Los Angeles Angels outfielder Taylor Ward is in the recovery process, now that he’s a bit over a month removed from being hit in the face by a sinker from Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah.
The errant pitch that caused three fractures in his face left him with a long road to regaining himself. But the initial moment halted a resurgent stretch for Ward, who was in the midst of his best run of play since the early parts of the season.
Manoah however, was in the middle of trying to find his 2022 self on the mound, and this pitch was as unfortunate of an instance that can happen on a baseball field. His next step was to connect with Ward and check on his well-being, something he made sure to do, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
Waiting for him was a text from Manoah. The pitcher had lingered outside the training room so he could apologize before Ward was taken to the hospital. Now he was reaching out again. Ward made it clear that there were no hard feelings.
“I don’t know how it will affect him,” he said. “Everyone is going to have a different way of getting past this. I hope he can, and I wish him the best moving forward.”
Ward had three plate inserted in his face on Aug. 5, and regular tasks won’t be the same until he goes through the proper rehab process. Time is his biggest ally, but for the baseball fan and caring teammate he is, having to watch his Angels teammates endure a gut-wrenching end to the year is brutal.
The Angels could have certainly used the stability and versatility Ward brings to a lineup, but looking ahead to next year is a bright spot that will be their reality.
Angels seeing a different Luis Rengifo
Since Aug. 22, Rengifo has posted a 234 wRC+ with a .439/.469/.789 slash. His strikeout rate plummeted to a miniscule 12.5%, while clubbing five home runs, 14 RBI, with 9 runs scored.
In that span he’s logged time at shortstop, second base, right field and center field. His expanded role in manager Phil Nevin’s offense is a continuation of many things the Angels saw in 2022.
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