Angels believe Andrew Velazquez will benefit more rest

Collapsing shortstop Andrew Velazquez was on the bench early in Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox, a spot the switch-hitter finds himself more often — but not consistently — under interim manager Phil Nevin, who replaced the fired Joe Maddon will be on Tuesday.

Velazquez has played Gold Glove-caliber defense this season, and when the Angels won and their offense was among the most prolific in baseball for the first six weeks, the Angels could justify carrying his weak bat at the bottom of the order.

But with the Angels enduring a franchise-record 13-game losing streak on Wednesday night and three of their top four players — Mike Trout, Taylor Ward and Anthony Rendon — sidelined with injuries, it’s harder to match Velazquez’s .178 average and 0.178 to hold. 480 on-base plus slugging percentage in the lineup.

Nevin, who was Velazquez’s third-base coach with the New York Yankees last season, also believes the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Velazquez, who had one hit in his last 28 at-bats through Tuesday night, is benefiting would benefit from more rest.

Velazquez started 46 of the team’s 52 games from the time he was recalled from the Salt Lake Triple-A from April 12 through Tuesday night. Most major league games he started in a season prior to 2022 was 21 for the Baltimore Orioles in 2020.

“He’s playing a damn good shortstop,” Nevin said. “Where I see him, and having had him for the last few years, he’s not used to playing every day, you know, and it’s different.

“Even in the smaller leagues you mostly get his rest and he’s going to need his days [off]. This is how the human body works. So he’ll get them every time, probably a day or two more than you’ve seen.

role playing game

Nevin said one area where he may differ from his predecessor is bullpen management. While Maddon made frequent pitching changes throughout the inning, Nevin plans to start innings with relievers as often as possible.

“I think these guys are better suited to coming in with clean innings as much as possible,” Nevin said. “Just communicating with them [seeing] how they are every day, where they feel like standing and just talking to them on a daily basis.

“It’s important to me to touch every single one every day and let them know how important they are to our club. These are all. I want them to know what their roles are that day and we will continue to have those conversations every day.”

Angels' Mike Trout leaves the field during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox.

Angels’ Mike Trout leaves the field during the third inning against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday at Angel Stadium.

(Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

rehab report

Trout, who left Tuesday night’s game due to left groin strain after a third-inning double, was still in pain on Wednesday, “but definitely better than him [Tuesday night]said head athletics coach Mike Frostad. Forelle is listed as day-to-day and his injury was deemed not severe enough to warrant an MRI test.

Rendon (right wrist infection) takes grounders at third base and hits the cage, “but we still don’t know when he’ll be able to play,” Frostad said. “Throwing is more of a problem [than hitting].”

Ward’s right Achilles tendon is “healing well,” Frostad said, and the right fielder is expected to be activated if he can be taken off the injured list for Tuesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium.

Reliever Austin Warren (broken nose) was scheduled to throw 25 pitches Wednesday night in his third and likely final rehabilitation outing for Triple-A Salt Lake before being activated.

history class

According to Elias, the Angels are the third team in baseball history to have 10 or more games over .500 and have a losing streak of 10 or more games falling below .500, joining the 1978 Oakland Athletics and 1970 Chicago Cubs.

The Angels were 24-13 and tied for first place with Houston in the American League West on May 15. They lost 17 of their next 20 games, including the 13-game losing streak, falling to 27-30 and 9 ½ games behind the Astros enter the game Wednesday night.

Roster moves

The Angels recalled Triple-A Salt Lake infielder Jack Mayfield and outfielder Dillon Thomas on Wednesday to take the place of left-hander Jose Suarez, who was opted for Triple-A, and infielder Luis Rengifo, who was placed on the paternity list became.

Reliever Ty Buttrey, who is attempting a comeback and was pitching at Salt Lake after his abrupt retirement ahead of the 2021 season, was tapped for the job of clearing a 40-man roster spot for Thomas.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/angels/story/2022-06-08/angels-red-sox-andrew-velazquez-phil-nevin Angels believe Andrew Velazquez will benefit more rest

Emma Bowman

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