Struggling Angels reliever Aaron Slegers optioned after latest loss – Press


OAKLAND — A day after Aaron Slegers had the biggest part in the latest loss for the Angels’ bullpen, he was on his way to the minors.

But not without one more endorsement from Manager Joe Maddon, who has stuck behind the right-hander despite his poor results.

“I’m a big fan of Aaron’s, and he will be back,” Maddon said. “And I think there’s a nice future for this young man. I’m telling you when you’re around him often enough, this is a man’s man. It was just an unfortunate predicament. And he got caught up in it yesterday.”

Maddon said Slegers has been “the malo suerte guy, the bad luck stuff,” because he’s given up a lot of hits on soft contact. In his outing on Thursday night, he gave up two ground ball hits and a bloop hit. Maddon also said the walk was semi-intentional.

“He completed the whole game plan that we had laid out,” Maddon said.

Slegers nonetheless has a 6.30 ERA in 20 innings with the Angels, who picked him up in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays just before spring training.

His demotion on Friday was because the Angels needed length from the bullpen, so they brought up lefty José Suarez. Patrick Sandoval, who is officially a part of the bullpen, had been pressed into action for a spot start on Thursday, working five innings. Junior Guerra finished the game with 2-2/3 innings, so neither of them would have been available on Friday.

IGLESIAS TO IL

The Angels placed shortstop José Iglesias on the injured list shortly before Friday’s game because of a hamstring strain, after he had been considered day to day for a few days.

Iglesias came out of Tuesday’s game with the injury, which was initially diagnosed as a cramp. Maddon has said just an hour before the transaction that Iglesias was going through an on-field workout and that he might be able to play as soon as this weekend.

The Angels recalled catcher Anthony Bemboom to take Iglesias’ spot on the roster.

OHTANI IN THE OUTFIELD?

Shohei Ohtani is not scheduled to pitch in either of the Angels’ two games in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday, so the only way they could get him in the starting lineup, without the DH, is to play him in the outfield.

Maddon said they considered it, but deemed it to be too risky to have Ohtani play an entire game in the outfield.

“It just exceeds comfort zones a little bit,” Maddon said, adding that Oracle Park has a large asymmetrical outfield that could be “problematic” for Ohtani.

Maddon didn’t rule out Ohtani playing a couple of innings in the outfield late in a game if they needed his bat, though.

UPGRADES FOR TEMPE DIABLO

The city of Tempe, Arizona, announced that the city council reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the Angels to remain in Tempe Diablo Stadium for spring training through at least 2035, with a major renovation to the 53-year-old ballpark to begin soon.

Once the city and the team finalize a new lease, it would replace the current lease, which expires on Dec. 31, 2025.

The two-phase renovation will cost more than $50 million, with the Angels committing $10 million, the city of Tempe committing $10.9 million and the rest funded through voter-approved bonds.



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