A ball was tossed into the Angels dugout at Target Field on Wednesday afternoon moments after rookie Jared Walsh knocked it on a line to left field, right over the head of leaping shortstop Ehire Adrianza.
It was Walsh’s first career hit. It came in the sixth inning of an 8-7 loss to the Minnesota Twins, against whom Walsh debuted after being promoted to take the roster spot of Justin Bour. If they’re aware of the situation, teams request for milestone baseballs to be taken out of play so they can be given to players as keepsakes.
Only problem is, the ball was never relayed to Walsh. He received a scuffed-up, pen-marked baseball instead.
“It looks like a toddler wrote, ‘First career hit, way to go!’on it,” Walsh, 25, said. “I don’t know what they did with it. I don’t even care. This is actually a better piece of history for me than the real ball.”
Did he have a guess who was behind it? He threw one of the team’s coaches under the bus.
Walsh, who will mostly serve as Albert Pujols’ backup at first base, has minor league experience in the outfield as well as experience pitching in relief. He’d only play the outfield in an emergency situation and pitch when games are out of hand, manager Brad Ausmus said.
Heaney will pitch for Salt Lake
While the Angels flew nearly 5,600 miles on their recent four-city trip, left-hander Andrew Heaney made significant strides in his recovery from elbow inflammation. He made two rehab starts in extended spring training, increasing his pitch count to 58 in his last outing Wednesday. He is scheduled to next pitch Monday for triple-A Salt Lake, where he should get to the 70-75 pitch mark in five innings.
“Everything is going well, just building up,” he said Friday at Angel Stadium. “Hopefully pretty close.”
Heaney could rejoin the rotation after his start next week, but Ausmus tempered his expectations.
“We’ll see how he comes through before we make any decisions,” Ausmus said.
Calhoun family welcomes new child
Outfielder Kole Calhoun and his wife, Jennifer, welcomed their second child Wednesday. Lenox Grace Calhoun weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces at birth.
“She’s doing good,” said Calhoun, who was placed on paternity leave after Monday’s game and reactivated before Friday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. “The wife is healthy. The baby is healthy. Just recovering.”
Knox, the Calhouns’ 2 1/2-year-old son, was thrilled to meet his baby sister.
“He was excited,” Calhoun said. “He came in and got to hold her a little bit. I don’t think he gets the magnitude of it yet. But once we bring her home, we’ll see how it goes.”
Ausmus stopped just short of naming right-hander Hansel Robles the Angels’ closer. Robles has received three save opportunities since veteran Cody Allen was demoted, and Ty Buttrey has received one. Robles has allowed one baserunner, via a single, and struck out three in his last three innings. “I’m obviously comfortable using him in that role,” Ausmus said.