Angels say their response to injuries and Padres’ sweep could define their season

Angels manager Phil Nevin points and argues with home plate umpire Jerry Layne
Angels manager Phil Nevin, right, argues with home plate umpire Jerry Layne during the seventh inning of a game against the Padres in San Diego Wednesday. Nevin was ejected from the game.
(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
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The Angels have hit a crossroads.

Mike Trout had surgery to address his hamate fracture on Wednesday and is not expected back for at least a month.

Anthony Rendon, who was using a crutch to walk, was not placed on the injured list Wednesday, though the Angels will continue to evaluate him. The one note of promising health: Shohei Ohtani, who turned 29 on Wednesday, was in the starting lineup after departing Tuesday’s game early with a finger blister. He finished the series without a hit.


It’s been a series from injury hell for the Angels, never mind getting swept by the San Diego Padres after a 5-3 loss Wednesday. There is no help coming, at least not until after the All-Star break when some of their other injured players could return. And as the players have reiterated over the last two days, no one is feeling sorry for them.

From an injury standpoint, the Angels are limping to the break. But how they perform in the games leading up to that could hold extra significance to their playoff potential.

Mike Trout (wrist) could miss 4-8 weeks, and fellow Angels star Shohei Ohtani left his start with a blister and might not pitch in the All-Star Game.

July 5, 2023

“The games from now to the All-Star break are the most important,” Ohtani said in Japanese on Tuesday. “If we can win in good form, I think we very much have a chance.”

Manager Phil Nevin said this could represent the defining moment of their season if they make it to the playoffs, something to look back on as a period they overcame after going into the final two games before the break missing a majority of their starting position players.

Nevin sounded encouraged by early reports from Trout.

“He feels great. Surgery went well … he was happy he could get this done right away so he can get back to the team as quick as possible,” Nevin said.

It was far from a jovial feeling in the clubhouse after Wednesday’s loss.

“We’re just grinding through this tough time,” Angels starter Patrick Sandoval said. “Bunch of injuries, next man up, but it’s tough and we’re just gonna have to grind through it.


Reid Detmers may only have a 2-5 record but there’s no Angels pitcher who is performing better these days. On Sunday, he helped them end a four-game slide.

July 2, 2023

Sandoval pitched a solid five innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

The Angels offense also took advantage of some luck and Padres mistakes.

But a 3-and-2 pitch that reliever Jacob Webb threw to Manny Machado in the seventh that looked like a third strike instead was called ball four, allowing Machado to reach. Nevin was ejected after calling out plate umpire Jerry Layne. The Padres soon after pulled ahead 4-3, Fernando Tatis Jr. scoring on Xander Boagerts’ groundout.

The Angels (45-44) have a day off before their final two games ahead of the break, on Friday and Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

“Definitely looking to go into the All-Star break above .500,” Angels center fielder Mickey Moniak said. “One hundred and sixty-two games, all of them mean something. Just trying to take it one day at a time and trying to focus on Friday … and then we’ll worry about Saturday when it comes, but yeah, I think these next two games will be very important.”

Said Nevin, “We’ve had injuries but we gotta right the ship with what we have.”