The Angels have made five roster moves, including optioning outfielder Jo Adell and left-hander Jhonathan Diaz to Triple-A. Infielder Luis Rengifo returns from the paternity list, while the Halos also selected the contract of right-hander Davis Daniel. To create room for Daniel on the 40-man roster, Anaheim designated outfielder Dillon Thomas for assignment.
One of the game’s top prospects, Adell was first optioned to Triple-A in early May, and then called up again last week when Taylor Ward was placed on the 10-day IL. Adell posted a .902 OPS over 21 plate appearances during this latest stint, a positive showing considering how overmatched Adell has looked against MLB pitching since debuting back in 2020.
To that end, it is a little surprising to see Adell on the way back to the minors, yet it could simply be a case of roster construction. Ward has been recovering well from his hamstring strain and is aiming to return on Tuesday, while Mike Trout was back in the lineup today after missing three games with a sore groin. With less of a need in the outfield and with Shohei Ohtani monopolizing the DH spot, there isn’t a real everyday spot for Adell, and the Angels would prefer to see him get regular action in Triple-A rather than playing only sparingly in Los Angeles.
Thomas had his contract selected three days ago in another flurry of moves from the Angels, and the outfielder ended up appearing in one game during his cup of coffee on the active roster. The 29-year-old inked a minor league deal with Anaheim during the winter. Thomas has posted some big numbers at the Triple-A level for the Mariners’ and Angels’ affiliates in 2021-22, but that performance has only earned him five MLB games (the first five of his pro career). Primarily a corner outfielder with some experience in center, Thomas could possibly get the attention of another team in greater need of depth on the grass.
Today is Daniel’s 25th birthday, and he’ll receive an unforgettable gift in the form of his first call to the big leagues. A seventh-round pick for the Angels in the 2019 draft, Daniel has a 3.84 ERA over 161 2/3 innings in the minors, starting 31 of his 32 career games. This includes a 3.64 ERA over 47 Triple-A innings this season, though Daniel has a modest 19.3% strikeout rate.
Daniel could now be lined up for a start in the Angels’ six-man rotation, though it remains to be seen exactly how the Angels may reshuffle their pitching order with an off-day coming on Monday. An extra arm will be needed in some fashion, as the Halos have a doubleheader coming up on June 18.