MLB: San Diego Padres at Los Angeles AngelsJun 3, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels right fielder Jo Adell (7) slides into home plate to score in the eight inning against the San Diego Padres at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels have gone all-in on outfielder Jo Adell, but there figures to be a breaking point if the 2017 first-round draft pick doesn’t finish the season with significantly better results.

Adell figures to be in right field on Tuesday night when the Angels host the San Diego Padres in Anaheim, Calif., as he is getting an opportunity to be an everyday player.

The 25-year-old has played in 52 of the club’s 60 games this season, putting him on pace to easily surpass his career high of 88 games played in 2022. While Adell has shown signs that he may have turned a corner, he recently fell into a prolonged slump that certainly caught the attention of club officials.

Overall, he is hitting .204, below his career average of .212, but his slugging percentage (.459) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (.721) both would be career bests. He has a career-high 11 homers, which leaves him tied with Taylor Ward for the team lead.

And his strikeout rate, probably Adell’s biggest issue, is slightly better than his career totals. Before this season, Adell struck out in 35.4 percent of his plate appearances; this season, his whiff rate is 30.6 percent.

The concern, therefore, is his season trajectory. Adell hit .316 with a .979 OPS and a 22.2 percent strikeout rate in March/April, then slipped to a .144 average, .601 OPS and 33.0 percent strikeout rate in May.

Adell was in a 1-for-32 funk going into Friday’s game against the Seattle Mariners when Angels manager Ron Washington decided to give him a day off. Adell wound up entering as a pinch hitter and belted a grand slam.

“It felt good to get that kind of swing off, especially chasing the ball away a couple times,” Adell said. “I had to re-channel my focus and look for a ball closer to me. I’ve been working with (the hitting coaches) on handling pitches closer to me, and I put up a good swing.”

While the Angels hoped the grand slam would get Adell pointed in the right direction, he instead went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in his next two games. Then on Monday, Adell was hitless in his first two at-bats before his double in the eighth inning started the game-winning rally in a 2-1 Angels win.

Los Angeles left-hander Patrick Sandoval (2-8, 5.34 ERA) will make his 13th start of the season on Tuesday, looking to end a streak of four starts without a win. He did, however, pitch well in his most recent outing, allowing just two runs and two hits in six innings against the New York Yankees in an eventual 8-3 loss on Thursday.

Sandoval is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two career appearances (one start) against San Diego.

The Padres will call up right-hander Adam Mazur from Triple-A El Paso to start on Tuesday, as the club’s rotation is short-handed after both Joe Musgrove (inflamed right elbow) and Yu Darvish (strained left groin) landed on the injured list over the weekend.

It will be the major league debut for Mazur, who is a combined 4-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 starts this season between El Paso and Double-A San Antonio. Despite the pressure of pitching in the big leagues, Mazur said he would calm any nerves by keeping things simple.

“Just continue to be myself,” he said Monday. “There’s a reason why I’m getting here today. Just go out there and try to get outs, help the Padres win a game.”

The Padres were missing first baseman Luis Arraez on Monday, as he hurt his neck and right shoulder on Sunday in the team’s loss at Kansas City.

“We don’t feel like it’s anything structural, which is … encouraging,” San Diego manager Mike Shildt said. “It’s just a matter of: He’s sore, got some stiffness, some soreness.”

–Field Level Media

This post was originally published on DeadSpin

Share your love

Leave a Reply