After being selected to his first All-Star Game in 2021, Jared Walsh wasn’t able to replicate that success with the Los Angeles Angels this past season.
The 29-year-old hit just .215/.269/.374 with 18 doubles, 15 home runs, 44 RBI in 454 plate appearances across 118 games. He especially struggled against left-handed pitching, batting .200/.254/.336 in 118 opportunities.
Walsh has fared better against southpaws this spring as he is 3-for-7. He’s hitting an overall .367/.472/.567 with three doubles, one home run and four RBI in 12 Cactus League games.
Angels manager Phil Nevin wouldn’t commit to Walsh playing every day but the skipper is confident he will put up better numbers against left-handed pitching this season, per Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group:
“I think he’s capable of hitting (lefties),” Nevin said. “We’re going to put our best lineup out each day that gives us the best chance to win. If we feel the matchup is right for Jared to face those guys then he will. We certainly have an abundance of right-handed hitters that have a history and a track record of being very successful against lefties.”
Walsh also believes he will improve against southpaws this year:
“I’m just going to get squared away against any pitcher, and get to the lefty thing,” he said. “I work regularly on angle flips against righties and lefties. I think if I stay through the ball more against lefties, there will be more hits in there.”
If the Angels stick with a platoon at first base, Brandon Drury and Gio Urshela are among the candidates who could start against left-handed pitching. Drury and Urshela have respective career on-base plus sluggings of .770 and .764 against southpaws.
Phil Nevin: ‘Difficult decision’ naming 6th starter for Angels rotation
To maximize Shohei Ohtani’s effectiveness this season, the Angels are planning to utilize a six-man starting rotation. Among the candidates still in the running for the final spot are Jaime Barría, Griffin Canning, Tucker Davidson and Chase Silseth.
Nevin recently said the decision to name a sixth starter will be difficult and that whoever emerges won’t take the mound until April 12.
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