Angels get roster set for Opening Day

July 23rd, 2020

ANAHEIM -- The Angels revealed their 30-man roster for the 2020 season on Thursday and it didn’t include many surprises, although top prospect Jo Adell didn’t make the club.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is dealing with oblique soreness and won’t be in the Opening Day lineup against the A’s on Friday, is on the active roster, which is a good sign in that he’ll avoid the 10-day injured list. But infielder Luis Rengifo, who has hamstring soreness, is not on the roster and appears headed to the IL.

Right-hander Julio Teheran, who was a late arrival to camp after contracting COVID-19 in late June, didn’t make the roster, as expected, but could rejoin the club about a week or so after Opening Day.

GM Billy Eppler said Adell, who impressed at Angels Summer Camp, took the news of not breaking camp with the club as well as possible.

"Our conversation with Jo yesterday was really productive," Eppler said. "He was awesome and asking good questions and stating some some goals that he has. I did tell him when your time comes, you're coming to play. You're not going to come up here and sit on the bench. So, we need to be able to know that all sides of it are completely tightened up."

The Angels had to make a few moves to set their 30-man roster, as relievers Jacob Barnes and Hoby Milner were added to the 40-man roster and Justin Anderson, who underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, was placed on the 45-day injured list. In addition, outfielder Michael Hermosillo and first baseman Jared Walsh were recalled from the club's alternate site in Long Beach.

Rendon, meanwhile, has shown improvement recently, and the Halos' big offseason should ramp up his activity soon.

"Anthony expressed yesterday that he felt a lot better than he had last couple days," Eppler said. "So that was encouraging. And helped us in that decision of IL versus day to day. In a shortened season, games are a little bit more magnified. And so, carrying him in a day-to day-state, made the most sense for us. As far as the timetable, hopefully he starts swinging a bat off a live arm maybe Friday even. And then we'll kind of see from that and how many days of that he'll need."

Mike Trout is also on the active roster after saying Wednesday that he’s playing this year despite some early trepidation because his wife, Jessica, is due with their first child on Aug. 3. But he’s expected to miss some time to attend the birth of the baby boy.

Here’s a look at the 30-man roster, which will be pared down to 28 players in two weeks and 26 players in four weeks:

Castro will serve as the club’s regular catcher with Stassi as his backup. Outfielder Taylor Ward also was drafted as a catcher and caught an inning in Wednesday’s exhibition game, so he’ll be the emergency catcher.

The Angels will have a starting infield of Pujols at first, La Stella at second, Rendon at third and Simmons at short, but Rendon is expected to miss the first few games of the season. Fletcher will serve as the third baseman in Rendon’s absence, while Thaiss has experience there as well. Fletcher is the club’s super-utility player. Walsh gives the Angels some depth at first base.

The starting outfield will be Upton in left, Trout in center and Goodwin in right, but Fletcher could also see time in the outfield. Hermosillo is a capable fourth outfielder who can play all three outfield spots, while Ward is likely limited to the corner spots.

Heaney gets the nod on Opening Day, while Ohtani will pitch once a week on Sundays. The Angels have a six-man rotation as a result. Sandoval was a late arrival to camp after testing positive for COVID-19 in June and isn’t fully stretched out but will be the sixth starter. Canning is healthy after an elbow injury in Spring Training, while Bundy could be due for a breakout year and Andriese will be in the rotation but could be moved to relief later in the year. Julio Teheran will join the rotation once he’s stretched out enough.

Robles is the closer with Buttrey, Bedrosian and Middleton as the primary setup relievers. Ramirez and Peña are the long relievers, and Peña is stretched out to go roughly five innings. Buchter and Milner are the lefties in the bullpen, while the coaches like what they saw from Mayers and Barnes in Spring Training and Summer Camp. All 10 relievers have Major League experience.