The Los Angeles Angels just got finished with a relatively easy four-game set against the Texas Rangers. The Halos have done a remarkable job beating up on MLB’s basement-dwellers this season, but now have to turn their attention to a much more difficult task. This weekend, they’ll face the L.A. Dodgers, and perhaps no one is more excited than Joe Maddon.
The Dodgers are fielding one of the most talented lineups the sport of baseball has ever seen. It will be quite a task for Patrick Sandoval, Jaime Barria, and Reid Detmers making his second career start. However, this is specifically why Maddon is so excited. Not only does he get to manage in a National League park, he’ll get to watch three young Angels pitchers go out and face their toughest assignment in the Majors.
Maddon spoke about Sandoval, Barria, and Detmers being the starters, saying that it’s going to be an exciting look to what’s ahead for this up and coming Angels team, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“I’m excited,” Maddon said. “I really am. This could be a glimpse into the future. All three are very talented. They’re gonna face a good lineup in circumstances that they’re not used to, which I like too. The plus side, obviously, is that if we come through that really well, confidence can really soar. And that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
On the other side, Maddon was much more worried about his offense, as they’ll lose the designated hitter spot usually taken by MVP frontrunner Shohei Ohtani.
“That, to me, is going to be more problematic,” Maddon said. “I really anticipate our young pitchers to pitch well.”
This series could serve as a great test for the young Angels, who have yet to see a team quite like the Dodgers. This weekend also figures to be the Dodgers first time at full strength in a very long time, as they could add Trae Turner to their lineup as soon as Saturday.
For Sandoval, Barria, and Detmers, they just need to go out and pitch the way they’ve done all season. Detmers could not have a tougher assignment for a bounce-back after his shaky debut, but perhaps being thrown into the fire like this will be helpful for the rookie pitcher.
Jared Walsh could be activated
It’s unclear exactly what his status is, but All-Star first baseman Jared Walsh is eligible to be activated starting Friday. Maddon has not stated one way or another if he’ll be ready, meaning the series opener is unlikely for him. Look to Saturday or Sunday as potential days for him to re-enter the lineup.