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For the first time this season, the Angels offense is what management was dreaming it would turn out to be. Justin Upton made his 2019 debut on June 16 after missing two and a half months due to turf toe (sprained toe).

On the very first pitch, he homered off of Edwin Jackson. And in 10 games, he has shown how big of a threat that he is in the lineup. In those 10 games, he is batting .306, has hit 3 home runs, 4 RBIs, while having a .390 on-base percentage. The Angels need Upton to stay healthy since he still has three years left on his contract worth $72 million. Wilfredo Tovar was designated for assignment in order to make room for Justin Upton. This was a day after Tovar scored from second on a heads up play. Standing on second base with one out in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over the Reds, Tovar watched as designated hitter Shohei Ohtani hit a fly ball to deep left field. Peraza made the catch near the wall. However, he thought it was the inning’s final out, he didn’t immediately throw the ball back in, and Tovar took advantage. Because of this play, fans weren’t too happy that he was designated for assignment and were quick to note that they would miss his hustle.

The Angels also got another important piece back from their lineup. Three days ago, Andrelton Simmons was activated from the 10-day injured list after spending almost five weeks recovering from a Grade 3 ankle sprain. Prior to him being injured, Simmons’ slash line was .298/.323/.415. He also hit 3 home runs and had 5 stolen bases. Simmons is arguably the best shortstop in the league defensively and he’s now an offensive threat as well. In order to bring Simmons back, Jaime Barria was optioned back to AAA.

The Angels now have a pretty dangerous lineup and manager Brad Ausmus has options as he puts the lineup together. Here’s what the lineup looked like against Cincinnati Reds 7-year veteran and 32-year old right-hander Tanner Roark…

  1. Tommy LaStella (2B)

  2. Mike Trout (CF)

  3. Shohei Ohtani (DH)

  4. Justin Upton (LF)

  5. Brian Goodwin (RF)

  6. David Fletcher (3B)

  7. Justin Bour (1B)

  8. Luis Rengifo (SS)

  9. Justin Garneau (C)

Here’s what the lineup looked like yesterday against Oakland A’s sophomore 26-year old right-hander Tanner Anderson…

  1. Tommy LaStella (3B)

  2. Mike Trout (CF)

  3. Shohei Ohtani (DH)

  4. Justin Upton (LF)

  5. Kole Calhoun (RF)

  6. Albert Pujols (1B)

  7. Andrelton Simmons (SS)

  8. Luis Rengifo (2B)

  9. Jonathan Lucroy (C)

And here’s what the lineup looked like against the A’s 8-year veteran 34-year old right-hander Mike Fiers today…

  1. Tommy LaStella (2B)

  2. Mike Trout (CF)

  3. Shohei Ohtani (DH)

  4. Kole Calhoun (RF)

  5. Albert Pujols (1B)

  6. Brian Goodwin (LF)

  7. David Fletcher (3B)

  8. Luis Rengifo (SS)

  9. Jonathan Lucroy (C)

Notice that this lineup allows Albert Pujols get some rest if Justin Bour plays at first base and Shohei Ohtani is the designated hitter. Sometimes Pujols will play first base allowing Bour a day off while Ohtani is the DH.

David Fletcher can play a multiple of positions (OF, 3B, SS, and 2B), which allows Ausmus to be flexible around the infield. Luis Rengifo can play at shortstop or second base and Tommy LaStella can play second or third base.

The Angels had picked up Brian Goodwin on waivers and have done so well that he can play left field allowing Upton to ease back into the lineup.

Finally, Jonathan Lucroy is the everyday catcher, but backup Justin Garneau has some pop (.286), which allows Lucroy a day off.


Now the Angels can only hope that the starters can feel very confident in this lineup, run with it, get ahead of hitters, and keep the ball in the ballpark. If they can, a wild card spot would be within reach.

Featured Image: Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports
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