The Angels announced they’ve placed infielder Gio Urshela on the 10-day injured list with a fractured left pelvis. Michael Stefanic was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace him on the active roster.
Urshela was forced out of yesterday’s win over the Rangers in the first inning. He was on crutches postgame and imaging has evidently revealed a fracture. The team hasn’t provided any kind of timetable but it seems likely he’ll be out past the minimal ten days.
It’s a brutally timed injury for team and player alike. The Halos lose a starting infielder for the second straight day. Rookie shortstop Zach Neto landed on the shelf last night with an oblique strain. Anthony Rendon isn’t on the injured list but is out of tonight’s starting lineup after being hit in the wrist with a pitch. Rendon finished last night’s game despite being in too much discomfort to swing because of the Halos’ lack of infield depth.
That’s not the case tonight — Brandon Drury was serving a one-game suspension for arguing with an umpire yesterday, while Stefanic is now on hand — but it highlights how quickly the Angels have been put in a precarious position. Losing Urshela likely thrusts Jared Walsh into everyday first base duty for the time being. The former All-Star has been off to a brutal start after returning from a season-opening IL stay. Walsh is hitting .119/.257/.186 in 27 games.
Urshela, acquired from the Twins over the offseason, has had a fine but unexciting first season in Orange County. He’s hitting .299/.329/.374 over 228 trips to the plate while splitting his defensive work between the two corner spots and occasional shortstop reps. He’s made plenty of contact offensively but is walking at a meager 4.4% clip and only has two home runs.
That’s a downgrade from the .285/.338/.429 line Urshela posted during his lone season in Minnesota. The injury will prevent him from building towards last year’s production for the time being. Depending on how long he’s sidelined, it could deal a hit to his market value. He’s slated to hit free agency for the first time in his career next offseason, making this a pivotal season for him.
The Halos enter play tonight with a 39-32 record. They’re four and a half back of Texas in the AL West and a game out of the Wild Card race. It’s shaping up to be an aggressive summer for Perry Minasian and his staff as they try to capitalize on Shohei Ohtani’s final season of arbitration control and push into the playoffs. Infield additions looked like a potential deadline goal even before the injuries to Neto and Urshela. That’d be all the more true if one or both is out for a long period of time.