Baseball is always trying to proclaim it’s a team sport, about the name on the back of the jersey, rising to the top as a group.
Except when things are going the wrong direction.
The Angels have been struggling to score for more than a week, an offense that appeared so productive during a 6-2 start suddenly battling nightly ineptitude.
“It’s too easy sometimes to think of them as a group,” said Angels Manager Mike Scioscia. “In a starting lineup there are nine individuals and they all have different symptoms that are going to cause them to be nonproductive. You have to evaluate those and hopefully get the adjustments made where you don’t stay in funk very long.”
Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons and Yunel Escobar have all hit as expected early this season, but the rest of the Angels have suffered through various levels of disappointment.
“Some are doing exactly as we expected and having really good starts,” Scioscia said. “Too many guys right now had a tough eight or nine games. That can happen in June, it can happen in August. Right now for some of these guys, it’s happening in April.”
The Angels entered Friday night having lost eight of nine, scoring more than three runs only once — the lone victory.
Scioscia said he doesn’t believe fatigue or frustration is the culprit.
“I don’t think that’s part of the equation,” he said. “Sometimes you get guys who are just a little out of sync.”
Morin to the disabled list
The Angels placed right-handed reliever Mike Morin on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to April 20 because of neck stiffness to make roster room for Friday starter Alex Meyer.
Scioscia said Morin first felt the issue a week ago but it began to improve before the stiffness returned. He said Morin was scheduled to undergo unspecified tests Friday.
Morin has thrown 6 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Hamilton released, still owed
The Rangers released outfielder Josh Hamilton on Friday, not that it impacted the $22 million the Angels still owe him this season. Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels prior to the 2013 season, a deal which will go down as one of the worst in baseball history.
The oft-injured Hamilton, who turns 36 next month, is scheduled to undergo another knee surgery. The Rangers said he injured his right knee while recuperating from recent reconstructive left-knee surgery.
SHORT HOPS: Infielder Luis Valbuena (strained right hamstring) ran the bases Friday and Scioscia said he could be five to seven days away from a rehab assignment. Valbuena has yet to appear in a game. … Little news on the Garrett Richards (right-biceps strain) front. Scioscia said he was “making progress” but was still only working with weights and it was uncertain when he would begin to throw. Richards, the Angels’ hoped-for ace, came out in the fifth inning of his only start April 5 when the injury flared up.