been clamoring for all season. They called up Reid Detmers to make his MLB debut, which was shaky but showed promise. Then, they called up Chris Rodriguez to make his first MLB start in which he exceeded all expectations. Then, they called up Adell to add to Marsh in the outfield. The youth movement is in full swing for L.A.