Peter Bourjos is the first casualty from last night’s Angels-A’s marathon that saw multiple players leave with injuries, as the Angels center fielder has been placed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Bourjos nearly beat out a sacrifice bunt in the 11th inning, but came up lame right as his feet hit first base and immediately exited in obvious pain. He was off to an excellent start, hitting .313 with an .827 OPS in addition to his outstanding defense. Mike Trout figures to shift from left field to center field.
To take Bourjos’ place on the roster the Angels are expected to activate shortstop Erick Aybar, who’s spent the past three weeks on the DL with a heel injury. Aybar went 2-for-5 with a homer and a double in a rehab game yesterday at Triple-A.
Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.
The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.
The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.