At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, the Angels cleared out Minute Maid Park’s visiting clubhouse of reporters for an unusual team meeting. At 4:57 p.m., the first of their players began to emerge onto the field to stretch.
Losers of six straight games — a skid that turned the start of their season from enchanting to disappointing — they eschewed on-field batting practice and instead hit in the batting cages. And they talked.
Manager Mike Scioscia downplayed the significance of the session and declined to disclose what was discussed.
“We had a couple individual position meetings for guys to adjust some things,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think we’re going to publicly tell you what we might be doing against another team or anything.”
The Angels did not score from the seventh inning Saturday in Kansas City until three hours after Tuesday’s meeting, when Andrelton Simmons pushed a home run into the right-field seats.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the culprits of their scoreless stretch. Superstar Mike Trout has performed as expected through the season’s first two weeks. Simmons has been better than expected, and leadoff man Yunel Escobar has been getting on base at a solid .364 clip.
Albert Pujols is the only regular logging substandard statistics, and the Angels are insistent that he hits the ball harder than his numbers show — as he demonstrated in the fifth inning Tuesday when he hit a three-run homer.
“Right now, we’ve got a bunch of individuals that are struggling with different reasons,” Scioscia said. “There’s not one cure-all. A couple guys are swinging the bat very well. You can’t ask Mike to do any more. Yunel’s doing great up top. We need more of those guys to get into their games, and that’s going to create a lot more opportunities.”
When asked Tuesday if he had considered ordering some small-ball maneuvers to try to jump-start his lineup, Scioscia essentially said that he couldn’t.
“We’d love to get into some of those things, but you have to get guys on base, especially early in innings, to do that, which has been one of the issues,” Scioscia said. “Whatever the situation you’re presented with gives you different options.”
The Angels reacquired catcher Juan Graterol from Toronto, agreeing to send cash or a player to be named in return. To create space for Graterol on their 40-man roster, they designated outfielder Ryan LaMarre for assignment. … Houston star shortstop Carlos Correa remained out of the Astros’ lineup with a bruised hand suffered Saturday. He expected to play throughout the series. … Scioscia said the club reached a consensus that right-hander Huston Street would not be fit to return until at least June 1 before they transferred him to the 60-day disabled list Monday.
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