Not only is the Los Angeles Angels’ nightmare of a season continuing, what with them losing three out of four to the first-place Oakland Athletics, including a 10-6 loss on Sunday in which the Halos blew a 5-0 lead, they will be without one of their essential keys.
Albert Pujols’ plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which has badly affected his play all year, has grown more painful than ever as the slugger flew to L.A. to see doctors, who discovered a tear in that area.
The Angels then proceeded to put Pujols on the 15-day disabled list, but with this type of injury, the 15 days will end up being more than 60 days as manager Mike Scioscia has said that Pujols will miss “…a significant amount of time.”
Translated: For all intents and purposes, particularly considering the fact that the team is languishing in fourth place, 13 games behind the A’s in the American League West with a record of 48-55, Pujols has most likely played his last game in 2013.
Which is ultimately for the best, as he can get surgery on his foot now rather than in October, which will give him that much more time to be ready for 2014 as he will have eight years left on his over $200 million deal.
Though Pujols’ overall numbers weren’t eye-popping by his standards – a .258 average, 17 home runs and 64 runs batted in – he has been hitting well of late, hitting .353 over his last eight games, so the Angels’ offense will be pretty maimed in the short run.
The biggest reason for these Angels’ sinking, however, is their lack of pitching as beyond Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, and closer Ernesto Frieri, the staff runs the gamut from a question mark to just plain ineffective.
How else can you describe losing a five-run lead, like they did in their last game against the team that they had to beat to get back into the division race, the main culprits being starter Tommy Hansen, who gave up five runs while walking five A’s in 4 1/3 innings, and J.C Gutierrez, pitching like Charlie Brown in giving up four runs on three hits while getting only two guys out?
Now, according to Yahoo! Sports, people are saying that the Halos are planning to be sellers before the trade deadline on July 31. Second baseman Howie Kendrick, shortstop Erick Aybar and reliever Scott Downs are said to be available.
Which, especially in the case of Kendrick, who’s having a great season, will be a waving of the white flag in Anaheim as there isn’t really anyone in the Angels’ minor league system than can step in for Kendrick and Aybar right away.
Who knows? Perhaps they can go on a major tear as they play the Texas Rangers in Arlington, TX this week.
But is seems more and more likely that such miracles will not happen, as the Angels have too many holes in the pitching staff to really be a factor at this point.