The Los Angeles Angels placed Jared Walsh on the 60-day injured list on Aug. 25, officially ending the season for their primary first baseman, but in doing so, they selected the contract of 30-year-old Mike Ford as a reinforcement bat.
He spent time with the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, and Atlanta Braves prior to his stop with the Angels. In 50 at-bats prior to his call-up on Aug. 25, Ford posted a .150 batting average and a 65 wRC+ across 50 plate appearances.
Without a single home run on the season, Ford has since logged two against the club he spent the majority of his big league career with, the New York Yankees. His success is a great sign, and a product of some work with minor league coaches, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
Ford said Triple-A hitting coach Brian Betancourth had one video session with him and they discovered something.
“He showed me one thing in my setup, and I was like ‘Man, I had been worried about so many other things, from so many other teams, I kind of overlooked that,’” Ford said. “It feels real comfortable.”
His home run on Monday in the bottom of the fourth inning to notch the score at 2-2 was his first long ball since the Yankees traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
“You definitely get pulled in different directions,” said Ford. “Everyone’s good at certain things, and you just try to pick people’s brains and take what you can use for your swing, with your philosophy of hitting. Take little pieces from everywhere. At some point, you do have to get back to being yourself.”
Entering Wednesday’s game, Ford is 8-for-24 in an Angels uniform and he’s since brought an approach with something to prove and perhaps a new sense of confidence after his most recent ‘find’ with Betancourth regarding his approach in the box.
Mike Mayers mistakes halt winning streak
Mike Mayers got a second chance in the Angels’ starting rotation after going toe to toe with Shane McClanahan in his first start of the season. But he was unable to replicate those results on Tuesday against the Yankees.
Mayers pitched 4.0 innings, allowing seven runs — five earned — on eight hits and two walks. He gave up home runs to Andrew Benintendi (solo), Anthony Rizzo (solo), and Aaron Judge, a three-run shot and No. 51 for the MVP hopeful on the season.
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