Jared Walsh has been dealing with shoulder problems for a few years, but the Los Angeles Angels first baseman, now out for the season, will have time to rest and prepare for 2023.
Being placed on the injured list on Aug. 25 ended his season, but the good news is that there is a plan for Walsh’s return to the field after a down year. The 29-year-old endured a difficult season from both a statistical standpoint and the mental side as well.
Walsh altered a few of his mechanics to try and find a fix to what plagued him at the plate, but nothing seemed to stick. In 118 games he slashed .215/.269/.374 for the Angels, and overall he posted a -0.6 WAR in that span.
Hitting coach Jeremy Reed and the Angels are optimistic about the outlook for their first baseman as they turn their focus on him to next season, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
I love Walshy. He’s such a gamer. He doesn’t complain. He goes out there and plays as hard as he can every day. But obviously, there were things hindering him from being the player that he’s capable of being. But with that said, he went out there every day and kept fighting and kept fighting because there was a time when it was tough to find what the problem was. Now we’re at a point where they found what it is. With him getting the procedure done, it’s going to help him be back to 100 percent. And we’ll see the Walsh that we saw last year.
There isn’t much to say about Walsh other than he tried to play through thoracic outlet syndrome and compete at a high level, two things that are exclusively difficult, but together are a recipe for what his season turned out to be.
Walsh is a former All-Star and with the correct rest and rehab, plus a successful procedure, has the talent to be a piece to the Angels’ future.
Mike Ford benefitting from subtle changes
The Angels called up Mike Ford from Triple-A as a reinforcement bat after putting Walsh on the 60-day injured list.
Ford 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 home run on the season, Ford launched two against his former club, the New York Yankees, which helped the Angels in a win this past week.
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