The Angels lost two key members of their lineup in All-Star 2nd Baseman Tommy La Stella and Catcher Jonathan Lucroy to injuries since July 2nd.
The first injury occurred on Tuesday, July 2nd to Tommy La Stella versus the Texas Rangers. La Stella was up at the plate with the Base Loaded, the count was 3-2 and La Stella fouled a ball off of his shin. He went down to the ground immediately in pain and eventually needed to be helped up off of the field. The Angels would later announce that he was diagnosed with a fractured right tibia and the recovery time for that injury is generally 8 to 10 weeks.
The injury is unfortunate as La Stella had been selected to his first ever All-Star game two days before the injury. He earned the honor of being an All-Star as he currently has a slash-line of .300/.353/.495 to go along with his 49 Runs, 7 Doubles, 16 Home Runs, and 44 RBI in 78 games. Those categories with the exception of On-Base Percentage (.353) and Doubles (7) are career highs.
The second injury involved Catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Sunday, July 7th against the Houston Astros. The injury happened when the Astros had the bases loaded and 1 out and the batter was Outfielder George Springer flew out to Right Fielder Kole Calhoun and he immediately threw the ball to home plate as the runner on 3rd base tagged up to try to score. The runner was Outfielder Jake Marisnick and he collided with Jonathan Lucroy as he was attempting to make the catch from Calhoun. Immediately following the collision Lucroy was down and attended to by trainers.
After a few minutes Lucroy was able to stand up on his own, then carted off of the field and was immediately taken to a local hospital in Houston. The Angels would later announce that Lucroy had suffered a fractured nose and a concussion. He is going to to visit with an ENT (Ears, Nose, and Throat) doctor after the swelling has gone down to address the fracture. That visit with the ENT doctor is expected to be sometime after the All-Star break.
The Angels have not had a hard time with players to fill in for La Stella as they pretty much now have their infield set with David Fletcher at 3rd Base, Luis Rengifo at 2nd Base, and Andrelton Simmons at Shortstop, as he has made a recovery from his ankle sprain. The catching position will likely be a little different as the Angels two main Catchers are Lucroy and Kevan Smith, who is currently out with a hand injury. There has not been any updates on Smith, who has been on the injured list since June 20th. The Angels also have Jose Briceno on the 40-man roster, but he has been on the IL in Triple-A since May 20th. That leaves only Dustin Garneau who has been up since Smith was placed on the IL.
The Angels do not have anyone else who has caught at the big league level. If Smith and Briceno are still on the IL, it will be interesting to see if the Angels have someone to bring up or potentially find someone outside of the organization.
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