Walsh will start the season on the 10-day IL due to headaches and insomnia. The other Angels joining him on the shelf are Max Stassi, Chris Rodriguez, Griffin Canning and Jose Marte.
Walsh had a breakout season with the Angels in 2021, his first full season in the big leagues. He had a slash line of .277/.340/.509 in 144 games, with 64 extra-base hits and 98 RBIs, earning his first all-star honor.
Walsh’s 2022 was not as kind to him. His batting average dropped to a measly .215 and his OPS (.642) was below the league average (.706). The Angels believe this dip in production is due to Walsh being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. The injury ended his season after just 118 games last year.
The Angels are expected to be competitive in 2023. Led by two of if not the two best players in baseball, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, the Angels are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2014. At the very least, Angel fans have hope for the franchises first winning season since 2015.
With Jared Walsh on the mend, expect Brandon Drury to get most of the playing time at first base until Walsh’s return. Drury spent most of his time at third base last season with the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds but logged 222 innings at first base.
Jake Lamb is also an option. The Angels selected his contract Wednesday, placing him on the Opening Day roster. Lamb has played 309 innings at first base during his nine-year career.
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