The Los Angeles Angels claimed Steven Duggar following his release from the Texas Rangers on Aug. 7 and activated him to the big league roster on Monday.
Duggar’s latest stop with the Angels marks his third club of a 2022 season that has been marred with injury. His time with the San Francisco Giants as early as last year was incredibly productive for the 28-year-old outfielder, who made his mark as a reliable platoon bat against righties and for his defense.
After struggling with the Giants early this season, Duggar was traded to the Rangers in late June but spent the last few weeks with the Round Rock Express in the Rangers minor league system.
Aside from the obvious numbers that tell the tale of his on-field drop in performance, Duggar is aware that his year has been a perfect storm of issues, via Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register:
“It’s been a rough one for me to say the least,” said Duggar, who has hit .189 with a .487 OPS this season, including his time with the Giants before the injury. “I don’t think it’s any secret that I haven’t really played that well since coming back from injury but I think that’s a big part of it. The oblique happened at a really unfortunate time.”
Oblique injuries in baseball are one of the trickiest to gauge considering most of the motions involve twisting and high-torque-based movements, so it’s easy to see how a snowball effect can occur with a player who’s experienced even the slightest oblique injury.
Duggar is a few months removed from his initial injury, and he’s continued to improve physically and with time he hopes his body will match up with his mechanics and timing to get him on the right track.
“There’s never a good time for an injury but I think the 60-day put me back quite a bit. It’s kind of lingered, just in terms of how it feels. I think just trying to get back into the swing of things has proven a little difficult, but I think I’ve made some progress over the last few days.”
On the season Duggar has a 39 wRC+ in 21 games, but after posting a 107 wRC+ in 2021, he is assuredly better than his 2022 numbers.
Fellow Angels teammate, Mike Mayers, understands the waivers process
Mike Mayers made his return to the Los Angeles Angels on August 6 after spending over two months with Triple-A Salt Lake. Mayers was designated for assignment back in May, but went unclaimed on waivers, landing him with the Bees.
He spent that time re-working some of his pitches and adding to his repertoire in the hopes that he could re-capture some of the magic from his elite 2020 season. He had a 5.40 ERA in his first 16.2 innings this season and was on a sharp decline since the pandemic-shortened campaign.
But on Saturday, Mayers looked like his old self, but with a new slate of off-speed pitches. He added a curveball and changeup to his arsenal and tossed 3.1 shutout innings in which he allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out four batters.
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