Sunday was a busy transactional day for the Angels, but so has just about every other day in a busy week of roster moves, some bigger than others.
Before the Angels’ series finale against the Dodgers in Anaheim, they activated reliever Tony Watson off the injured list after missing 10 days with a strained left calf, after reliever Felix Peña was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday night.
Starter Alex Cobb was placed on the injured list Saturday with blisters in his right hand. On Sunday, José Suarez was recalled and could potentially start Monday in what would have been Cobb’s spot, though manager Joe Maddon wasn’t ready to announce that before Sunday’s game.
Suarez has struggled mightily in his brief big league stints, sporting a 7.99 ERA in 83... innings over the last two seasons, including allowing 10 runs while recording five outs in his two starts in 2020.
“He needs to be able to slow moments down and process the moment, self awareness,” Maddon said of the 23-year-old lefty. “We could talk about his changeup, his curve, his fastball command all we want. But his ability to really focus on the task at hand and stay right there, that’s going to be the big thing regarding his success.”
Those weren’t the only roster moves on Sunday. The Angels also lost catcher Jack Kruger to waivers, claimed by the Rangers. This was two days after Texas traded catcher Drew Butera to the Angels for cash considerations, and Butera started two of the three Freeway Series games this weekend.
A simple look at the last two Sunday lineups shows the turnover of the last week:
- Third baseman Anthony Rendon was placed on the IL on Wednesday after fouling a ball off his left knee, his second stint on the injured list in 2021.
- First baseman Albert Pujols was stunningly designated for assignment on Thursday, a messy end to his decade-long Angels tenure.
- Catcher Max Stassi went on the IL with a concussion on Thursday, which necessitated the move for Butera.
That’s three regulars out. One is gone for good, but the other two should be back relatively soon. But that weren’t the only moves of the week.
Emerging reliever Chris Rodriguez was also placed on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation, James Hoyt was optioned, Ben Rowen was designated for assignment then sent outright to Triple-A Salt Lake. All pitched for the Angels at least once in the last week.
Despite the turmoil and turnover, the Angels managed to win two of three games against the Dodgers over the weekend, snapping a five-game losing streak in the process.
Jose Quintana was wild again in his four-plus innings, walking five, but also struck out six and limited the Dodgers to a single run on Sunday. Aaron Slegers, Alex Claudio, Watson, Mike Mayers, and Raisel Iglesias combined to allow only two hits in five scoreless frames to close out the win.
The Angels hit the road next, with a six-game trip to Houston and Boston next, with Monday’s starter against the Astros still TBD.