Some brutal injury news here for the Angels …
As first reported by Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, outfielder Josh Hamilton has been diagnosed with a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb along with a torn capsule. He needs surgery and will be out for 6-8 weeks.
Hamilton suffered the injury Tuesday on an ill-advised head-first slide into the first base bag. He was off to a promising start at the plate this season, boasting a .444 batting average and 1.286 OPS through eight games played. Hamilton had a .548 OPS last April.
J.B. Shuck was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night to provide outfield depth.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels and reliever Cody Allen are in agreement on a one-year contract, pending a physical. The value of the contract is not yet known.
Allen, 30, was looking for an opportunity to close and the Angels can certainly provide that. He will likely be the favorite to break camp as the closer. 2018 was the roughest year of his career, however, as he finished with a 4.70 ERA, 27 saves, and a 80/33 K/BB ratio in 67 innings. Among Allen’s six full seasons, his 27.7 strikeout rate and 11.4 percent walk rate represented career-worsts. FanGraphs also shows him losing nearly a full MPH on his average fastball velocity.
The Angels lost closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgery early last season and he likely won’t return until the second half of the 2019 season. Blake Parker, who handled save situations in Middleton’s place, was non-tendered by the Angels in November and ended up signing with the Twins. The closer’s role is Allen’s to lose, it seems.