Remember how the Los Angeles Angels (44-49) have zero margin for error going into the second half? Remember how they couldn’t afford yet another costly setback?
Well, the baseball gods doled out another healthy dose of pain for the Halos, who on Thursday learned that they would have to do without the services of injured outfielder Peter Bourjos for at least another two weeks.
Bourjos—who had played in just 40 games before a fastball fractured his right wrist on June 29—was hitting .333 at the time of his injury. His reliable bat combined with his impressive base-running and excellent coverage in center field made Bourjos a deadly weapon for the Angels. Los Angeles will have to dig even deeper if it is to stand up to its divisional rivals the Oakland Athletics (56-39) and Texas Rangers (54-41), both of whom the Halos will have to face without Bourjos.
In lieu of Bourjos, manager Mike Scioscia will have to stick with J.B. Shuck in left field, while Mike Trout will continue to assume Bourjos’ duties in center field. The setback could complicate possible trade scenarios involving Shuck, as the Angels need to start asking themselves if Bourjos will continue to be as injury-prone as he has been this year.
Though the Halo offense will be hurt by the prolonged absence of its leadoff hitter, the lineup can still be deadly if Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton can rediscover their stroke. Hamilton showed signs of life before the break, hitting safely in 14 of his last 17 games, but he will have to perform far better to give the Angels a chance in the second half.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels blogger for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.