ARLINGTON, Texas — The Angels are clearly shifting their focus toward the future.
Just over an hour after Manager Joe Maddon announced that pitcher Chris Rodriguez would be making his first big league start for the Angels on Monday night, outfielder Jo Adell walked into the Angels’ clubhouse for his return to the big leagues.
Adell arrived too late to be in the starting lineup, but his promotion to the big leagues is nonetheless a watershed moment.
Maddon said after the game that Adell will play, splitting his time between right field and left field, with Adam Eaton and Justin Upton now splitting time. That likely means Adell in left and Eaton in right against right-handed pitchers, and Upton in left and Adell in right against left-handed pitchers. Brandon Marsh is expected to remain in center until Mike Trout returns.
Adell, 21, was considered one of the top prospects in all of baseball before his disappointing debut season in 2020. He hit .161 with a .478 OPS and demonstrated clear defensive issues, most memorably a four-base error at the very ballpark where he returned on Monday.
His game showed enough holes that the Angels acquired veterans to move ahead of him on the depth chart. They had him start the 2021 season back at Triple-A.
Adell hit .292 with 23 home runs and a .943 OPS this season at Salt Lake. He struck out 97 times and walked 22 times in 336 plate appearances, a pair of statistics that each give some reason for concern.
The Angels, however, made a statement with the roster move that they are ready to give him another shot.
He played all three outfield spots at Salt Lake, with 28 games in center, 24 in left and 18 in right.
José Suarez will start on Tuesday for the Angels, followed by Shohei Ohtani on Wednesday and Dylan Bundy on Thursday.
Ohtani was reinserted into the rotation after a successful bullpen session before Monday’s game. Ohtani had been scheduled to start on Sunday, but his start was pushed back a few days because he hurt his thumb when he was struck by a foul ball in the dugout.
Bundy gets a second straight start in place of Alex Cobb, who is out with a wrist injury.
Ohtani was named American League Player of the Month for July, marking the second straight month in which he won the award. The last player to win the award in consecutive months was Chase Headley in 2012.
Ohtani hit .282 with nine home runs and a 1.067 OPS in July. He also was 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts on the mound.
Raisel Iglesias was named the Reliever of the Month after recording seven saves. He also struck out 19 and walked one in 14 innings.
Neither outfielder Mike Trout nor third baseman Anthony Rendon traveled with the Angels for this four-game trip to Texas, although both had made the previous trip to Oakland and Minnesota. Maddon said on Sunday that Rendon (hamstring) still isn’t doing baseball activity, and Trout (strained calf) remains in a holding pattern while waiting for him to no longer feel discomfort. …
The Angels optioned infielders Kean Wong and Matt Thaiss, creating spots on the roster for Adell and Rodriguez.
Angels (LHP José Suarez, 4-4, 3.45 ERA) vs. Rangers (RHP Jordan Lyles, 5-7, 5.04), Tuesday, 5:05 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM
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