SEATTLE -- Seeking to give slumping Kole Calhoun a mental break, the Angels recalled outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake ahead of Sunday's series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field. Right-handed reliever Eduardo Paredes was optioned to clear a roster spot for Blash, who made his Angels debut
SEATTLE -- Seeking to give slumping Kole Calhoun a mental break, the Angels recalled outfielder Jabari Blash from Triple-A Salt Lake ahead of Sunday's series finale against the Mariners at Safeco Field. Right-handed reliever Eduardo Paredes was optioned to clear a roster spot for Blash, who made his Angels debut on Sunday starting in right field against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
Blash went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in the Angels' 8-2 victory.
"Right now, we're trying to get Kole right," manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. "He's going to take a couple days just to clear his head. He's working on some mechanical things with [hitting coaches] Eric [Hinske] and Paulie [Sorrento] and we'll see where everything fits in."
Sunday marked Calhoun's second consecutive game out of the Angels' lineup and his first time sitting against a right-handed starting pitcher this season. Calhoun has been mired in a deep offensive rut over the first month of the season, hitting just .167 with a .405 OPS, the lowest mark among qualified hitters in the Majors. The 30-year-old left-handed hitter has one home run with 33 strikeouts and four walks over 118 plate appearances this year.
"There's some definite things that have crept into this approach," Scioscia said. "It's just not what Kole's about. He understands it. I think Eric and Paulie have a great understanding of where he needs to get to, and he will. This guy is too good of an offensive player to struggle like he did for 120 plate appearances. He'll get it back."
Blash, 28, was batting .350 with a 1.291 OPS, 10 home runs, eight doubles, one triple and 25 RBIs in 23 games with Salt Lake. He appeared in 99 games for the Padres from 2016-17, hitting .200 with a .659 OPS and eight home runs. The Angels acquired Blash from the Yankees during Spring Training in exchange for a player to be named.
"Jabari came into Spring Training and just totally reworked what he's doing in the batter's box over the winter," Scioscia said. "It's been fun to watch what he's done for a month down there in Triple-A. It's been incredible. Talking to guys who have seen them, they think he's swinging the bat the best he has. We're going to give him a look here to see what we have."
Blash said he arrived in Seattle around 5 p.m. PT on Saturday and watched the Angels' wild 9-8 loss to the Mariners on TV from the team hotel.
"These guys have been playing great baseball, and it's been fun to watch," Blash said. "I just can't wait to be a part of it. It's exciting for me."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.