Thaiss starts in left field for the Angels on Wednesday night, the first time the 2016 first-round pick will have played in the outfield as a professional.
In Tuesday’s series opener, Thaiss played second base for the first time as a pro after playing only at first and third base previously. It was a rough debut, with a two-run error in the fourth inning.
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Angels manager Joe Maddon said the plan was for Thaiss to start again at second base on Wednesday, but with Justin Upton out of the lineup Thaiss was shifted to left field.
Upton was hit by two pitches on his left hand in Tuesday’s game, suffering a contusion. X-rays were negative, and he’s day to day.
As for Thaiss, he took extra time in the outfield at the alternate training site at Long Beach, in addition to his work in the infield. He was recalled by the Angels on Tuesday for his second major league stint this year.
“The more positions Matt can play, the longer his major league career can be,” manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call Wednesday. “He’s capable of doing it, he’s got a skillset that plays at a variety of positions, and the makeup to deal with it.
“Is going to be perfect today? I have no idea. But I know in the long haul, the more opportunity we give this guy, the more we’re going to find out. My bet would be on him becoming a very good Major League Baseball player.”
The Rangers made a roster move before the middle game of the series, placing outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on the injured list with a right hand sprain that he suffered Monday in Seattle. Choo didn’t play in Tuesday’s series opener.
Rougned Odor was activated from the injured list and is starting at second base Wednesday night for the Rangers, batting sixth.
Time: 5:05 p.m. PT
TV: Fox Sports West