The Angels announced that outfielder Taylor Ward (left groin strain) has been reinstated from the 10-day injured list. Infielder Jose Rojas was already optioned to Triple-A after last night’s game, so there was an open spot on Los Angeles’ active roster.
Ward will make his 2022 debut as the Angels’ cleanup hitter today, playing in right field. Manager Joe Maddon has cited Ward as a starter in his outfield, which may surprise some fans who tabbed star prospects Jo Adell and Brandon Marsh as the logical candidates to start on the grass alongside Mike Trout. However, Ward posted slightly below league-average offense in 2020 and then hit .250/.332/.438 over 237 plate appearances last season, good for a solid 109 OPS+ and 111 wRC+.
Ward and Adell are both right-handed hitters and Marsh swings from the left side, so there is some platoon maneuverability amongst the two non-Trout outfield spots. Utilityman Tyler Wade can also chip in for outfield work, and Magneuris Sierra and Monte Harrison are at Triple-A on minor league contracts.