After losing Josh Hamilton to a hamstring injury earlier this month, the Rangers had to place outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. on the 15-day disabled list today with a left hamstring strain.
DeShields, who is batting .269/.358/.386 with 12 RBI and 13 steals in 48 games this season, suffered the injury yesterday while trying to track down a fly ball off the bat of Twins outfielder Shane Robinson in the sixth inning. According to Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, he’s expected to miss around three weeks.
The Rangers have called up second baseman Rougned Odor to replace DeShields on the active roster. The 21-year-old was demoted last month after batting just .144 with one home run and a .486 OPS over his first 29 games this season, but he put up a monster .352/.426/.639 batting line with five home runs and 19 RBI in 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock.
With DeShields out, Joey Gallo is making his first major league start in left field tonight against the Dodgers. He made six starts in left field during his time with Double-A Frisco this season and it’s possible he could stick there when Adrian Beltre returns from his thumb injury.
MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that the Angels exercised GM Jerry DiPoto’s option for the 2016 season two or three months ago. As Gonzalez details, DiPoto’s contract was for three years and included options for the 2015 and ’16 seasons. There have not been any discussions yet about extending him beyond the 2016 season.
The Angels, since DiPoto took over after the 2011 season, have gone 295-251. They made the postseason last year with a 98-64 record, but were swept out of the ALDS by the Wild Card-winning and eventual AL champion Royals.
DiPoto’s tenure also includes the signing of outfielder Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract in December 2012. Hamilton hit a paltry .255/.316/.426 with 31 home runs and 123 RBI in 1,017 PA with the Angels. Hamilton dealt with a drug relapse, which caused DiPoto and owner Arte Moreno to publicly criticize Hamilton before sending him to the Rangers in late April in a cash transaction.
In a column for the Orange County Register, Pedro Moura notes that the Angels are seeing a steep decline in attendance this season, “beat” only by the Rangers and Phillies. Despite seeing about 4,300 fewer fans per game on average, the Angels’ revenue from ticket sales has increased due to higher prices.
The Angels are admittedly and intentionally catering towards richer customers while neglecting poorer would-be ticket-buyers. Angels vice president of marketing and ticket sales Robert Alvarado:
“We may not be reaching as many of the people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, but those people, they may enjoy the game, but they pay less, and we’re not seeing the conversion on the per-caps,” Alvarado said. “In doing so, the ticket price that we’re offering those people, it’s not like I can segregate them, because I’m offering it up to the public, and I’m basically downselling everybody else in order to accommodate them.”
Catering to the rich might work in the short-term, but it’s not a good long-term strategy and it really doesn’t look good for P.R. purposes. The Angels have already had to clean up a P.R. mess after owner Arte Moreno and GM Jerry DiPoto criticized former outfielder Josh Hamilton publicly. They then sent Hamilton to the Rangers in a small cash transaction in late April.