Playing time at the major league level has been hard to come by for Jared Walsh this season, though he’s taken advantage of some opportunities this week.
Walsh started four of the last six games at first base for the Angels, and had an extra-base hit in three straight games, including a home run on Friday. His second stint in the majors this season has been more productive than the first 10 games of the season, when he was 0-for-10 in limited duty. Though he’s still just 3-for-24 (.125/.154/.333) on the season, in limited duty.
With no minor league season, he spent four weeks at the alternate training site in Long Beach trying to stay ready.
“It’s kind of hard to have that presence of mind when you get optioned, because naturally you want to be at the big league level contributing to wins,” Walsh said on a conference call Saturday. “I’m just kind of adjusting to the role. I’m not an everyday player at this point in my career, so if I need to be a pinch hitter or defensive replacement, that’s the role I need to thrive in.
“I’m getting used to not playing on a daily basis, and approaching the game a little bit differently.”
Walsh revealed that he was late reporting to camp because of a positive COVID-19 test in the week before summer camp started and quarantined. He said by the time he reported to camp he hadn’t swung a bat for three weeks.
The Angels have used Walsh as a two-way player the last two years, including pitching in five major league games in 2019. He said pitching is on the shelf for this season.
“I had a little stuff going on in spring training, and we kind of shut it down for the year,” Walsh said. “I’m going to reassess, but I plan on preparing as a pitcher this offseason.”
Several of the Mike Trout variety:
- Maria Torres at the LA Times on home run No. 300.
- Rhett Bollinger at MLB.com on the milestone homer.
- Alden Gonzalez at ESPN on Trout’s homer.
- Joe Reedy at the Associated Press on Trout’s 300th homer.
- Video of Trout’s home run, from MLB.com.
- Photos from the record home run from the Orange County Register.
- “How could you not want Andrelton Simmons playing shortstop for you?” Joe Maddon said before Saturday’s doubleheader, about the pending free agent, writes Jeff Fletcher at the Orange County Register.