The Angels announced Thursday that outfielder Steven Duggar and infielder Jose Rojas have been designated for assignment. Their spots on the 40-man roster will go to outfielder Ryan Aguilar and righty Zack Weiss, both of whom have had their contract selected from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Duggar, 28, was a sixth-rounder with the Giants back in 2015 and had some solid showings in San Francisco. He never established himself as a consistent presence in their outfield, however, in part due to injury troubles. Duggar suffered a torn labrum that required surgery in 2018, ending his rookie campaign. He avoided surgery on a second shoulder injury, sustained in August of 2019, but that issue still ended his season.
Duggar received minimal playing time in the shortened 2020 season but returned with a career-best .257/.330/.437 batting line in 297 trips to the plate in 2021. That success hasn’t carried over to the current campaign, however. He’s appeared with three different teams this season and batted .153/.225/.222 in 80 trips to the plate. Duggar, who’s capable of playing all three outfield spots, has already been traded once and claimed off waivers this season, so it’s possible there’s another club out there who’ll be interested in carrying him on the 40-man roster once he hits waivers. That outcome is a formality at this point; he’s ineligible to be traded and thus will be placed on outright or release waivers in the coming week.
Rojas, 29, has appeared in 83 games with the Halos over the past two seasons but managed just a .188/.245/.339 batting line in 241 plate appearances. He’s a .277/.344/.524 hitter in parts of four Triple-A campaigns, however, and has a minor league option remaining beyond this year, which enhances his appeal. Rojas also has notable amounts of experience in both outfield corners and at every infield slot other than shortstop, although he doesn’t have strong defensive grades at any of those spots in mostly limited MLB action.
Aguilar, 28 later this month, made his big league debut this year as a replacement player during the Angels’ series in Toronto. He’s in his first season with the Angels organization after spending his career in the Brewers system. Through 342 plate appearances of Double-A ball, he’s slashed .280/.427/.517 with 15 homers, 13 doubles, two triples and 11 steals.
Weiss, 30, is also in his first season with the Angels organization. The former Reds farmhand signed a minor league deal in the offseason and has turned in 50 innings of 4.50 ERA ball with a 29.7% strikeout rate against a 9.6% walk rate. Weiss received an extremely brief cup of coffee with the 2018 Reds but did not retire any of the four batters he faced (two walks, two home runs allowed). He’ll obviously hope for a shot at redemption four years after the fact.