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As Barreto hits IL, Thaiss, Milner rejoin Halos

@RhettBollinger
September 9, 2020

The Angels made several roster moves before Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers, including placing newly acquired utilityman Franklin Barreto on the injured list with a dislocated left shoulder and recalling infielder Matt Thaiss from their alternate training site in Long Beach. Additionally, left-handed reliever Hoby Milner was reinstated from

The Angels made several roster moves before Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers, including placing newly acquired utilityman Franklin Barreto on the injured list with a dislocated left shoulder and recalling infielder Matt Thaiss from their alternate training site in Long Beach.

Additionally, left-handed reliever Hoby Milner was reinstated from the IL after missing 10 games with right back spasms, and right-handed reliever Kyle Keller was optioned. Milner gives the Angels another left-hander in their bullpen, and he has a 3.86 ERA in seven innings this season.

Barreto, acquired in a trade with the A’s for second baseman Tommy La Stella on Aug. 31, injured himself while avoiding a tag at second base on a stolen base attempt on Sunday against the Astros. Angels manager Joe Maddon didn’t have a medical update or a timeline for Barreto before Tuesday's game.

But with Barreto out, Thaiss made his first ever start at second base on Tuesday. Thaiss never played second in the Minors, but he fared well at third base last year after being converted from first.

He made one misstep in Tuesday's 7-1 loss, however, when a grounder kicked off his backhand attempt and allowed two Rangers to score.

“I'm not expecting an oil painting by any means, but he did a little work yesterday in Long Beach,” Maddon said before Tuesday's game. “He's got the right makeup to attempt to do something like this. So be patient with it, of course. He’s not had a lot of work at all. He’s going out there relatively cold. He’s played first base. The two things here, for me, are where to go. Cutoffs, relays, bunt defense, etc. Where do I go -- first and third -- where do I go? That’s a bigger concern than just catching the ball.”

Second baseman Luis Rengifo has been limited by a sprained left thumb suffered on Saturday, but he did see action in Sunday’s game by replacing Barreto in the sixth inning and finishing out the game, drawing a bases-loaded walk in his lone plate appearance.

Maddon said that he didn’t start Thaiss at second base because of Rengifo’s injury, however, as he said he simply wanted to have Thaiss’ bat in the lineup. Thaiss entered Tuesday batting 2-for-10 in limited action (five games) this year.

“It’s an opportunity, it’s a spot,” Maddon said. “[Jared] Walsh has done well at first base -- could have put Thaiss at first base, Rengifo at second -- but the idea of getting both of these guys’ bats in the lineup at the same time is exciting. We don’t have that many games left. If you’re going to take a chance, now is the time.”

The experiment at second isn’t expected to last long, though, as second baseman David Fletcher appears likely to be reinstated from the injured list on Thursday. Fletcher has been out with a sprained left ankle suffered on Aug. 30 but has been making good progress.

“He's getting close,” Maddon said. “His due date is on Thursday, and we'll see if he's available at that time or not. But he's doing better. I've not heard about any setbacks.”

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.