Baseball

2021 Los Angeles Angels: Bitten By Injury Bug, Solid Start

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The 2021 Los Angeles Angels have come out of the starting gate at 7-3 with their most recent win being a 10-3 victory on the road over the Kansas City Royals. 

They’ve run into some injury trouble though with Dexter Fowler gone for the season with a torn left ACL while 3rd Baseman Anthony Rendon will also be on the 10-day IL because of a strained groin. Shohei Ohtani has also seen one of his pitching starts delayed due to blisters on one of his fingers.

Max Stassi was removed from Monday’s game with a left thumb irritation. There has not been an update on his status as of yet.

2021 Los Angeles Angels: Fowler and Rendon Provide Veteran Leadership

Joe Maddon has always been a Dexter Fowler fan so much that when the Angels acquired him in the off-season many thought GM Perry Minasian was crazy to do so. 

Dig a little deeper into both of their past and you realize that Maddon knows what he had in Fowler. Maddon and Fowler won the World Series Together in 2016 with the Chicago Cubs. Maddon knows he is a veteran bat with an extensive resume of experience, something the 2021 Los Angeles Angels could really use in their quest to make the post-season for the first time since 2014.

Couple that with the fact the St. Louis Cardinals ate $12.75 million of his salary and it was a deal that really made sense.

Fowler is expected to need six to nine months to recover after surgery.

What’s Next For Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell

The 2021 Los Angeles Angels will now also have to look at how they plan to deploy someone in his place, particularly Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh.

Jo Adell is someone who the Angels are high but he struggled in the big leagues in 2020 during the COVID shortened season. He was optioned by the Angels during spring training and is now at the alternate site. He had a horrible 161/.212/.266 slash line last year. With limited time in the minors before 2020, the plan looks to be to get him much-needed seasoning. 

Marsh is someone who was also optioned to the minors in spring training. The 23-year-old is a promising outfield prospect who hasn’t played above Double-A. Marsh was hurt in spring training as well and that hampered the team from getting a look at him. 2021 Los Angeles Angels Manager Joe Maddon said he was looking forward to seeing what he could do in the big leagues and this may be his shot.

With Rendon Out Who Do the Angels Turn To?

Jose Rojas took the hot corner in Monday’s game against the Royals. Rojas was the 28-year-old player who was born in Anaheim and made the team out of spring training causing an emotional stir amongst fans.

He was hitless in eight at-bats in the first nine games and wouldn’t have cracked the lineup likely if Rendon hadn’t gotten hurt. Utility infielder Jack Mayfield was also called up by the Angels. 

The injury to Rendon likely won’t cause any long-term damage but if it extends beyond the 10 days, the Angels will feel it. The batting order to start the season lined up David Fletcher, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Rendon, and Jared Walsh.

Positive Signs for Angels to Start the Season

For all the injuries for the 2021 Los Angeles Angels, they do have a lot of positives to show for their 7-3 record. They are currently first in the American League West and while it is very early, many of their stars including Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout have been very good.

Ohtani is challenged by blisters as we know but his time at the plate has been very productive. He is batting .333 and has seven extra-base hits (three homers, three doubles, two triples) with 11 RBI and 11 strikeouts. One of those homers included a 451-foot blast that came during his first start on the mound last Sunday.

Mike Trout is hitting .394 with four home runs, eight RBIs, and nine runs. His on-base percentage is .545, and his OPS 1.394. Those are stellar numbers for one of the best players in baseball.

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Ben has been closely following sports since the late 1980s and began writing about them in the 90s. Armed with a BA, an associate certificate, and a diploma, he brings a highly educated perspective to sports betting. Specializing in hockey, baseball, and tech, Ben has contributed many outlets and is a frequent contributor to the CKNW radio station.