The Los Angeles Angels will begin a homestand Friday against the Minnesota Twins coming off a road trip that resulted in some changes to the roster.
The Angels, who went 3-3 on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals, lost three starters to the injured list, including one who will miss the rest of the season.
Right fielder Dexter Fowler suffered a torn ACL in his left knee and isn't coming back this year. Third baseman Anthony Rendon (groin) and catcher Max Stassi (thumb) were placed on the 10-day injured list with ailments not nearly as serious as Fowler's, but they have forced manager Joe Maddon to make some adjustments.
Jose Rojas is expected to get most of the starts at third base in place of Rendon, and the Angels are hoping he can settle in now that he finally got his first major league hit.
Rojas began this season, and his major league career, without a hit in his first 17 at-bats. But he doubled in the ninth inning Wednesday in Kansas City to break the streak.
"It goes back to game-planning and having a simple approach, a nice and easy approach with a good pitch to swing at and then go from there," Rojas said, adding that getting his first hit out of the way was a "sigh of relief."
The Angels called up outfielder Jon Jay from the taxi squad to start the last two games of the trip in Kansas City, but the club might call up Taylor Ward from the alternate site in Arizona to play right field starting Friday.
Left fielder Justin Upton missed a couple games with a back issue but is expected back in the lineup Friday. With Stassi out, Kurt Suzuki will get most of the starts at catcher.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney (1-1, 7.00 ERA) will be on the mound for Los Angeles, having made two starts this season that had completely opposite results. He gave up seven runs in only three innings in his season debut against the White Sox on April 2, but rebounded in a big way last Friday when he held the Blue Jays scoreless in six innings while striking out nine.
Heaney had made one start in his career against the Twins, giving up two runs in six innings and getting a no-decision.
While the Angels are without their third baseman, the Twins welcomed back theirs, 2015 American League MVP Josh Donaldson. Donaldson injured his left hamstring on Opening Day and was out before returning to the lineup Wednesday.
Donaldson had to test the hamstring immediately -- he singled in his first at-bat, then went first-to-third on a base hit, before scoring on a sacrifice fly.
"Honestly, I felt like throughout the entire rehab process, I was running and not really thinking about it a whole lot," Donaldson said. "I felt pretty good and confident in it, so I had some reassurance in my hamstring throughout all the exercises and stuff I was doing."
Left-hander Lewis Thorpe will start for the Twins Friday and make his season debut after making just one start for the team in 2020.
--Field Level Media