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    Willie Calhoun batting 4th for Angels because Ron Washington says young players aren’t ready
    • May 3, 2024

    CLEVELAND — Journeyman Willie Calhoun found himself hitting in the cleanup spot in his first game with the Angels on Friday.

    “I took some names and put them in a hat and shook them up and he came out fourth,” Manager Ron Washington said.

    After the assembled media chuckled, Washington added: “Seriously. You think I’m joking.”

    Washington went on to explain that he actually wrote some names on pieces of paper and threw them on his bed. He also had Jo Adell and Logan O’Hoppe in the mix.

    Those players have each shown some power in the major leagues and gotten off to solid starts this season, but Washington said he really didn’t want to give either of them the responsibility of hitting fourth.

    “They’re too young,” Washington said. “I tried putting Adell in the top of the lineup and it lasted a day. I tried putting (Zach) Neto in the top of the lineup and it lasted two days. I’m not going to take O’Hoppe and put him in the fourth hole. I’ll hit him fifth or sixth, but for some reason when you put them in one of those spots, they think they’ve got to be special and they don’t. They really don’t. They’ve just got to be who they are. If you can give us base hits there, I’ll take it. You can give us doubles there, I’ll take it. I’m not looking for home runs because I don’t have that kind of team.”

    Given all that, what if Washington had picked Adell or O’Hoppe off the bed?

    “I’m glad I picked Calhoun, because if I would have picked up one of the kids, I would have changed my mind,” Washington said. “So it was meant to be.”

    Calhoun, 29, was set to make his Angels debut after playing for the Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. He was hitting .268 with a .706 OPS at Triple-A when he got the call. He was hitting .316 with a .792 OPS in his last 14 games.

    “I started off a little slow but then started picking things up the last two-and-a-half weeks,” he said. “I found a little something with my swing, so I’m just going to continue to do that, and carry it here.”

    As for batting cleanup, Calhoun said it doesn’t make a difference to him, which is exactly why Washington put him there.

    “Where you hit in the lineup doesn’t matter,” Calhoun said. “I feel like you get pitched the same way if you hit first, fourth or ninth.”

    Washington also moved Luis Rengifo in the No. 2 spot, because he apparently also has that attitude.

    “He just goes and has his at-bat,” Washington said. “He’s not about trying to do anything special but what he does. I certainly hope he’s able to run with it.”

    Rengifo came into the weekend hitting .326 with an .841 OPS.


    Infielder Brandon Drury, who also could have been a choice to hit cleanup, was not in the lineup for the second straight game because of neck and head issues. He’s officially listed as being out with a migraine, but Drury said that he’s felt some stiffness in his neck ever since a diving play on Tuesday.

    Drury went through a full workout on Friday, and he could return to the lineup as soon as Saturday.


    Three-time American League MVP Mike Trout underwent a successful partial medial meniscectomy on Friday, according to the Angels’ medical report. The Angels would not provide any timeline, but a typical recover for that type of procedure would be four to six weeks. …

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    Right-hander Chase Silseth (elbow inflammation) was scheduled to extend his throwing to 90 feet on Friday. The Angels do not want to bring Silseth back as a reliever, so he will need to be up to at least 90 pitches during his rehab games. …

    Infielder Michael Stefanic (quadriceps strain) was scheduled to face live pitching on Friday. Stefanic is on the 60-day injured list, so he’s not eligible until late May.

    Infielder Miguel Sanó (left knee inflammation) could be back when the Angels return from this trip next Thursday, Washington said. “I hope so,” Washington said. “It just needed to quiet down.”


    Angels (LHP Reid Detmers, 3-2, 3.12 ERA) at Guardians (RHP Ben Lively, 0-1, 2.30 ERA), Friday, 3:10 p.m. PT, Bally Sports West, 830 AM

    ​ Orange County Register