As if losing a 13-inning game against the Padres on an error-induced walk-off run scored by a pitcher who pinch-hit wasn’t bad enough, the Angels also lost Vernon Wells and Ryan Langerhans to injuries.
Wells injured his thumb stealing second base and Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that he was wearing a cast after the game.
Langerhans left the game after slamming into the outfield wall, leading to some creative defensive alignments by the Angels, including Howie Kendrick in left field for what proved to be the game-losing play.
Langerhans was just called up from Triple-A and Wells hasn’t produced since joining the Angels last season, so the losses aren’t exactly team-crushing. However, recently at least Wells was showing some signs of life by hitting .273 with two homers and a .752 OPS in 16 games this month.
Torii Hunter also remains away from the team following his son’s arrest, but even without those three players around the Angels still have enough outfield depth to trot out Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, and Mark Trumbo, which plenty of teams would love to have as their everyday trio.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.