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  1. The Angels’ Mike Trout connects for a single during the fourth inning of Monday’s game against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Trout had a four-hit game, including a home run and a double. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) TORONTO, ON – JUNE 17: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is caught stealing second base in the fourth inning during MLB game action as Freddy Galvis #16 of the Toronto Blue Jays tags him out at Rogers Centre on June 17, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, is tagged out while trying to steal second base by Toronto Blue Jays’ Freddy Galvis during fourth-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, is tagged out while trying to steal second base by Toronto Blue Jays’ Freddy Galvis during fourth-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, right, is tagged out while trying to steal second base by Toronto Blue Jays’ Freddy Galvis during fourth-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) The Angels’ Justin Upton, right, is greeted by teammate Kole Calhoun after hitting a home run in his first at-bat of the season during the second inning of Monday’s game in Toronto. Calhoun followed with a tiebreaking homer of his own as the Angels hit four home runs (three in the second inning) in their 10-5 victory over the Blue Jays. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton celebrates in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Toronto Blue Jays’ Cavan Biggio celebrates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Luis Garcia throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) TORONTO, ON – JUNE 17: Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim turns a double play in the sixth inning during MLB game action as Cavan Biggio #8 of the Toronto Blue Jays slides into second base at Rogers Centre on June 17, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Derek Law throws against the Los Angeles Angels during first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout hits a two-run double against the Toronto Blue Jays during second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Edwin Jackson (33) looks over to the dugout after giving up a three-run home run to Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, back left, during second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) is greeted by teammate Tommy La Stella after hitting a three-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) is greeted by teammate Kole Calhoun after hitting a three-run home run during second-inning baseball game action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) Toronto Blue Jays’ Cavan Biggio, left, is greeted by teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Monday, June 17, 2019. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP) TORONTO, ON – JUNE 17: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates their victory with Justin Anderson #38 during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on June 17, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Show Caption of Expand TORONTO — On the first day of the season that the Angels’ had their three best hitters in the lineup together, they provided a tidy little demonstration of what the team had missed. Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton all homered in the Angels’ 10-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night, including Upton homering on the first pitch he saw this season. Upton, who had missed the first 72 games while recovering from a sprained toe, led off the second inning with a homer against Edwin Jackson. Upton’s homer and Ohtani’s three-run homer later in the inning were the bookends to a seven-run outburst that put the game away early. Kole Calhoun homered just after Upton, giving the Angels a 2-1 lead. Trout’s homer in the sixth inning was his 20th of the season, and seventh in his last 17 games. He became the eighth player to have eight 20-homer seasons by his age-27 season or younger. Trout also doubled home two runs and singled in his first four trips. He had a shot to get the triple he needed for the cycle in the eighth, but he singled again, settling for a four-hit game. It’s the eighth time in his career that he’s been a triple shy of the cycle. He hit for the cycle once, in 2013. Thanks to the big day for the hitters, Félix Peña could comfortably attack the strike zone as he worked deep into the game. Taking the ball in the second after Luís García had allowed a Cavan Biggio homer in the first, Peña worked six innings and allowed four runs, but the outing was better than that. He did not allow a hit for his first three innings and he didn’t give up a run through his first five innings. The Angels, who led 10-1 after six, let him keep going and he gave up two-run homers in the seventh and eighth innings. More to come on this story. Related Articles Justin Upton excited to be back in Angels’ lineup after missing 72 games Angels’ Tommy La Stella still leads in All-Star voting Angels to activate Justin Upton on Monday in Toronto Angels still come up short of .500 after road loss to Rays Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays View the full article
  2. TORONTO — On what was his Opening Day, Justin Upton said being out for so long with a sprained toe was a mental challenge. “At first, in the boot, you feel like ‘OK, I’m in a boot. I can’t do anything,’” Upton said. “Then after I got out of the boot, I feel like I was moving around good enough, but still letting the injury heal. The last six weeks have been the toughest. … I am excited to be here with the guys. It’s been rough watching them on TV but being here makes things all better.” Finally, after missing the first 72 games of the season with an injury suffered just days before the start of the season, Upton was in the lineup on Monday night, playing left field and batting fourth. After going 7 for 21 with two homers in six games of a rehab assignment at Class-A Inland Empire, he said he feels he’s as ready as he can be without actually facing big league pitchers. “Obviously you can’t simulate big league pitching but I got pretty close to that,” Upton said “My timing feels great. I feel like I should be able to make the adjustments.” Upton said he also felt like he got enough work on defense and running the bases to be at full strength. “Early on I was kind of guarding running in the outfield,” he said. “I have gotten over that. I feel like I’m moving well and everything is back to normal.” As much as the Angels were thrilled to get Upton back, it meant a tough roster decision. They designated Cesar Puello for assignment after Puello had hit .390 with three homers in 41 at-bats in the majors. He had hit .299 with seven homers and a .941 OPS at Triple-A before he was recalled. “Not an easy decision to come to,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “And it wasn’t easy to tell him. Although, he like Cody Allen, was extremely professional about it. He knew Justin Upton was coming back and a move had to be made. Obviously, we would prefer to keep him but we can’t keep everybody.” Puello performed well enough that it would not be a surprise if he is claimed by another team on waivers. If he clears waivers, the Angels can keep him in Triple-A. The Angels also could trade him if someone makes an offer that is worth passing on the chance of getting him through waivers. ALSO Andrelton Simmons was scheduled to take live batting practice on Monday. Simmons, who had a Grade 3 ankle sprain, could be headed for a rehab assignment any day and activated by this weekend in St. Louis. … Related Articles Angels’ Tommy La Stella still leads in All-Star voting Angels to activate Justin Upton on Monday in Toronto Angels still come up short of .500 after road loss to Rays Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment JC Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is scheduled for another rehab outing at Triple-A on Tuesday. Ramírez is expected to throw 90 to 100 pitches. Unless he has a setback, his rehab assignment has to end by June 29, so the Angels will need to decide what to do with him by then. He could come back as a starter or reliever. … Keynan Middleton, who is also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is throwing but still not facing hitters, Ausmus said. … Ausmus conceded that backup catcher Kevan Smith could get more playing time in front of starter Jonathan Lucroy if Smith continues to hit well and Lucroy continues to struggle. “Baseball is a performance-based game so if he ends up playing well, he probably ends up getting more playing time,” Ausmus said. UP NEXT Angels (LHP Tyler Skaggs, 5-6, 5.00) at Blue Jays (RHP Marcus Stroman, 4-8, 3.16), Tuesday, 4:07 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM View the full article
  3. Angels infielder Tommy La Stella remains atop the All-Star fan voting at second base, with less than a week to go in the first round of voting. In results released on Monday, La Stella had 1,020,912 votes, ahead of José Altuve 923,117. La Stella merely needs to be in the top three by the end of the “primary” voting on Friday at 1 p.m. PT in order to qualify for the 28-hour final vote starting June 26. Jonathan Schoop, who is in fourth, has 362,504 votes. Shohei Ohtani needs some help if he is going to make it into the top three. Ohtani is fourth among AL DH candidates, with 362,947 votes. Nelson Cruz is in third with 506,211. Mike Trout, of course, is comfortably leading all AL outfielders, with 1,904,273 votes. Trout was passed by Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger (2,184,251) for the overall lead. The fans will pick the starters via the final vote next week, and the rest of the All-Star rosters will be filled out via the players vote and selections from the commissioner’s office. Related Articles Angels to activate Justin Upton on Monday in Toronto Angels still come up short of .500 after road loss to Rays Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment Angels’ bullpen endures rough night in loss to Rays View the full article
  4. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Justin Upton, who was hurt just days before Opening Day, is finally set for his 2019 debut. Upton will be activated for the Angels game on Monday in Toronto. “It’ll be good to have him back,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “Obviously he’s been an offensive performer for a long time. It’s a big bat to add to our lineup.” Although the Angels have gotten better than expected production out of Brian Goodwin and Cesar Puello, they nonetheless rank 26th in the majors with a .706 OPS out of left field. Last year Upton had an .808 OPS, and his career OPS is .826. Upton is expected to get days off more frequently than usual, at least initially, as Ausmus tries to “ease him in a little bit,” he said. The artificial turf at Toronto’s Rogers Centre is further reason that Upton may get a day off, or be the designated hitter, during the four-game series. The Angels will have to make a difficult roster decision to create a spot for Upton. Both Goodwin and Puello have performed well, and neither can be optioned. They also could make room by moving an infielder, like Wilfredo Tovar or Luís Rengifo, but that would leave them with no one on the bench who plays second, third or shortstop. They also could option Justin Bour, but Bour has homered in each of the two games he’s played since he’s come back. Bour fits as a platoon partner with Albert Pujols at first base because he hits left-handed. The Angels are also preparing for the return of Andrelton Simmons, perhaps by the weekend. Simmons, who had a Grade 3 ankle sprain, is scheduled to face live pitching early in the week and then do a rehab assignment. Related Articles Angels still come up short of .500 after road loss to Rays Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment Angels’ bullpen endures rough night in loss to Rays Angels facing roster crunch as Justin Upton nears return A normal rehab for a Grade 3 sprain would be eight to 12 weeks, and Simmons could be back in less than five weeks. Last year he had a Grade 2 sprain from slipping on the dugout steps, and he missed just 10 days. “I don’t want to jinx him because he’s not all the way back, but it seems like two years in a row, with similar injuries, he’s come back a lot quicker than anticipated,” Ausmus said. ALSO Trevor Cahill, on the injured list because of a back problem, threw a bullpen session on Sunday and “looked good, felt good,” Ausmus said. Cahill is scheduled for another bullpen on Tuesday. The Angels haven’t decided yet if he’ll make a rehab start… The Angels became the first team since 2010 to have four straight victories by the same score. They won 5-3 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, the streak only interrupted by a 9-4 loss on Friday. The Arizona Diamondbacks had four straight 3-1 victories in 2010. UP NEXT Angels (opener, followed by RHP Félix Peña, 4-1, 4.55) at Blue Jays (RHP Edwin Jackson, 1-4, 10.22), 4:07 p.m., Fox Sports West View the full article
  5. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning gives up a home run to Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham, behind left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani hits a single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Tampa Bay Rays’ Austin Meadows, left, is tagged out at home by Los Angeles Angels catcher Mike Zunino during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning works from the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham celebrates in the dug out after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning works from the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Tampa Bay Rays Brandon Lowe, left, celebrates with the Rays Ji-Man Choi after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Los Angeles Angels Tommy La Stella heads to the. Dugout after scoring against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Tampa Bay Rays Ryne Stanek (55) works from the mound against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning waits for the ball after giving up a home run to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) Show Caption of Expand ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Angels flirtation with .500 continues. The Angels lost 6-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, failing for the seventh time to even their record since the last time they were .500. The Angels were 8-8 after a loss on April 15. Since then their record has been one-under seven times, and each time they lost the next game. Six of those have come since May 11. They are now 35-37. In order to break through this time, they would have needed to take three of four from a Rays team that has spent the season in first or second place in the tough American League East. Instead, they settled for a split, on their way to play four games in Toronto, with Justin Upton active for the first time this season. As the Angels lineup continues to get deeper, they’ll need the pitching staff to improve. Griffin Canning has been their most consistent starter since he arrived six weeks ago. Even without his best stuff on Sunday afternoon, he got through six innings and gave the Angels a chance to win. He allowed four runs, leaving with a one-run deficit. Canning gave up a homer to Brandon Lowe on a 3-and-0 pitch in the first inning. In the second, the Rays scored two more after a single by Yandy Diaz, a triple by Kevin Kiermaier and a run-scoring foul popup. Brian Goodwin helped Canning escape the third. Austin Meadows tripled and tried to score on a Tommy Pham fly ball to right, but Goodwin made the catch with his momentum going toward the plate and then unleashed a perfect throw, easily nailing Meadows. Pham then blasted a solo homer in the fifth on fastball over the inside corner, putting the Rays up 4-3. Related Articles Rookie Jose Suarez pitches Angels to victory over Rays Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment Angels’ bullpen endures rough night in loss to Rays Angels facing roster crunch as Justin Upton nears return Shohei Ohtani hits for the cycle in Angels’ victory over Rays The Angels had missed opportunities to score more throughout the game. In the first, they loaded the bases with no outs, but scored only on an Albert Pujols sacrifice fly. Cesar Puello hit into a double play. They left two on in the second, third and fifth innings. In the eighth, the Angels had runners at first and second with one out when Jonathan Lucroy hit a ball 105 mph up the middle, but it hit the mound and hopped to shortstop Joey Wendle, who started an inning-ending double play. Taylor Cole then gave up two runs in the bottom of the eighth, which proved to be critical after Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the ninth. More to come on this story. View the full article
  6. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — José Suarez is continuing to show the stuff that encouraged the Angels to bring the 21-year-old to the majors. Suarez was dominant for most of his outing in the Angels’ 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday afternoon, the team’s fourth victory in five games. Suarez gave up three runs in 5 2/3 innings, all the runs scoring on a homer by Yandy Diaz in the sixth. Suarez has allowed eight runs in 16 innings, but he’s had stretches within each game that showed how much better he could be. He needed just 64 pitches to get through the first five innings Saturday, without allowing a run. He struck out three and allowed just two singles. Leaning heavily on his changeup, Suarez sliced through the Rays hitters twice through the lineup. In the sixth, though, the Rays got their third look at him, and the results were different. Avisail García lined a solid single to left and then Tommy Pham dumped a blooper into right. Austin Meadows then hit a fly ball to the warning track in center. The ballpark barely held that one, but it couldn’t hold Diaz’s drive to right-center on a 3-and-1 changeup. The three-run homer erased much of a 4-0 lead. Relievers Cam Bedrosian, Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles made the lead hold up, a day after the bullpen had blown a four-run lead. Related Articles Angels designate reliever Cody Allen for assignment Angels’ bullpen endures rough night in loss to Rays Angels facing roster crunch as Justin Upton nears return Shohei Ohtani hits for the cycle in Angels’ victory over Rays Angels expect Andrelton Simmons back this month This time, the Angels built a four-run lead with a quick burst against Charlie Morton, the fourth game in a row the Angels took at least a four-run lead by the fifth inning. David Fletcher hit a two-run homer in the second and Justin Bour hit a solo shot in the fourth. Bour has hit homers in each of the two games he’s started since coming back from Triple-A. Kevan Smith added a solo homer in the eighth to get the Angels an insurance run after Diaz cut the lead to one. The Angels’ last four victories have all been by the same score. More to come on this story. View the full article
  7. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After Cody Allen gave up four more runs in his latest difficult outing, he said he knew if he didn’t improve the Angels were going to find someone else. About 12 hours later, they did. The Angels designated Allen for assignment Saturday morning, cutting their losses with their $8.5 million investment. Allen had a 6.26 ERA in 25 games, including allowing six runs in his last two outings. “Carrying around the numbers I’ve been carrying around for a little bit, the organization has a responsibility to put the best product on the field and I just haven’t been that,” Allen said. “There’s a lot of really, really good young arms that are waiting in the wings and that give them some versatility and production.” The Angels bullpen needed a fresh arm Saturday, and the only relievers with options were Ty Buttrey and Justin Anderson, both of whom have been more valuable this season than Allen. Taylor Cole was recalled to take Allen’s spot. “Not an easy decision,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “I know he’s not performed as well as he would have liked, but he was a tremendous teammate and a tremendous professional. It’s not easy giving good people bad news.” Allen had a stretch of 12 innings in which he’d allowed two runs, but then he gave up a pair of homers in a game last week, following by a four-run performance on Friday night. After that, Allen said: “Either I’m going to get better, or they’re going to find someone else who does. That’s the reality of the game.” The next morning, he didn’t sound surprised at the news. He said he’s been trying to rediscover his mechanics ever since he got to the Angels, continuing a process that began in the middle of last season with the Cleveland Indians. It was complicated by a back injury that cost him some time in April. “I felt like I had came out of the gates throwing the ball really, really well,” said Allen, who didn’t allow a run in his first five games. “Then, you know, went on the IL and that kind of paused things for a minute there. And then pretty much since I’ve come off the IL, it just hasn’t hasn’t been the same. But I’m extremely grateful for everything this organization has done for me in the short time that I’ve been here, you know. They’ve put forth a valiant, valiant effort, and there’s been a lot of people that have cared deeply about my success. And so that’s that’s greatly appreciated.” Ausmus said Allen “worked his tail off” to try to solve his issues, but “nothing was sticking.” Related Articles Angels’ bullpen endures rough night in loss to Rays Angels facing roster crunch as Justin Upton nears return Shohei Ohtani hits for the cycle in Angels’ victory over Rays Angels expect Andrelton Simmons back this month Dave Marshall, former Angels signee, dies less than 48 hours after his wife Allen, 30, had been one of baseball’s most consistent closers from 2014-17 with the Indians, becoming that franchise’s all-time saves leader. He struggled last season, with declining fastball velocity and a curveball that didn’t work as had in the pasts. The Indians allowed him to go and the Angels signed him in January, a move general manager Billy Eppler hoped would give them a closer to top off a bullpen with less experienced arms. Clearly, it didn’t work, and Ausmus said he wasn’t quite sure what Allen needed to fix, but he hoped that he could figure it out. “I hope he rediscovers something and is pitching somewhere else because he’s a good person and I’d like to see him continue his career,” Ausmus said. View the full article
  8. ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 14, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell delivers to the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 14, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, reacts after drawing a bases-loaded walk from Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, June 14, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Andrew Heaney pitches to a Tampa Bay Rays batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 14, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani lines a single off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 14, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout scores on a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 14, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels reacts after a bases loaded walk in the second inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 14, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels steals second in the first inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 14, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JUNE 14: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during a game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field on June 14, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Show Caption of Expand ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Angels handed their bullpen a four-run lead, and they ended up with a five-run loss. Relievers were charged with eight runs in the Angels’ 9-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, ending a three-game winning streak that had been keyed by solid work from the bullpen. The Angels scored four early runs against reigning American League Cy Young winner Blake Snell, knocking him out in the fourth, and Andrew Heaney had not allowed a run through five innings. Heaney, however, had needed 94 pitches to get that far, including 14 in the fourth after third baseman David Fletcher misplayed a potential inning-ending double play grounder. With lefty Austin Meadows due to start the sixth, Heaney came out again, and he gave up a double, ending his night. He walked off the mound after his 99th pitch, with a 4-0 lead. In came Luís García, who gave up hard-hit ground ball singles to Yandy Diaz and pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi, cutting the lead to 4-1. Two outs later, García gave up a Kevin Kiermaier hit that cut the lead to 4-2. Manager Brad Ausmus then summoned Ty Buttrey, who has been the Angels’ best reliever. Ausmus had used Buttrey to face the toughest hitters, with the game on the line, throughout the season, and he’d mostly performed well. This time, he immediately hit Guillermo Heredia with a pitch, loading the bases. Buttrey then gave up back-to-back singles to Avisail García and Tommy Pham, allowing the Rays to take a 5-4 lead. Cody Allen then let the game get out of hand in the seventh. Allen gave up a two-run homer to Choi and four total runs. After an encouraging stretch in which Allen had allowed two runs in 12 innings, he has allowed six in his last two outings while getting only three outs. Although the bullpen took the loss, some of the blame also goes to the hitters for failing to put away the Rays when they had the chance. While they scored four runs in the first five innings, they also left eight runners on base. Fletcher’s error also caused Heaney to throw extra pitches, preventing him from getting deeper into the game. More to come on this story. Related Articles Angels facing roster crunch as Justin Upton nears return Shohei Ohtani hits for the cycle in Angels’ victory over Rays Angels expect Andrelton Simmons back this month Dave Marshall, former Angels signee, dies less than 48 hours after his wife Mike Scioscia, Ken Landreaux and several college all-stars elevate local wood bat league View the full article
  9. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As Justin Upton moves closer to his return to the Angels lineup, a potential difficult decision comes closer for General Manager Billy Eppler and his staff. Both Brian Goodwin and Cesar Puello have performed well in left field in Upton’s absence. Both are also out of options. “We are obviously aware that’s on the horizon, but we haven’t made a decision,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. Goodwin and Puello both said they are trying not to think about it. “Everybody has done pretty much what they can do up to this point,” Goodwin said. “Now it’s on the team. The pressure is on the team. When you do your job to the best of your ability and you have a little success here and there, and you open up eyes, ultimately it takes the pressure off you and puts it on them. Now it’s something for them to deal with. I won’t spend any time on it.” Although Puello has performed exceptionally lately, getting plenty of playing time as the Angels have faced a string of left-handed pitchers, Goodwin still holds several advantages. The Angels had Puello in the organization when Upton was hurt just before Opening Day, and the team still felt the need to go get Goodwin instead of just handing the job to Puello, so that’s an indication of how they valued the two players. Goodwin hits left-handed and Puello hits right-handed. Goodwin, who has hit .285 with a .795 OPS, also can play center field, which makes him more useful as a fourth outfielder. Puello has hit .417 with a 1.237 OPS, although in just 36 plate appearances. The Angels are trying to see if he could have some positional versatility, by teaching him to play first base. So far he’s worked out there for five days. How quickly could he be ready to play first in a game? “I’m not going to put a time frame on it,” infield coach Mike Gallego said, “but I’ll tell you right now, half the battle of playing a position you are not comfortable with is having no fear of doing it and wanting to do it. This guy has no fear. The last four days it’s like ‘When can we go out there again?’ He definitely wants to do it and he has no fear. … It’s looked better than I was ever expecting.” Even if Puello could play first, it still doesn’t completely clear up the positional puzzle. Puello and Albert Pujols are both right-handed hitters, so so it’s unclear when Puello would play first. Justin Bour and Jared Walsh both fit better as platoon-partners with Pujols because they hit left-handed. Another alternative would be to keep both Goodwin and Puello, instead of Wilfredo Tovar. If the Angels did that, they would have only three infielders for second, third and shortstop. They played with a roster like that for a short time last month. But both David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella have been scratched just before game time because of injuries in the last week, which highlights the need for an infielder like Tovar. In any case, something is going to have to happen soon. Upton was scheduled to play nine innings for the second night in a row for Class-A Inland Empire on Friday night. He could be activated as soon as Monday, in Toronto. Without Upton, the Angels have produced a .709 OPS out of left field, which ranks 25th in the majors. As much as Goodwin and Puello have softened the blow of losing Upton, the Angels still figure to be better off with Upton. “It’s great to get him back,” Goodwin said. “He’s somebody that’s a prime piece in the organization. Getting him back, we’ll be close to getting this thing turned around.” ALSO La Stella was scratched from Friday’s lineup about an hour before first pitch because of left forearm tightness. There was no immediate word on how La Stella was hurt or how serious it is. … Related Articles Shohei Ohtani hits for the cycle in Angels’ victory over Rays Angels expect Andrelton Simmons back this month Dave Marshall, former Angels signee, dies less than 48 hours after his wife Mike Scioscia, Ken Landreaux and several college all-stars elevate local wood bat league Angels’ Kole Calhoun still improving one year into his new batting stance Trevor Cahill, who is out with a back injury, played catch for the second day in a row. He is eligible to come off the injured list, but he’s not scheduled to pitch at least through the four games in Toronto next week. … Alex Meyer, who has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery, recently had a setback and has stopped throwing again, Ausmus said. … The Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship parade will be Monday morning at 10, local time, just hours before the Angels open their series against the Blue Jays. UP NEXT Angels (LHP José Saurez, 1-1, 4.35 ERA) at Rays (RHP Charlie Morton, 8-0, 2.10 ERA), Saturday, 10:10 a.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM View the full article
  10. Jose Soriano, RHP Burlington Bees By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist We’ve hit a point in the season where it’s time to acknowledge what’s been going on with our pitching in the minors. Especially Burlington and Inland Empire. We’ll likely start seeing a couple of these guys move up to IE/Mobile within the next month or so. Last season, the Angels minor leagues saw only 13 pitchers start 20+ games – and of those, only 11 topped 100 innings. Within that group only three had an ERA below 4.00: Suarez at 3.92, Canning at 3.65, and Madero at 3.49. Eight had an ERA over 4.50, and four of those had an ERA over 6. It was not pretty. This year is shaping up to be quite different – even with Canning and Suarez having hardly thrown any minor league innings. PATRICK SANDOVAL – 6’3″, 190, LHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2015 (11th Rd.) (AA/AAA): 4.47 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, .278 BAA, 21 BB, 57 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/11 GS Dominant in Mobile (32 K in 20 IP), Sandoval has slowed some in SLC (5.18 ERA, 2.14 WHIP) but is still the Angels next-best SP prospect. LUIS MADERO – 6’3″, 185, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (A+/AA): 3.04 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .251 BAA, 17 BB, 59 K in 56.1 IP across 12 G/10 GS Madero has had no issues adjusting to AA, and could find himself working in the Angel bullpen in September. JEREMY BEASLEY – 6’3″, 215, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2017 (30th Rd.) (AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .256 BAA, 24 BB, 51 K in 54 IP across 12 G/11 GS Bulldog Beasley continues to exceed expectations. Strong GB (55%) and swinging strike (16%) tendencies, sort of like pre-2019 Cahill. Allowed 2 R or fewer in 9 of 12 games. JESUS CASTILLO – 6’3″, 205, RHP, 23 years old, signed in 2011 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (AA): 3.41 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .265 BAA, 17 BB, 51 K in 66 IP across 13 G/11 GS Currently leads the org in innings pitched, has rebounded from a poor 2018. Has allowed 2 or fewer runs in 11 of 13 appearances. ANDREW WANTZ – 6’4″, 235, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2018 (7th Rd.) (A+/AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .211 BAA, 19 BB, 64 K in 54 IP across 12 G/7 GS After posting a gaudy 47 K in 23 relief IP last year, Angels surprisingly stretched him out to a starter. He hasn’t missed a beat. K/9 near 11. DENNY BRADY – 6’1″, 200, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2017 (7th Rd.) (A+): 3.06 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 65 K in 53 IP across 12 G/7 GS As steady and consistent as a minor league arm can be, has yet to allow more than 3 R in a game. KYLE BRADISH – 6’4″, 190, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (4th Rd.) (A+): 3.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 58 K in 43.2 IP across 11 G/7 GS A little wild, a little inconsistent, but has shown flashes of straight dominance in a trio of starts: 4/23: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 5/9: 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K, 5/21: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K OLIVER ORTEGA – 6’0″, 165, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A+): 3.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .203 BAA, 33 BB, 74 K in 58 IP across 12 G/11 GS Who would have guessed Oliver Ortega would be leading the Angels org in strikeouts in mid-June? Who even knows who Oliver Ortega is? AARON HERNANDEZ – 6’1″, 170, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (3rd Rd.) (A+): 4.26 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, .279 BAA, 21 BB, 35 K in 31.2 IP across 9 G/7 GS. Yet to find a groove, but still posting decent numbers with swing-and-miss stuff, and a decent repertoire of pitches. CRISTOPHER MOLINA – 6’3″, 170, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.61 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .193 BAA, 22 BB, 65 K in 58.2 IP across 12 G/9 GS Stumbled a bit in last three games, but prior, had posted a 1.25 ERA and .167 BAA through first 9 appearances. JOSE SORIANO – 6’3″, 168, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2016 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .201 BAA, 35 BB, 70 K in 62 IP across 13 G/11 GS Not far behind Sandoval from being the Angels best SP prospect – only 2 HR allowed, a 55% GB rate, a little erratic, but big-time potential. HECTOR YAN – 5’11”, 180, LHP, 20 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.86 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .220 BAA, 26 BB, 66 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/8 GS Lots of swing-and-miss stuff could lead Yan into top-of-rotation potential, but he’ll need to work more efficiently and get a handle on the walks. Only 1 HR allowed. COLE DUENSING – 6’4″, 175, RHP, 21 years old, drafted in 2016 (6th Rd.) (A): 4.36 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .250 BAA, 33 BB, 51 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Absolutely awful in 2017-2018, with an ERA near 10.00, Duensing’s dramatic turnaround offers hope for brighter days still ahead. KYLE TYLER – 6’0″, 185, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (20th Rd.) (A): 4.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .217 BAA, 19 BB, 53 K in 54.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Another reliever converted to the rotation, Tyler throws strikes (65%) coupled with a strong GB rate (53%), quietly producing and putting himself into the mix. ROBINSON PINA – 6’4″, 180, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2017 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.22 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .193 BAA, 32 BB, 61 K in 50.1 IP across 12 G/7 GS Steady and consistent, in three pro seasons, has yet to allow an ERA over 3.68, averaging over 10 K per 9, only 7 hits per 9, and a total of 5 HR in 145.2 IP. LUIS ALVARADO – 6’4″, 210, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (17th Rd.) (A): 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .186 BAA, 22 BB, 60 K in 48 IP across 12 G/7 GS Has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in all but one game, and only 3 ER in the other. Even more exciting is that still doesn’t take into account the 2019 draftees who could ultimately join this list – Jack Kochanowicz, Erik Rivera, Garrett Stallings, Zach Peek, Davis Daniel, Zach Linginfelter – or the legitimate SP prospects who have been injured – Chris Rodriguez, James Swanda, Stiward Aquino – or the other arms who either have had enough prospect pedigree or success to still enter the picture, such as Cooper Criswell, Luke Lind, Connor Van Scoyoc, Jose Natera, Emilker Guzman, Jerryell Rivera, Kelvin Moncion, or Jason Alexander. The growth we’ve seen this year – both in terms of development and depth added – is quite frankly, staggering, and given the number of arms drafted in 2019, only likely to grow. With Eppler’s aggressive promotions, the use of multi-inning relievers. 6-man rotations, and ‘tandem’ starters, there’s a chance we see a lot of these arms start reaching the majors as soon as late 2020 or in 2021. View the full article
  11. Jose Soriano, RHP Burlington Bees By Tres Hefter, AngelsWin.com Columnist We’ve hit a point in the season where it’s time to acknowledge what’s been going on with our pitching in the minors. Especially Burlington and Inland Empire. We’ll likely start seeing a couple of these guys move up to IE/Mobile within the next month or so. Last season, the Angels minor leagues saw only 13 pitchers start 20+ games – and of those, only 11 topped 100 innings. Within that group only three had an ERA below 4.00: Suarez at 3.92, Canning at 3.65, and Madero at 3.49. Eight had an ERA over 4.50, and four of those had an ERA over 6. It was not pretty. This year is shaping up to be quite different – even with Canning and Suarez having hardly thrown any minor league innings. PATRICK SANDOVAL – 6’3″, 190, LHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2015 (11th Rd.) (AA/AAA): 4.47 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, .278 BAA, 21 BB, 57 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/11 GS Dominant in Mobile (32 K in 20 IP), Sandoval has slowed some in SLC (5.18 ERA, 2.14 WHIP) but is still the Angels next-best SP prospect. LUIS MADERO – 6’3″, 185, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (A+/AA): 3.04 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .251 BAA, 17 BB, 59 K in 56.1 IP across 12 G/10 GS Madero has had no issues adjusting to AA, and could find himself working in the Angel bullpen in September. JEREMY BEASLEY – 6’3″, 215, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2017 (30th Rd.) (AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, .256 BAA, 24 BB, 51 K in 54 IP across 12 G/11 GS Bulldog Beasley continues to exceed expectations. Strong GB (55%) and swinging strike (16%) tendencies, sort of like pre-2019 Cahill. Allowed 2 R or fewer in 9 of 12 games. JESUS CASTILLO – 6’3″, 205, RHP, 23 years old, signed in 2011 (Intl. FA), acquired by LAA via trade (AA): 3.41 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .265 BAA, 17 BB, 51 K in 66 IP across 13 G/11 GS Currently leads the org in innings pitched, has rebounded from a poor 2018. Has allowed 2 or fewer runs in 11 of 13 appearances. ANDREW WANTZ – 6’4″, 235, RHP, 23 years old, drafted in 2018 (7th Rd.) (A+/AA): 3.33 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .211 BAA, 19 BB, 64 K in 54 IP across 12 G/7 GS After posting a gaudy 47 K in 23 relief IP last year, Angels surprisingly stretched him out to a starter. He hasn’t missed a beat. K/9 near 11. DENNY BRADY – 6’1″, 200, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2017 (7th Rd.) (A+): 3.06 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 65 K in 53 IP across 12 G/7 GS As steady and consistent as a minor league arm can be, has yet to allow more than 3 R in a game. KYLE BRADISH – 6’4″, 190, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (4th Rd.) (A+): 3.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .228 BAA, 20 BB, 58 K in 43.2 IP across 11 G/7 GS A little wild, a little inconsistent, but has shown flashes of straight dominance in a trio of starts: 4/23: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 5/9: 5 IP, 7 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K, 5/21: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 K OLIVER ORTEGA – 6’0″, 165, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A+): 3.26 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .203 BAA, 33 BB, 74 K in 58 IP across 12 G/11 GS Who would have guessed Oliver Ortega would be leading the Angels org in strikeouts in mid-June? Who even knows who Oliver Ortega is? AARON HERNANDEZ – 6’1″, 170, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (3rd Rd.) (A+): 4.26 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, .279 BAA, 21 BB, 35 K in 31.2 IP across 9 G/7 GS. Yet to find a groove, but still posting decent numbers with swing-and-miss stuff, and a decent repertoire of pitches. CRISTOPHER MOLINA – 6’3″, 170, RHP, 22 years old, signed in 2013 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.61 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, .193 BAA, 22 BB, 65 K in 58.2 IP across 12 G/9 GS Stumbled a bit in last three games, but prior, had posted a 1.25 ERA and .167 BAA through first 9 appearances. JOSE SORIANO – 6’3″, 168, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2016 (Intl. FA) (A): 2.47 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, .201 BAA, 35 BB, 70 K in 62 IP across 13 G/11 GS Not far behind Sandoval from being the Angels best SP prospect – only 2 HR allowed, a 55% GB rate, a little erratic, but big-time potential. HECTOR YAN – 5’11”, 180, LHP, 20 years old, signed in 2015 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.86 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, .220 BAA, 26 BB, 66 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/8 GS Lots of swing-and-miss stuff could lead Yan into top-of-rotation potential, but he’ll need to work more efficiently and get a handle on the walks. Only 1 HR allowed. COLE DUENSING – 6’4″, 175, RHP, 21 years old, drafted in 2016 (6th Rd.) (A): 4.36 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, .250 BAA, 33 BB, 51 K in 44.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Absolutely awful in 2017-2018, with an ERA near 10.00, Duensing’s dramatic turnaround offers hope for brighter days still ahead. KYLE TYLER – 6’0″, 185, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (20th Rd.) (A): 4.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .217 BAA, 19 BB, 53 K in 54.1 IP across 12 G/9 GS Another reliever converted to the rotation, Tyler throws strikes (65%) coupled with a strong GB rate (53%), quietly producing and putting himself into the mix. ROBINSON PINA – 6’4″, 180, RHP, 20 years old, signed in 2017 (Intl. FA) (A): 3.22 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, .193 BAA, 32 BB, 61 K in 50.1 IP across 12 G/7 GS Steady and consistent, in three pro seasons, has yet to allow an ERA over 3.68, averaging over 10 K per 9, only 7 hits per 9, and a total of 5 HR in 145.2 IP. LUIS ALVARADO – 6’4″, 210, RHP, 22 years old, drafted in 2018 (17th Rd.) (A): 2.25 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, .186 BAA, 22 BB, 60 K in 48 IP across 12 G/7 GS Has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in all but one game, and only 3 ER in the other. Even more exciting is that still doesn’t take into account the 2019 draftees who could ultimately join this list – Jack Kochanowicz, Erik Rivera, Garrett Stallings, Zach Peek, Davis Daniel, Zach Linginfelter – or the legitimate SP prospects who have been injured – Chris Rodriguez, James Swanda, Stiward Aquino – or the other arms who either have had enough prospect pedigree or success to still enter the picture, such as Cooper Criswell, Luke Lind, Connor Van Scoyoc, Jose Natera, Emilker Guzman, Jerryell Rivera, Kelvin Moncion, or Jason Alexander. The growth we’ve seen this year – both in terms of development and depth added – is quite frankly, staggering, and given the number of arms drafted in 2019, only likely to grow. With Eppler’s aggressive promotions, the use of multi-inning relievers. 6-man rotations, and ‘tandem’ starters, there’s a chance we see a lot of these arms start reaching the majors as soon as late 2020 or in 2021. View the full article
  12. The Angels’ Cesar Puello reacts after getting hit with a pitch by the Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the first inning of Thursday’s game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Tyler Skaggs #45 of the Los Angeles Angels throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Ryan Yarbrough #48 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels slides in safely with a double in the third inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols watches his two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Ryan Yarbrough walks around the mound as Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, rear, runs around the bases after his two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) bows as he shakes hands with Shohei Ohtani (17), of Japan, after Pujols hit a two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates a two-run home run with Cesar Puello #48 in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches his triple off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Catching for the Rays is Mike Zunino. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, runs to first with a triple off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels is greeted by Mike Trout #27 after his three-run home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, center, is congratulated on his three-run home run by Tommy La Stella #9 and Mike Trout #27 in the first inning of a baseball game at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Luis Rengifo #4 of the Los Angeles Angels fields a ground ball in the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Members of the Los Angeles Angels, including Mike Trout #27 and Albert Pujols #5 talks after the power went out in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JUNE 13: Members of the Los Angeles Angels, including Mike Trout #27 and Kole Calhoun #56 talk with security after power went out in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 13, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) Tampa Bay Rays first base coach Ozzie Timmons (30) and left fielder Guillermo Heredia sit outside the dugout after a power failure during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. A power substation in downtown St. Petersburg was struck by lightning. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs flips the ball to first in time to get Tampa Bay Rays’ Travis d’Arnaud out during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17), of Japan, connects for a single off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Hunter Wood to complete the cycle during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, hits a three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, lines a single off Tampa Bay Rays’ Hunter Wood to complete the cycle, during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani bats against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, of Japan, celebrates with first base coach Jesus Feliciano after his single off Tampa Bay Rays’ Hunter Wood, completing the cycle during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17), of Japan, celebrates with teammates in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, June 13, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Ohtani hit for the cycle in the game. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Show Caption of Expand ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shohei Ohtani made history on Thursday night. Ohtani became the first Japanese-born player in major league history to hit for the cycle, accomplishing the feat in the Angels’ 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. Ohtani hit a three-run homer in the first, a double in the third, a triple in the fifth and a single in the seventh, becoming the first Angel since Mike Trout in 2013 to hit for the cycle. In all, he provided four of the Angels’ six hits as they won their third straight game. Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer, which was also a milestone. He became the sixth player ever to have 200 homers with multiple teams. Tyler Skaggs picked up the victory, allowing three runs in five innings, with his outing interrupted by a 36-minute power outage in the fourth inning. Noé Ramírez followed Skaggs to the mound and pitched 2-2/3 scoreless innings. Justin Anderson finished the eighth and Cam Bedrosian worked the ninth, allowing the Angels to rest Ty Buttrey and Hansel Robles for another day after they each handled heavy workloads on Monday and Tuesday. Related Articles Angels expect Andrelton Simmons back this month Mike Scioscia, Ken Landreaux and several college all-stars elevate local wood bat league Angels’ Kole Calhoun still improving one year into his new batting stance Angels strike quickly and hang on to complete 2-game sweep of Dodgers Justin Bour returns to Angels after successful stint at Triple-A The bullpen’s work ensured that Ohtani’s big day would come in a victory. In the first inning, Ohtani got the Angels on the board with a three-run homer that barely cleared the fence in left-center. He drove a double into the gap in left-center in the third inning. Then he yanked a triple into the right field corner in the fifth, getting the three toughest pieces of the cycle out of the way in his first three trips. He also had all three against left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. When Ohtani came to the plate in the seventh, he was facing right-hander Hunter Wood. The Rays were playing an extreme shift against Ohtani, even with no strikes giving him a bunt single down the third base line if he chose to take it. Ohtani swung away and laced a 3-and-2 pitch into shallow center, completing his cycle. Besides Ohtani and Trout, five other Angels have hit for the cycle. Jim Fregosi did it twice. It was the first cycle of Ohtani’s career, including his five years in Japan. More to come on this story. Box score View the full article
  13. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrelton Simmons seems to be headed back to the Angels’ lineup faster than expected. Manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday that he expected Simmons to be back sometime in June, which would be only five or six weeks after suffering a Grade 3 left ankle sprain. The Angels never publicly gave a timeframe for Simmons, but that type of injury normally requires eight to 12 weeks to heal. It is possible that Simmons’ injury all along was not as severe as a typical Grade 3 sprain, many of which require surgery. Simmons has been running, taking ground balls and taking batting practice. Ausmus said Simmons is expected to face some live pitching early next week, although not yet as part of a rehab assignment. The Angels are likely to get Justin Upton back even sooner. Upton had 14 plate appearances in the first four games of his rehab assignment at Class-A Inland Empire. He was expected to play again on Thursday night. Ausmus said Upton could be activated when the Angels are in Toronto for a four-game series starting on Monday. After missing Shohei Ohtani for more than a month, Upton for more than two months and Simmons for more than a month, the Angels could have all three back by the end of June. “It’d be nice to get the band together,” Ausmus said. “I don’t want to say back together because they haven’t really been together. But it’d be nice to get them together. We’ve had some guys step up a little bit in the interim. Brian Goodwin has done a nice job, we had (Cesar) Puello come up and he’s done a nice job. There’s been contributors who have helped but it’d be nice to get the regular nine or eight back together.” RAMIREZ UPDATE JC Ramírez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw 84 pitches at Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night and reported feeling good, Ausmus said. Ausmus said the Angels still haven’t decided if Ramírez will come back as a starter or reliever. Ramírez is out of options, so the longest the Angels can keep him in the minors is June 29, which is when he will have used up all 30 days of his rehab assignment. So far, Ramírez has allowed 10 earned runs in 10-2/3 innings in his three rehab games. Keynan Middleton, who is also rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is throwing off a mound but still hasn’t faced hitters. Although he’s significantly behind Ramirez now, it will take him less time to get ready once he’s in games, because he is a reliever. ALSO David Fletcher was a late scratch because of continued trouble with his left shoulder. Fletcher has not started since Friday, although he went in for defense on Tuesday night. … Related Articles Mike Scioscia, Ken Landreaux and several college all-stars elevate local wood bat league Angels’ Kole Calhoun still improving one year into his new batting stance Angels strike quickly and hang on to complete 2-game sweep of Dodgers Justin Bour returns to Angels after successful stint at Triple-A Angels rally past Dodgers for Freeway Series victory before record crowd Ausmus said the Angels will be closely monitoring the workload for young pitchers Griffin Canning and José Suarez, although they have no firm innings limits for either. Canning has already thrown 60-1/3 innings this season, between Triple-A and the majors, which is more than halfway to his total of 113-1/3 from last year. Suarez, who missed the start of the season with a shoulder problem, has only thrown 33-1/3 innings, compared to his career-high of 117 last year. “We are extremely aware of their innings,” Ausmus said. “No one has told me, ‘We don’t want them going over this number,’ but we’re going to be practical about it.” … Trevor Cahill played catch on Thursday after taking four days off to rest his sore back. … Ausmus said Shohei Ohtani is “getting close” to being ready to throw off a mound, perhaps within a matter of weeks. It is not expected to affect his availability as a hitter. UP NEXT Angels (LHP Andrew Heaney, 0-1, 5.40) at Rays (LHP Blake Snell, 4-5, 3.50), Friday, 4 p.m., Fox Sports West, 830 AM View the full article
  14. Dave Marshall, the popular parking czar for big events in downtown Long Beach and a former major league baseball player, loved life — but he loved his wife, Carol, even more. “Dave just adored Carol,” Tom Marcoux, Marshall’s boss at the Long Beach Convention Center, said Thursday, June 13. “She meant everything to him. He would brag about how upbeat and positive she was despite her illness.” Carol, you see, suffered from multiple sclerosis for many years. But Dave was always by her side. Recently, however, the disease got worse and Carol, who was hospitalized at St. Mary Medical Center, said she wanted to live under hospice care — “at home with my Dave.” So she returned to their home, in Lakewood, and was placed in a hospital bed, right next to Dave’s hospital bed. He had health issues of his own: a congenital heart condition and injuries from an accident while driving his familiar golf cart downtown last summer. At 9:55 p.m. on June 4, Carol, 82, died peacefully at home with Dave at her side. Dave’s son, Dave, Jr., flew down from his home in Livermore the next day to comfort his father. He was 76. But then something stunning and unexpected happened. At 8:50 p.m. June 6 — less than 48 hours after his wife died — Dave joined Carol. They married on Nov. 12, 1994; they remained together in life for 25 years. They were now together in death. “I think he may have died of a broken heart,” said Charlie Beirne, general manager at the Convention Center. “He really loved her and, at the end of a work day, he would say, ‘I’ve got to go home and see Mrs. Marshall.” Beirne said he called Marshall the weekend before Carol died to check on him. His response: “I’m doing good. I’m home with Carol.” Dave Marshall shakes hands with the great Willie Mays after hitting a home run off of legendary St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson in 1968, the so-called Year of the Pitcher. (Courtesy photo.)Marshall was born Jan. 14, 1943, in Artesia, but grew up in Lakewood, where he became an all-star baseball player at Lakewood High School. He was so good, in fact, that he is in the Lakewood High Hall of Fame and the Long Beach Century Club Hall of Fame. When he was 20, he signed with the Angels, but he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, which hampered him for the rest of his major league career. He was a part-time outfielder and pinch-hitter for three seasons with the San Francisco Giants, three with the New York Mets and one with the San Diego Padres. He had modest numbers: 1,049 games, 258 hits, 41 doubles, 4 triples, 16 home runs, 114 runs batted in. In an interview with Doug Krikorian, former sports columnist for the Press-Telegram, in 2010, Marshall had a what-if moment, wondering how he would have done if he had not suffered the shoulder injury. “I just know I had the skills to be special, I think, but I’ll never know,” he said. “I’m just grateful to do as much as I was able to with the injury.” Still, Marshall had some great moments in the major leagues. One was playing in the same outfield with the great Willie Mays. “What an honor that was,” he told Krikorian. “When I grew up, Willie Mays was like a God-like figure to all of us young baseball players. And here I played with him.” One of Marshall’s proudest possessions was a photograph of him crossing home plate after hitting a home run, as a San Francisco Giant, off St. Louis Cardinals pitching great Bob Gibson in 1968 and being greeted by Mays, who shook his hand. He autographed that photo for Tom Marcoux, who has it in his office at the Convention Center. Marshall, an avid storyteller, also enjoyed talking about how Gibson promptly hit him in the head and ribs in his next two plate appearances. Marshall retired from baseball in 1974 and for the next decade, he was involved in ownership in three New York restaurant bars, on Manhattan — Marshall’s, Oasis and Rascal’s. He returned to Southern California in 1984 and oversaw security for Joe Prevratil, then the Queen Mary operator. Then, he moved on to St. Mary’s, where he also worked security. That’s where he met a woman named Carol, who was doing administrative work for the hospital. They married in 1994. Marshall’s son, from a previous relationship, was best man at his father’s wedding aboard the Queen Mary. The son said Carol, who was his stepmother, was the best thing that happened to his dad. “She was so loving and wonderful,” he said. “He was a good man, but she made him a better man.” In 2002, Marshall started working for the SMG organization, which runs the Convention Center. He worked as the parking manager and quickly became known for his friendly, outgoing personality. “He was one of the good guys,” said Jim Michaelian, president of the Long Beach Grand Prix Association. “He always had a positive attitude and worked hard to get things done. “He contributed a lot to the city,” Michaelian added. “I enjoyed working with him.” Marshall also was chair of the city’s Parking and Traffic Management Organization, which included partners like the Convention Center, Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Aquarium of the Pacific. The organization coordinated parking for major events downtown. “Dave became the unofficial mayor of downtown,” said Tom Marcoux. “He knew everybody and talked to everybody. If you were walking your dog downtown, he’d stop and talk to you.” Marshall was a familiar sight driving around downtown in his orange electric golf cart. But he had a mishap in that golf cart last summer. “He hit a pothole or something and fractured his skull and broke some bones,” his son said. “My dad and Carol had a rough time this year with each going in and out of the hospital with their illnesses.” As sad as their deaths are, the son said, he was glad to see them free from physical pain. “They are in a better place, and they are together,” he said. “They are happy together and that’s the best thing.” Survivors include Marshall’s son, Dave Marshall, and daughter, Aimee Gardner; and Carol’s son from a former marriage, Robert Wells, and daughter, Sherri Wells, and six grandchildren. A celebration of life is being planned. Sign up for The Localist, our daily email newsletter with handpicked stories relevant to where you live. Subscribe here. View the full article
  15. The OC Riptide’s Devin Sutorius, left, celebrates with catcher Connor Aoki after finishing an inning during their California Collegiate League game against the Santa Barbara Foresters on Wednesday at Great Park in Irvine. Now in its 27th year, the CCL, which includes teams in Irvine, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Compton, offers players from all over the country MLB-caliber coaching and competitive playing experience in front of pro scouts. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Carson Matthews, left, tags out Santa Barbara ForestersÕ Eric Kennedy trying to steal second base during a California Collegiate League game at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds The OC Riptide’s Andre Antone prepares for his at bat during a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Blake Evans, right, rounds the bases during a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Devin Sutorius delivers a pitch during a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Connor Aube, right, celebrates with teammates after finishing up an inning during a California Collegiate League game Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Devin Sutorius, left, and Connor Aoki get ready for the game in a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Blake Evans takes a lead during a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Marrick Crouse, left, shares laugher with the dugout before a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Devin Sutorius, right, waves at the kids in attendance during a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Connor Aube checks his bat before a California Collegiate League game against Santa Barbara Foresters at Great Park in Irvine on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) The OC Riptide’s Blake Evans waits on a pitch during a California Collegiate League game against the Santa Barbara Foresters during Wednesday’s game at Great Park in Irvine. Now in its 27th year, the CCL, which includes teams in Irvine, Pasadena, Thousand Oaks and Compton, offers players from all over the country MLB-caliber coaching and competitive playing experience in front of pro scouts. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer) Show Caption of Expand The first time Mike Scioscia laid eyes on C.J. Cron was not in 2014, when Cron debuted with the Angels, or when Cron signed his first professional contract after the 2011 draft, or even at a pre-draft workout. It was in Thousand Oaks in the summer of 2009, when the San Luis Obispo Blues played the Conejo Oaks. “You could see he could swing the bat,” Scioscia recalled Wednesday. These days, Scioscia stays clear of the dugout. That is Dave Soliz’s territory. But if you happen past Sparky Anderson Field on the campus of California Lutheran University in the early afternoon, you might find Scioscia between the lines doing what he loves: teaching young men the game of baseball. Hit up the Urban Youth Academy field in Compton and you will find Ken Landreaux, another member of the Dodgers’ 1981 championship team. He’ll be in the dugout. Landreaux is the manager of the Academy Barons, a rival of Scioscia’s Oaks in the California Collegiate League. If the initials CCL aren’t familiar to you, they should be. California’s oldest amateur wood-bat league fired up its 27th season this month. Its nine teams are comprised of college players from around the country. Some, such as Texas Tech pitcher Micah Dallas, haven’t had a chance to join their CCL teams yet because they’re still playing in the College World Series. The talent level is high, the tickets are cheap, and the seasons bridge a two-month gap in the baseball calendar when many college players retreat home for the summer. Still, you might wonder why two former major leaguers are toiling in relative anonymity, lending their time and talents to teams whose crowds number in the dozens on a good day. “It’s the level,” said Pat Burns, the CCL’s commissioner. “What we’re trying to do is get college all-star players. So if you’re a Division I college baseball player, you’re a very good, elite baseball player. … The fact that those players are hungry to train for a professional career, and we are that level that introduces wood bats and flat-seam baseballs, they’re treated well, the competition is solid day in and day out, they’re able to focus on their development – that is attractive to people who know the game like Mike Scioscia and Ken Landreaux. “The players are hungry to get better, and that’s fun to be around if you’re on the field coaching.” This is the thread that unites summer wood-bat leagues around the country. Burns estimates there are close to 40. Maybe you’ve heard of the Cape Cod League, a proving ground for future major leaguers whose history dates to 1885. If that’s the gold standard, the California League falls somewhere short of silver; how near it stands to the podium depends on who you ask. Some players will spend one summer in the CCL and the next in the Cape, or the Northwoods League, or the Alaska Baseball League. Take the example of the Fletcher brothers, David and Dominic. David, an infielder for the Angels, played in the Alaska Baseball League after his senior year at Cypress High. He played in the Cape Cod League after his freshman year at Loyola Marymount, then was drafted by the Angels as a sophomore. Dominic played for the CCL’s OC Riptide, which plays its home games at Great Park in Irvine, after his freshman year at the University of Arkansas. He played for Team USA after his sophomore year, then was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the 75th overall pick in last week’s amateur draft. “He could’ve gone to play in the Cape,” David Fletcher said of his brother. “But he wanted to stay home, work on lifting and getting stronger.” Many of the CCL’s rosters are filled with locally born and raised players. That helps with attendance – a network of family and friends can make for a good crowd – but not every player wants to spend his summer at home. That’s why out-of-state players, such as Dallas, often find their way to the CCL. “I think it’s good to go out of state and play in summer ball,” Fletcher said. “It was good. It was my first time really away from home, the Alaska League, for like 2½ months. You play every day with wood bats. It gets you ready for pro ball a little bit.” Throw in the allure of competitive playing experience, MLB-caliber coaching, professional scouts in attendance, and a televised All-Star Game, and the CCL has plenty to offer a player. For Scioscia, Burns, and others involved with league operations, the challenges are many. Major League Baseball provides the league with a grant in the tens of thousands of dollars. In exchange for MLB’s support, the teams are run as registered nonprofits, with the fruits of their fundraising efforts poured back into everyday expenses. Travel is the big one. Charter buses transport players to and from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Thousand Oaks, Pasadena, Compton and Irvine in the south. Four Northern California teams compete in their own division. A champion is crowned in August. The Conejo Oaks won the title last year. “We’re getting rings on Saturday,” Scioscia said. “It’ll be cool.” Related Articles Willians Astudillo, the Twins’ talented ‘turtle,’ is making contact look cool again Safety first, fashion second: why more hitters than ever are wearing extended ear flaps Scioscia, who lives in Thousand Oaks, said he’s been involved with his local CCL team for about 10 years. He was able to take a more active role late last year, after his final season managing the Angels. He was able to facilitate the hire of Soliz, the brother of former Angels bullpen coach Steve Soliz. Cody Ramer, who recently retired as a player after spending two years in the Angels’ system, is an assistant coach. Scioscia also recruited college pitcher Peyton Ebel, the nephew of Dino Ebel, the longtime Angel (and current Dodger) third base coach. In a crowded field of college summer leagues, the CCL must fight to stand out. It trails the gate receipts of the Northwoods League, with teams based in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, whose crowds number in the thousands. It lacks the history of Cape Cod. The Oregon-based West Coast League features TrackMan devices in several of its ballparks – a valuable evaluation tool for scouts and coaches alike. The CCL parks, gleaming at a glance, do not. Yet the CCL does not lack for star power. It counts Cron, Fletcher and Kris Bryant among its alumni. Tyger Pederson, the brother of Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson, managed the Riptide before graduating to a coaching position in the Cardinals’ organization. The league oozes with the passion of those yearning to move up in the baseball world, led by some who have reached the game’s highest peak. “That’s the bottom line: giving these kids the experience, the ability to improve,” Scioscia said. “Every opportunity we’ve had, we have kids out on the field at 1 o’clock doing early work – much like you would see in the minor leagues, even in the majors.” View the full article