Joe Maddon wants Angels players to relax amid early slump


first_imgANAHEIM — In past years Joe Maddon would have had his team do American Legion Week — minimal pregame work, just show up and play — to help the players relax in the dog days of August.Except the dog days came early this season.The Angels have started this season in just the type of funk for which Maddon usually prescribes cutting back on work. It’s a little more tricky, however, to abandon batting practice when players are still trying to get their timing in the shortened season.While Maddon said he won’t do full-scale American Legion Week, he nonetheless would like to see his players work a little less to relieve some of the pressure of the slow start. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield “Right now the theme I’m trying to get across is do less to get more,” Maddon said before Monday’s game. “There’s nobody that can swing more than our guys swing or look at more video or care more or look at more data. Nobody. It’s impossible. But that’s not always the route back. If it was that easy, every team would have a bunch of .300 hitters with an .850 OPS.“You’ve got to find what works for you, and I think a lot of times what works, what they’re afraid to try, is less. Try easier.”The Angels have done particularly badly in clutch situations lately. Over the previous eight games they hit .137 with runners in scoring position, the worst average in the majors over that span.SUPPORTING ADELLJo Adell was back in the lineup, hitting ninth, a day after he made a four-base error and went hitless in four at-bats, with four strikeouts. Maddon said he personally did some extra work with Adell on defense before Monday’s game.As far as his offense — Adell was 2 for 15 with nine strikeouts — Maddon said they’re trying not to give him too much to think about. “Just supporting him,” Maddon said. “That was a tough game yesterday and I thought he handled it well. He’s a sharp kid. He listens well. Knows he doesn’t know everything. He has all the right stuff to be great. He’ll figure it out and we’ll keep working through it.”Regarding the error, the Texas Rangers plan to appeal the decision that charged Adell with a rare four-base error on the ball that Nick Solak hit on Sunday, general manager Jon Daniels told reporters in Texas.Solak’s drive hit Adell’s glove and bounced over the right field fence. The official scorer initially called it a homer but then, after consultation with the Elias Sports Bureau, changed it to a four-base error.SIMMONS UPDATEAndrelton Simmons, who is out with a sprained ankle, is accelerating his progress toward a return.“He’s getting close,” Maddon said. “He’s taking BP on the field, which puts him in line for a return. So he’s on the horizon.”Maddon did not have a more specific timetable for Simmons, who has been out since getting hurt on July 27. Simmons spoke to reporters a few days after the injury and it wasn’t as bad as a similar injury that cost him five weeks in 2019.ALSOFor the second day in a row, Maddon moved Mike Trout from his familiar No. 2 spot into the No. 3 spot. Generally the Angels have preferred Trout hit second because he came to the plate more often and they didn’t have two high on-base players to set the table for him, but Maddon feels that David Fletcher and Tommy La Stella are currently swinging the bat well enough that they can both create opportunities for Trout…The Angels activated Jose Suarez, who had been on the injured list for undisclosed reasons, and optioned him to the alternate site in Long Beach, where he had been working out for a couple weeks. The Angels also cleared a spot on the 40-man roster by designating Jose Rodriguez for assignment.Related Articleslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *