There they were Wednesday, nearly 3,000 miles from home, separated by a single locker in one of the most unlikely developments of this Angels season.
“This is something you couldn’t even imagine,” Jabari Blash said. “It was dope just playing behind Akeel in Salt Lake.”
When Akeel Morris debuted with the New York Mets in 2015, he was the 12th player from the U.S. Virgin Islands to make the big leagues. The next season, Blash, then playing for San Diego, became the 13th.
On this trip, the former travel-ball teammates in St. Thomas and fellow graduates of Charlotte Amalie High were reunited at the sport’s highest level.
“For the island, this is huge,” Morris said. “It’s exciting for them. Most people back home are Angels fans now. This is definitely something special.”
Though neither is guaranteed anything going forward given the fluid status of the club’s roster, they’ve had four days at least to delight in the astronomical odds of two Virgin Islanders sharing the same major league clubhouse.
The last two to do so were Al McBean and Elmo Plaskett, who played together for Pittsburgh from 1961-63.
“You look back now and you laugh at how far we’ve come,” Blash said. “It’s amazing.”
The Angels traded for Blash during spring training and for Morris just after the start of the season.
When the latter deal was announced, Blash texted Morris to acknowledge the incredible coincidence they were about to be living.
They were teammates first at triple-A Salt Lake and then, starting Sunday when Blash was promoted, with the Angels.
“It’s the first thing we said to each other,” Morris said. “ ‘What are the odds, right?’ When we talk about, it’s easy to get excited. It’s exciting, every moment of it.”
Middleton to be activated
Reliever Keynan Middleton (elbow inflammation) could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Thursday.
The right-hander, who leads the Angels with six saves, pitched a scoreless inning for triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday.
Ohtani to pitch Sunday
Shohei Ohtani, who threw a light bullpen session Wednesday, is scheduled to make his next pitching start Sunday at home against Minnesota. He later pinch-hit in the eighth inning and singled.