After dropping three of four over the weekend against the Oakland A’s, the Angels enter tonight’s matchup against the Texas Rangers seven games back of the A’s for the second wild-card spot.
All hope is not lost with two months left in the regular season, plus the Angels have fared well against the Rangers so far this season. The Angels are 5-3 in eight head-to-head matchups, with a 2-1 record at Globe Life Field. The Halos offense has manufactured 45 runs against the Rangers pitching staff, who enters the game 11th in the American League in ERA (4.71).
With Shohei Ohtani slated to pitch early in the Rangers series prior to getting hit in the right thumb last Wednesday night against the Rockies, Manager Joe Maddon has played a juggling act with the rotation and tabbed right-hander Chris Rodriguez for his first major league start.
Rodriguez, who began the year as part of the Angels bullpen, appeared in 13 games going 2-0 with a 3.66 ERA. After a tough return from the IL (Right Shoulder Inflammation), he was sent to Double-A Rocket City on June 21. In five starts, he spun a 4.26 ERA in 12.2 innings before a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on July 22. Briefly as a Bee, Rodriguez appeared in three games (two starts) totaling a 0-1 record with a 5.87 ERA in 7.2 innings.
Maddon had this to say about Rodriguez being recalled to the big leagues today:
Joe Maddon confirms Chris Rodriguez will make his first MLB start tonight for the #Angels— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) August 2, 2021
“Just another opportunity for another pitcher for us. We’ve been talking about this for a bit. Perry thought he was ready to do it.”
Texas will counter with fellow righty Dane Dunning who enters the game 4-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 19 starts. The 26-year-old has faced the Angels on two occasions already this year (April 28 & May 26), falling in defeat in both starts. He has combined to allow 11 earned runs and 13 hits in nine innings. Dunning finished July with his best stats of the season going 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA across 20 innings in four starts.
Catcher Max Stassi continues to deliver at the dish as he enters tonight batting .417 with 3 HR, 7 RBI over the past week. In addition, he is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, which is his personal best for 2021.
Outfielder Jo Adell, getting the call up just moments ago, spent all of 2021 thus far at Triple-A Salt Lake, tearing up the Triple-A West division batting .289 with 23 home runs and 69 runs batted in. Even after struggling during the 2020 pandemic season at the big league level, the Angels organization has shown plenty of faith in the team’s young core led by Adell, who now joins Brandon Marsh, Reid Detmers and the aforementioned Chris Rodriguez under the bright lights.
The #Angels have made the following roster moves:— Angels PR (@LAAngelsPR) August 2, 2021
•Recalled RHP Chris Rodriguez and OF Jo Adell from Triple-A Salt Lake
Following yesterday’s game, INF Matt Thaiss and INF Kean Wong were optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake
Angels News & Notes
- Shohei Ohtani named July AL Player of the Month - This is the second consecutive month Ohtani has been awarded this honored [23 Games, .282 AVG, 9 HR, 19 RBI & 1.067 OPS]
- Raisel Iglesias named July AL Reliever of the Month [13 Appearances, 1.93 ERA, 7 SV, 19 K, .176 BAA]
- Mike Trout (Right Calf) & Anthony Rendon (Left Hamstring) did not make the trip with the team to Texas as they are each still in a holding pattern with their respective rehab programs
- Maddon announced Jose Suarez will start tomorrow, with Wednesday & Thursday still TBD. Ohtani may be an option depending on how he feels after his bullpen session this afternoon