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Slumping Jo Adell sits for Angels

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Angels rookie out of lineup Tuesday after 0-for-20 skid

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images

For the first time in 12 games against a left-handed starting pitcher since his call-up, Jo Adell isn’t in the starting lineup for the Angels in Tuesday’s series opener against the Diamondbacks.

Adell’s last hit was 11 days ago, going 0-for-20 in his last six games, with 10 strikeouts.

“We have to win right now, so quite frankly, I’ll probably just go with the hotter hand,” manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call. “All of our guys understand it’s going to be a meritocracy around here. You play better, you play. That’s it.”

Angels-D-backs lineups

Pos D-backs Pos Angels
Pos D-backs Pos Angels
2B Rojas (L) 2B Fletcher
DH Smith (L) 1B Walsh (L)
1B Walker CF Trout
RF Calhoun (L) 3B Rendon
3B Escobar (S) DH Pujols
LF Peralta (L) LF Upton
SS Ahmed C Stassi
CF Varsho (L) RF Ward
C Kelly SS Simmons

Taylor Ward gets the start in right field, with southpaw Madison Bumgarner on the mound Tuesday for Arizona.

It’s been a rough first major league stint for Adell, who’s hitting just .159/.215/.265. Among the 253 major league players with at least 100 plate appearances in 2020, Adell ranks 252nd in wRC+ (31), 251st in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, 248th in batting average, and has the second-worst strikeout rate (40.5%).

In a normal season, Adell almost assuredly would have been optioned so he could get consistent at-bats in Triple-A, but with no minor league season this year the only other option is taking at-bats in simulated situations against his own teammates at the alternate training site at Long Beach State.

It’s not the best year for development.

“A couple years ago, I heard the greatest line ever from Frank Howard: ‘The best teacher of baseball is nine innings,’” Maddon said. “[Adell] needs a bunch more nine innings. That’s the best way to describe it. He’ll make adjustments. He’s really smart, he’s got a good feel, and he listens.

“He’s the kind of guy you just have to be patient with, and it’s as simple as that. He needs nine innings as often as you can.”