On Sunday the Los Angeles Angels announced that right fielder Dexter Fowler was officially lost for the season with a torn ACL. Initially, it was thought that Fowler sprained his knee after he fell awkwardly last Friday in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Angels have to be hoping that Jay can help hold down the fort as they deal with injuries across their outfield. Juan Lagares was placed on the 10-day DL, and Black Knight Justin Upton has been dealing with back stiffness.
He was thrust into action against the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night, going 1-for-4 in a 3-2 loss that dropped the Angels to 7-4.
Even when they have been healthy, Fowler, Lagares, and Upton had been struggling. The trio has combined for a .190 batting average, with only 12 hits in 63 at-bats, and produced just eight runs and six RBI with 19 strikeouts.
With that in mind and Jay’s limitations, the Angels may have to look deeper into their talent pool to keep their offense going.
Angels fans are already clamoring for Jo Adell. Adell filled in last season for Los Angeles but wasn’t ready for the big leagues just yet. His batting average hovered below .200 and more than 44 percent of his at-bats ended in strikeouts.
There were also moments like this, where Adell turned the momentum of games singlehandedly. If Real Deal Akil Baddoo can make the leap from Class A Ball to starting centerfielder for the Detroit Tigers, then Adell (who has a similar skillset) is ready to rock out as well.
In the first game of the @Angels' doubleheader, Jo Adell robbed a HR, hit a HR, and had the #walkoff hit.
This spring, manager Joe Maddon spoke highly of Adell’s development before sending him to AAA for more seasoning.
“I think he’s made a lot of progress actually,” Maddon said. “At the plate, his swing is so much shorter, his strides so much more under control. Because his foot is getting down sooner, the bat’s not moving around and wrapping as much. He looks so much better on defense, he’s been working really hard.”
The Angels haven’t been in a rush to promote Adell, their highest-rated prospect since Mike Trout, but his timetable may be accelerated if the club can’t get some consistent production from its bench.
“He just needs to play baseball,” Maddon said. “He needs nine innings of baseball on a consistent basis. He needs to take all the stuff he’s learned and put it into a game. That’s the next step for him. Because I have a lot of faith in him and I like what he’s doing. He needs to play and doesn’t need to be on anybody’s bench right now.”
Keep an eye out, because Jo Adell could be getting those innings very soon. The Angels have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Before exploding for 14 hits and seven runs on Saturday night, the Padres offense had been underwhelming.
The absence of Fernando Tatis Jr., for more than one-third of the schedule is a big reason, but that doesn’t explain why a team with so much talent struggled to scratch out only 30 runs over the eight games played prior to Saturday’s breakout.
If they’re going to unseat the Boys in Blue 121 miles up I-5, the Padres have to be able to put crooked digits on the board. LA is second in the NL in runs scored and San Diego likely won’t have a 1.73 team ERA come September.
A big problem for San Diego has been the play of centerfielder Tommy Pham. Playing in all nine games so far, he ranks last or next to last on the team in batting average, on base percentage, runs, hits, and RBIs. He hit into two key double plays on Saturday
Let’s put it like this…He’s neither batting nor pulling his weight right now.
The solution to the Padres’ woes may be a 19-year old who doesn’t have 50 minor league games to his name yet.
Currently working at San Diego’s Alternate Training Site, CJ Abrams is one of the top prospects in baseball for a reason. He came into the season ranked ahead of rookie standout Ke’Bryan Hayes by MLB.com because of his “elite blend of athleticism, speed, and pure hitting ability.”
In 32 games of rookie league ball in 2019, he batted a mere .401 with 23 extra-base hits while grabbing 14 stolen bases. After spending the 2020 season at the alternate site, he showed up and showed out during Spring Training; outplaying some of the veterans who made the Opening Day roster.
“Playing against the higher level, you’re obviously going to get better faster,” Abrams said this Spring. “It’s just a lot of fun playing against good competition.”
Check. Check. Check.
Though he was drafted as a shortstop, Abrams has spent time at second base and in the outfield. With his ability to cover ground, his strong arm, and solid veterans surrounding him, it shouldn’t take long for CJ to make the adjustment.
“We think he’s a shortstop,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “The development of that — what we believe is that shortstops can play other positions.”
So, it already appears that San Diego has some alternate plans for Abrams. With Tatis locked in for the next 14 years, it’s not likely that there will be a hole at short anytime soon.
But there is one in centerfield, right now. If it gets too much larger, CJ Abrams could be a full-time big league bro very soon.
MLBbro.com reporter David Grubb had an in-depth conversation with one of the very best broadcasters in the business, Seattle Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Sims.
If Sims were a ballplayer (and he was up to a point) he’d be described as a “five-tool” practitioner of his profession. He’s done everything from print to radio and television, covering some of the biggest events across the sports world.
..the play-by-play color palette remains essentially the same all across baseball, the lead voices who narrate the game remain almost entirely white and male, devoid of both racial and gender diversity.
And for the past 15 seasons, the Philly kid, who started as a Daily News sportswriter and elevated to a 68-year-old preeminent play-by-play talent, has been one of the few exceptions as the voice of the Seattle Mariners
Part I of their discussion covers Sims’ inspirations and career path in broadcasting, including the challenges. He also provides some insight for aspiring broadcasters and journalists.
In Part II, Sims breaks down the Mariners, including its exciting core of young, Black talent. Finally, he remembers some of his favorite moments on the mic.
After seven years with the Houston Astros, a six-year, $150M contract lured Springer (2017 World Series MVP) to the AL East. Springer’s debut was delayed due to aGrade 2 oblique strainthat put him on the IL to start the season, though the Jays expect him to join the lineup any day now.
George Springer is “doing really well,” per Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo.
Next step in Springer's recovery from an oblique strain is taking live batting practice on Tuesday. He's eligible to come off IL on Thursday.
He remains one of the most productive hitters in the game too. During last season’s shortened schedule, Springer finished in the American League’s top ten in home runs, runs batted in, and runs scored.
We mentioned Toronto’s baby-booming infield, but Springer also has some outfield mates who can cause damage. He’s a seamless fit in an outfield that returns Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez, and Randal Grichuk. The trio combined to bat .289 with 39 homers, 102 RBI, and scored 99 times.
Springer is excited to be joining the Blue Jays young core, he and Semien will be the only players over 30 years old in the regular rotation.
The Astros lost 92 games in Springer’s first year in the majors. Surrounded by another collection of rising stars, he was holding a World Series trophy three seasons later.
He sees something familiar with Toronto.
"I think the young core is very, VERY impressive! Bichette, Biggio, Guerrero, Gurriel…" – George Springer 👀 pic.twitter.com/y8ESk9ehzN
If Toronto is getting the Semien that played all 162 games for the Oakland A’s while batting .285 with 33 home runs, 92 RBI, 123 runs scored, and an .892 OPS, the Blue Jays could have one of the elite offensive middle infields in all of baseball.
Last season was more of a struggle for the 30-year-old, some of which has to be attributed to the disjointed nature of the COVID-inflicted season. He did get better as the season went along, raising his OBP by 28 percent and his OPS by 23 percent from July to September and still finishing with a positive WAR figure.
If Toronto is to reach its potential, Marcus Semien and George Springer should be major catalysts.
For a Blue Jays franchise that hasn’t been to the World Series in almost 30 years, and that spent nearly $200 million in free agency, they have to be.