Utility infielder Grant Green, whose ninth-inning, run-scoring single gave the Angels a 6-5 walk-off win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a lumbar strain on Wednesday, an injury he suffered working out in the weight room.
Green, who is batting .313 in 31 games and has played all four infield positions, in addition to left field, was unavailable Monday and Tuesday night because of back stiffness. When his condition worsened Wednesday, he was placed on the DL and sent out for an MRI test.
Green was replaced on the roster by rookie first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron, who was in a three-for-26 slump when he was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday but had a .269 average in 53 games, with nine homers and 27 runs batted in, in his first extended big-league stint.
“I think the cyclical nature of hitting might lead to some hits not falling in,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Cron. “I don’t think it was any off-the-charts, super flaw that was somehow exposed. C.J. can hit. He’s always hit.
“There are going to be some periods where some of those balls won’t fall in, and that, more than anything, is what we saw with C.J.”
The Angels hoped Cron, who was scheduled to be in Angel Stadium in time for Wednesday night’s series finale against the Baltimore Orioles, would have at least a week or two at triple-A to find his swing, but Green’s injury expedited his return.
“The original plan with C.J. was to let him exhale,” Scioscia said. “I think he was really pressing up here a little bit before he got sent down, and hopefully he’s been able to exhale a little bit and come back and be ready to contribute.”