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News & Analysis

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Recap

Athletics survive Angels' 7 solo home runs, win 8-7

August 4, 2022, 11:59 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Ramon Laureano drove in four runs and the Oakland Athletics survived seven solo home runs by the Los Angeles Angels -- two by Shohei Ohtani -- to win 8-7 in Anaheim, Calif. on Thursday.

The teams combined for nine homers, but the Athletics got two-run bombs from Seth Brown and Laureano and also capitalized on eight walks from Angels pitching.

The Angels became the first team in MLB history to score seven or more runs in a game all on solo homers, according to STATS.

Oakland, which scored six runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth, won for the ninth time in its last 13 games in the rubber match of this three-game series. Los Angeles has lost five of seven.

Oakland starter Paul Blackburn (7-6) ended a seven-game winless drought, during which his ERA was 8.05, by surviving five innings. He gave up four runs on six hits -- five for extra bases -- and walked one. He struck out three.

In the ninth inning, Zach Jackson, the Athletics' fourth reliever, gave up Mickey Moniak's first hit with the Angels, a solo homer to right, to make it 8-7. Jackson then walked Max Stassi, and he gave way to left-hander A.J. Puk to face the lefty-hitting Ohtani.

Ohtani popped out to shortstop on the first pitch as Puk picked up his third save.

The Angels launched solo shots in each of the first four innings, by Ohtani, Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward and Jo Adell, respectively, but the Athletics bunched up their runs.

Angels rookie starter Janson Junk (1-1), who had not allowed a run in six innings in his two appearances this season, took a 2-0 lead into the top of the third but wasn't around to finish it.

The Athletics loaded the bases with one out, and Laureano tied the game when his bouncing ball hit third base and bounded into left field for a double. Sean Murphy then doubled for two more runs. Brown's long homer to right field ended Junk's day.

In 2 1/3 innings, Junk allowed six runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out two. Touki Toussaint walked two batters but got the final two outs.

After Ward's 14th homer cut the Angels' deficit to 6-3, Toussaint gave up Laureano's 12th homer of the season, which followed a bunt single by Tony Kemp, in the fourth.

Jared Walsh's solo shot in the sixth off Sam Moll pulled the Angels within 8-5, and Ohtani's second homer, this one against Kirby Snead, made it 8-6 in the seventh. It was his 24th homer and fifth multi-homer game of the season.

Ohtani had three of the Angels' nine hits, and Brown and Laureano each contributed two of Oakland's eight. Kemp scored twice.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals
Preview

Angels DH Shohei Ohtani (forearm) expects to start finale vs. A's

August 4, 2022, 7:34 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Sean Murphy was one of the Oakland A's players rumored to be on the trading block leading up to the Tuesday deadline, but the catcher is thrilled that a deal didn't come to fruition.

Murphy wants to be with the Athletics for the long term, and he will look to help Oakland win for the second straight day when it plays the Los Angeles Angels at Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday afternoon.

Murphy was the most pivotal figure in the Athletics' 3-1 victory on Wednesday. He hit a tiebreaking two-run homer off Shohei Ohtani in the sixth inning after touching the Angels ace for a run-scoring single two innings earlier.

The blast was Murphy's 13th of the season, just four shy of the career best he established last season. He is batting .245 with a team-leading 45 RBIs.

Murphy, 27, first reached the majors in 2019 and became Oakland's primary receiver during the shortened 2020 season. He has 41 homers and 126 RBIs in 277 games for the A's.

So when trade speculation surfaced, most notably involving the Cleveland Guardians, Murphy was aware his time on the east side of San Francisco Bay could be ending. However, he didn't want to play baseball at another destination.

"This is the organization that drafted me and gave me opportunities to play," Murphy said after the Wednesday victory. "I love being an A. Of course, I understand the business of it, but I'm so happy to be an A, I'm happy to be here and building something good. We're playing good baseball.

"It's a compliment to be on the block, but I'm just so happy to be here."

Oakland has won eight of its past 12 games after splitting the first two games of the current three-game set. The Athletics are 3-6 against the Angels this season.

Not only did Ohtani take the loss on Wednesday, but he also departed for pinch hitter Kurt Suzuki in the seventh inning. Interim manager Phil Nevin said Ohtani exited because of a mild cramp in his right forearm.

Nevin said he expected Ohtani to serve as the designated hitter on Thursday. Ohtani also believes he will be in the lineup.

"If I'm healthy enough to play, I want to be out there," Ohtani said through his interpreter. "It feels like I can't really afford to miss games at this point."

The Angels have lost four of their past six games and have been a major disappointment with a 44-60 record.

Mike Trout, the club's other superstar, hasn't played since July 12 due to a back injury. He is slated to start back-related exercises this week but isn't ready to start swinging a bat.

Athletics right-hander Paul Blackburn (6-6, 4.15 ERA) draws the start on Thursday, and he will be aiming to halt a seven-start winless stretch. The 28-year-old is 0-4 with an 8.05 ERA during that span.

Blackburn, who was Oakland's representative in the All-Star Game, was torched for 10 runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings by the Texas Rangers in his first start after the break. He did better on Saturday when he allowed five hits over five scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox in a no-decision.

Blackburn has a 2.38 ERA in 11 1/3 innings over two no-decisions against the Angels this season. Overall, he is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in three career starts against Los Angeles.

Ohtani is 2-for-5 with a double and two strikeouts against Blackburn.

Angels right-hander Janson Junk (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is set to make his third appearance and second start of the season. He has given up five hits and one walk while striking out nine in six innings.

Junk, 26, fanned eight in five-plus scoreless innings while beating the Kansas City Royals on July 27. He gave up four hits and one walk.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels
News

Reports: Braves acquire closer Raisel Iglesias from Angels

August 2, 2022, 11:02 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves traded for right-handed closer Raisel Iglesias on Tuesday, sending the Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jesse Chavez and left-hander Tucker Davidson, according to multiple reports.

Iglesias, 32, owns a 4.04 ERA this season with 16 saves and a 2-6 record across 39 relief appearances for the Angels. The 32-year-old struck out 48 batters over 35 2/3 innings of work.

Iglesias was in his second year with Los Angeles after spending his first six MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He has 156 saves and a 3.13 ERA in his career. He also received American League Cy Young Award votes last year, finishing 11th.

Chavez turns 39 this month. He's played for nine different MLB clubs, including the Los Angeles Angels in 2017 when he went 7-11 with a 5.35 ERA as a part-time starter. In 31 games (one start) for Atlanta this year, he had a 1-1 record and a 2.11 ERA.

Davidson, 26, was in his third season with the Braves after they selected him in the 19th round of the 2016 draft. He is 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA across four games (three starts).

The Braves are taking on the remainder of the four-year, $58 million deal Iglesias signed with the Angels in December, per reports.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
News

Phillies trade for OF Brandon Marsh, RHP David Robertson

August 2, 2022, 9:11 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies traded for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brandon Marsh and Chicago Cubs closer David Robertson on Tuesday.

The Phillies' No. 3 prospect, Double-A catcher Logan O'Hoppe, is going to the Angels in exchange for Marsh, both teams announced. Right-hander Ben Brown, the Phillies' No. 26 prospect, is headed to the Cubs.

The Phillies also designated right-hander Jeurys Familia and center fielder Odubel Herrera for assignment.

Marsh, himself a former top prospect in the Angels' organization, is just 24 years old and in his second season in the majors. Marsh is batting .226 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. He has 10 career homers in 163 total MLB games.

Marsh, a second-round pick of the Angels in 2016, played some center field in 2021 and 2022 for the Angels with Mike Trout sidelined. But he has also logged 77 games in left field this season. He's expected to take over in center field in Philadelphia.

Robertson, 37, is enjoying a renaissance campaign so far with the Cubs.

He is 3-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 14 saves in 36 appearances. He has given up just 23 hits in 40 1/3 innings and is averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He has 151 career saves with five teams -- including the Phillies in 2019. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2006 and spent nine seasons in pinstripes.

Robertson suffered an elbow injury just seven games into his tenure with the Phillies in 2019, missing the rest of that season and the entire 2020 season following Tommy John surgery.

Herrera, 30, was batting .238 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 62 games this season. He manned center in 48 games this season. He's a career .271 hitter with 78 HRs and a .745 OPS in seven seasons in Philadelphia. He made the National League All-Star team in 2016.

Familia, 32, was in his first season with the Phillies after signing a one-year, $6 million deal with the club as a free agent in March. He was 1-1 with a 6.09 ERA in 38 appearances. He has 125 career saves -- all but one with the New York Mets -- and a 3.46 ERA in 537 appearances.

Right-hander Francisco Morales and outfielder Mickey Moniak were recalled by the Phillies to fill the roster spots for Tuesday night's game.

O'Hoppe, 22, is hitting .269 with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs at Double-A Reading. He's the No. 86 prospect in all of baseball.

Brown, 22, is 3-5 with a 3.08 ERA and 105 strikeouts through 73 innings at High-A Jersey Shore. The 6-foot-6 Brown was taken in the 33rd round of the 2017 draft. He's expected to rise when the next prospect ratings are released.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
News

Former All-Star OF Matt Joyce retires after 14 seasons

August 1, 2022, 6:07 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Former All-Star outfielder Matt Joyce announced his retirement Monday after 14 seasons.

Joyce, who turns 38 on Wednesday, posted 149 home runs, 503 RBIs and 898 hits in 1,400 games with eight teams.

He has not played this season and was limited to 43 games with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2021 due to injuries.

Joyce played six seasons with his hometown Tampa Bay Rays, making the American League All-Star team in 2011.

"As a young kid growing up in Tampa, I always dreamt of playing in MLB," Joyce said in a statement. "Now after 14 big league seasons of experiencing some of the highest highs and lowest lows, I can leave the sport with my head high knowing I gave it everything I had."

Joyce was a career .242/.342/.425 hitter with the Detroit Tigers (2008), Rays (2009-14), Los Angeles Angels (2015), Pittsburgh Pirates (2016), Oakland Athletics (2017-18), Atlanta Braves (2019), Miami Marlins (2020) and Phillies.

He reached the postseason five times.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels
News

Report: Angels will not trade two-way star Shohei Ohtani

August 1, 2022, 5:45 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Post reported Monday that reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani will not be dealt after reports circulated last week that the Los Angeles Angels were at least listening to trade offers for their two-way superstar.

The trade deadline is Tuesday.

Ohtani, 28, has become a transcendent player with his abilities to hit and pitch at a high level, providing constant comparisons to Babe Ruth. Yet despite his value as two players wrapped into one, the Angels entered play Monday just 43-59 and 11 games behind in the wild-card standings.

Batting .255 in 99 games this season, with an .847 OPS, Ohtani has hit 22 home runs with 62 RBIs. He had a .965 OPS with 46 home runs and 100 RBIs in his MVP season of 2021 and is a career .262 hitter with an .881 OPS in 508 games with the Angels over five seasons. He has 115 career homers with 309 RBIs.

Reports that the Angels were at least listening to offers for Ohtani signaled a possible change in outlook for the AL club that has watched three-time MVP Mike Trout struggle with injuries the past two seasons.

The New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres were named in the report as teams that inquired about Ohtani's availability.

Ohtani currently is on the final season of a two-year $8.5 million contract, and is making $5.5 million of that this season. He remains arbitration eligible for the 2023 season and would become a free agent for the first time in 2024 in the absence of a long-term deal with the Angels.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves
News

Angels OF Mike Trout making progress with back injury

July 31, 2022, 6:52 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels star outfielder Mike Trout is making progress from a back injury that has kept him out since July 12 and will take the next step in his rehab program this week.

Speaking with reporters Sunday morning, Trout said he is set to begin rotational exercises for his back as soon as Wednesday after meeting with Dr. Robert Watkins last week. Rotational exercises are expected to lead to swinging a bat in the near future.

It is a far better prognosis than the news Wednesday when Angels trainer Mike Frostad revealed that Trout is dealing with a rare back condition called "costovertebral dysfunction." Trout responded to that news by saying the reaction to it was overblown.

"It went from my career is over to now hopefully I'm going to play here soon," Trout said with a laugh Sunday.

A three-time MVP and the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, Trout is batting .270 with 24 home runs and 54 RBIs in 79 games this season after playing just 36 games last year because of a right calf strain. He was named an All-Star Game starter this season but did not participate in the contest because of his injury.

In 1,367 games over 12 seasons, all with the Angels, Trout is a career .303 hitter with a 1.000 OPS and has 334 home runs with 867 RBIs. He is a 10-time All-Star.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
News

Angels activate RHP Jimmy Herget, option RHP Chase Silseth

July 31, 2022, 6:30 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels recalled right-hander Jimmy Herget from an injury rehab assignment, while right-hander Chase Silseth was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Herget, 28, has been out since June 21 with a shoulder injury. In 25 appearances (one start) this season, he is 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA. In four major league seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and Angels, he is 5-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 68 appearances (two starts).

Silseth, 22, gave up five runs on five hits and four walks over four innings against the Rangers in a start Saturday. The Angels eventually earned a 9-7 victory.

In his first major league season, Silseth is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA over seven starts.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals
News

Reports: Angels listening to offers for Shohei Ohtani

July 28, 2022, 8:22 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels reportedly have provided a listening ear to teams expressing interest in acquiring two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

The New York Post reported the Angels are telling teams they are willing to listen to offers involving Ohtani, this with the club residing 21 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West entering play on Thursday. With fellow superstar Mike Trout holding a no-trade clause, Ohtani has become in play -- in theory.

CBS Sports reported the New York Mets have engaged in talks with the Angels over the reigning AL MVP. Mets general manager Billy Eppler signed Ohtani while he was the GM of the Angels from 2015-20.

The Athletic reported that San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller "checked in" on Ohtani, as well as Oakland Athletics ace Frankie Montas.

Previously, MLB Network reported the Angels have no plans to trade Ohtani prior to Tuesday's deadline.

Ohtani, 28, is 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings this season. He also is batting .257 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs in 95 games this season.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves
News

Mike Trout suffers from rare back condition

July 27, 2022, 8:37 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Three-time Most Valuable Player Mike Trout has been diagnosed with a rare back condition that will likely affect him for the rest of his playing career.

Los Angeles Angels head trainer Mike Frostad said Wednesday that the 10-time All-Star has been diagnosed with a costovertebral dysfunction at his T5 vertebrae.

"This is a pretty rare condition that he has right now in his back," said Frostad, adding that Trout's doctor, world-renowned Dr. Robert Watkins III, hasn't seen a lot of cases.

"There's so many things that can aggravate it. But this doctor hasn't seen a lot of it," Frostad said.

The club placed Trout on the injured list July 18 with what they thought was ribcage inflammation. Trout pulled out of the All-Star Game and had a cortisone shot last week. Though Trout is feeling some relief from the shot, it'll be at least another week before he resumes baseball activities, Frostad said.

The team, however, has not broached the subject of shutting down Trout for the rest of the season, Frostad said.

"But long term, we do have to look at this as something that -- he has to manage it, not just through the rest of this season, but also through the rest of his career, probably," Frostad said.

Trout, 30, is batting .270 this season with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in what had been a bounce-back season for him, health-wise. The 12-year veteran participated in just 36 games last season due to a calf injury but has appeared in 79 this year.

Trout has a follow-up visit with Watkins next week.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves
News

Angels DFA INF Jonathan Villar after two-error game

July 24, 2022, 6:22 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels parted ways with veteran infielder Jonathan Villar, designating him for assignment Sunday while the club purchased the contract of outfielder Magneuris Sierra from Triple-A Salt Lake.

The Angels signed Villar to a contract July 2 after he was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs and released June 28.

Villar, a veteran of 10 major league seasons, was batting just .163 with a .451 OPS for the Angels in 13 games. He made two errors at third base in Saturday's 7-2 road loss to the Atlanta Braves.

He was batting .208 overall with a .562 OPS in 59 major league games this season.

Sierra, 26, is being called up to the Angels for the first time. He has 233 games of major league experience over five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.

Adept at all three outfield positions, Sierra was batting .297 with a .795 OPS at Salt Lake with seven home runs and 45 RBIs. He is a career .240 hitter in the major leagues with a .565 OPS, but does not have a home run in 500 at-bats.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Atlanta Braves
News

Reports: Mike Trout won’t return to Angels lineup right away

July 24, 2022, 12:47 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout is eligible to come off the injured list on Monday, but the 10-time All-Star won't make his return that day according to the team trainer, multiple outlets reported Saturday.

Head athletic trainer Mike Frostad said that the nature of Trout's cortisone injection in his back will keep the three-time MVP out a little longer, at minimum.

"We just have to take it day by day on how he's feeling," Frostad said. "The injection was done into the joint where the rib meets up with the spine. So it's kind of a difficult area to get to and he just has to let that cortisone take effect."

Frostad added that Trout is currently engaging in activities that don't involve rotation and that he'll be day-to-day.

The injury, originally called back spasms, is now being termed left rib cage inflammation.

Trout, 30, is batting .270 this season with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in what had been a bounce-back season for him, health-wise. The 12-year veteran participated in just 89 games over two seasons in 2020-21 but has appeared in 79 this year.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
News

Mike Trout to join Team USA for World Baseball Classic in March

July 18, 2022, 8:33 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Although he has been battling injuries for much of the past two seasons and is missing this week's All-Star Game with an inflamed ribcage, Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout announced Monday that he plans to be a member of Team USA next March in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

In making his first appearance in the WBC, Trout has been appointed a team captain by Team USA general manager Tony Reagins.

The event, postponed since 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic, is set for March 11-23, 2023, with Team USA participating in pool play in Phoenix and the finals set for Miami.

"I'm excited ... it means a lot," Trout said at All-Star media day. "I missed the opportunity the first time and I knew this was a chance I can't miss. It'll be fun with the team that Tony puts together ... I'll be calling some guys, for sure."

The United States won the WBC for the first time in 2017 after reaching the top four only once in the three previous tournaments, when Japan (2006 and 2009) and the Dominican Republic (2013) won the championship.

Trout previously competed for Team USA in 2010 at the Pan American Games qualifying tournament.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
News

Report: Angels claim INF Phil Gosselin off waivers

July 18, 2022, 5:47 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels claimed infielder Phil Gosselin off waivers, The Athletic reported Monday.

The Atlanta Braves designated the 33-year-old veteran for assignment on July 11.

Gosselin batted .261 with four runs in 12 games this season with Atlanta.

He played for the Angels last season, batting .261 with seven homers and 47 RBIs in 104 games.

He is a career .261 hitter with 17 homers and 101 RBIs in 475 games over 10 seasons with seven teams.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
News

Mike Trout (back) withdraws from All-Star Game

July 17, 2022, 7:44 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout won't play in the All-Star Game on Tuesday because of back spasms, and his spot on the roster will be filled by Seattle Mariners' first baseman Ty France.

Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins will replace Trout as the starter in center field.

Trout, the three-time American League Most Valuable Player, missed his fourth straight game on Saturday. The Angels had a scheduled off day on Sunday.

The 10-time All-Star left the Angels' game against the Houston Astros with the back issue last Tuesday, and the hope was he could play in the abbreviated two-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. He was scratched from starting lineup shortly before game time Saturday when his back didn't feel right as he took pregame swings.

"Smart thing was just not play," Trout said after the game Saturday, a 7-1 loss to the Dodgers. "I didn't want it to get worse."

Trout, who turns 31 next month, is expected to take part in festivities at the All-Star Game, being played in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium.

The Angels resume play after the break on Friday, beginning a six-game road trip that will take them to Atlanta and Kansas City. In all, Trout will have nine full days off before the Angels face the Braves.

On the season, Trout is hitting .270 with 24 home runs and 51 RBIs in 79 games. A calf injury limited him to just 36 games last season, and he has played as many as 140 games only once since 2016.

The Mariners' France, 28, was batting .305 with 10 homers, 18 doubles and 47 RBIs in 79 games entering play Sunday. It is his first All-Star selection.

--Field Level Media