Los Angeles Angels infielder Tommy La Stella was just days away from playing in his first career All-Star Game. “Was” being the key term, because on Wednesday the Angels announced La Stella had fractured his right tibia after fouling a pitch off his leg during Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers. According to the Angels, the standard recovery timeline is two-plus months:
La Stella, 30, is in the midst of a banner season. He exited Tuesday hitting .300/.353/.495 (125 OPS+) with 16 home runs in 78 games. The power is notable in part because La Stella had previously homered 10 times in his first 396 big-league games.
La Stella, believe it or not, isn’t the only Angels player heading to the injured list. Outfielder Brian Goodwin was also shelved due to a wrist contusion. In corresponding moves, the Angels brought up outfielder Jarrett Parker and infielder Matt Thaiss.
Of the two, Thaiss is the more interesting. He’s a former first-round pick who has hit .274/.390/.477 while seeing action at both infield corners this season. Though Thaiss is likely just a first baseman or DH in the long run, he has the chance to be an above-average hitter.
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The Angels, at 43-43, are four games back in the wild card race. They beat the Rangers on Tuesday night in their first game since the tragic death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.
The Angels also lost Brian Goodwin, who was hit in the right wrist by a pitch on Tuesday. Goodwin did not suffer any fractures, so his stint on the injured list will be much shorter. Although Eppler wasn’t sure how long Goodwin would be out, next week’s All-Star break made placing him on the 10-day injured list an easy decision.
“Those guys have been very important pieces to our club and for our season to date,” Eppler said. “Goody and Tommy were helping carry us a large portion of April and May… It’s a loss.”