Rodriguez, Stassi to IL amid roster shuffle

May 7th, 2021

ANAHEIM – Rookie reliever (shoulder) and catcher (concussion) were moved to the injured list prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Rays at Angel Stadium.

Rodriguez threw six pitches in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Rays. He came into a situation with no outs and runners on first and second base after two-way player Shohei Ohtani was pulled from his start.

After the quick inning, Rodriguez was replaced by Junior Guerra; Angels manager Joe Maddon later said the move was due to “shoulder irritation” that the rookie felt after the inning.

“When he came in yesterday, even jogging in, he kind of felt something,” Maddon said. “I didn't know that. I was fully anticipating having him go the next inning, also. So, when it came into dugout, that's when we really found out about it.”

Maddon added that the timeframe for Rodriguez's return is unclear and added that the reliever was in good spirits on Thursday.

“The medical side doesn't feel it's anything severe, but it's definitely something we got to get on right now,” he said. “So if we have to back off a little bit once again, really wanting to get the full value out of this young man. He's that good, as you saw last night.”

Stassi’s IL stint will be a seven-day one as he was moved to the concussion injured list after he left Tuesday’s game against the Rays following a play during which he appeared to hit his head while tracking down a popup near the visitor’s dugout.

To fill the spots left by Rodriguez and Stassi, the Angels added rookie catcher Jack Kruger and reliever Félix Peña.

Peña will be on the big league squad for the first time this season after he was slowed by a hamstring injury during Spring Training.

Kruger is a .265 career hitter with 127 RBIs in four years in the Minors.

Jay rejoins the Halos

Outfielder Jon Jay joins Kruger and Peña on the big league club following the release of first baseman Albert Pujols.

Jay began the 2021 season at the Angels alternate site after he had just two hits in 33 at-bats and posted a .135 OBP in Spring Training.

He made his 2021 season debut with when he was called up in mid-April during the Angels' road series against the Royals and had one hit in eight at-bats. Jay joins Juan Lagares and Taylor Ward as the most recent outfield callups as left fielder Justin Upton has missed a game with a left knee contusion and first baseman Jared Walsh becomes the primary first baseman with Pujols gone.

Walsh the first baseman of the future

Walsh steps up as the club’s first baseman of the future. Walsh has been used in right field as the Angels have dealt with a number of injuries. He has slashed .333/.412/.576 with six home runs and 22 RBIs.

Maddon said eyes will be on managing Walsh's workload.

“I'm not going to just play him into the ground,” Maddon said. “Of course there's going to be times you want to give him a day off, but we'll stay with it. I mean, first basemen, a lot of times [are] guys that are young and in good shape. They have a tendency to play independent of injuries.”