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OC Register: Angels GM Perry Minasian is open to adding a ‘rental’ for the pennant race


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SEATTLE — As the Angels sit on the fringe of the playoff race with three weeks to go before the trading deadline, Perry Minasian is naturally not ruling out anything.

While saying that he doesn’t care for the labels “buyer” and “seller,” the Angels general manager said on Saturday the focus will be improving the team in the short- and long-term however possible.

That could even mean acquiring a player who will be a free agent at the end of the season, a so-called “rental.”

“I think the player has to make sense, but I don’t think anybody’s against adding a rental,” Minasian said. “I know it’s perceived to be a rental, but I’ve been in situations where you acquire a player, have him for three months, you really enjoy your time together and you extend that player in the offseason. There is absolutely a possibility we examine rentals and players with control, to improve.”

As they began play on Saturday, the Angels were 4-1/2 games out of the second wild card spot, which in itself doesn’t sound so daunting. The problem is there are five other teams they need to pass, including the Oakland A’s, who currently sit in that spot.

That being said, Minasian is looking more toward adding players than subtracting them.

“These guys have played really hard,” he said. “I give Joe (Maddon) and the staff a lot of credit. Over the last three weeks, we’ve played extremely well. We’re definitely looking for ways to improve the team.”

ADELL AND MARSH UPDATES

Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Dexter Fowler — the Angels projected starting outfielders — are all on the injured list. Fowler is out for the season, and Upton and Trout have also missed significant time, but they could both be back shortly after the All-Star break.

Their absences, though, have created more questions about when the Angels could bring up Jo Adell and/or Brandon Marsh.

Minasian said both still have work to do in Triple-A. Adell is hitting .275 with a .907 OPS and 18 homers at Triple-A. He has also struck out 74 times in 236 at-bats.

“Jo’s playing well,” Minasian said. “He’s going through his ups and downs. There are still some things he’s working on from an offensive standpoint. There are still things he’s working on from a defensive standpoint. There’s still things he’s working on from a base running standpoint…  The power is there. We all know that we’ve seen it. They’re just rounding out some of the other parts of the game.”

Marsh has missed most of the season with a shoulder injury. This weekend he returned to Salt Lake, hitting a homer and a triple on Friday night. Marsh had never played Triple-A before this season, and so far he has just 79 plate appearances.

Minasian said that he’s eager to watch Marsh now that he’s healthy.

“I’m expecting him to have a big, big second half and, and I look forward to see him play not only offensively, but seeing him on defense too, Minasian said. “He’s a two way player that I think I think will be the type of player that people pay to come watch.”

Despite the time Marsh has missed, Minasian said he “wouldn’t rule out” that he could be in the majors later this season.

A GIG FOR IPPEI

Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter is going to be behind the plate catching while Ohtani is hitting in the Home Run Derby.

Ippei Mizuhara got in a little work during batting practice on Saturday, putting on the gear while Jason Brown was throwing. Brown is going to pitch to Ohtani in the Derby.

Mizuhara said he has caught Ohtani’s bullpen sessions in the winter.

NOTES

Minasian said “hopefully” Anthony Rendon (hamstring) will be able to return to the lineup when the Angels return from the All-Star break on Friday. Rendon worked out on the field before Saturday’s game in Seattle…

Maddon had publicly lobbied for David Fletcher to make the All-Star team as an injury replacement, but Kansas City Royals’ second baseman Whit Merrifield was selected as the replacement for the Houston Astros’ José Altuve. Merrifield was selected by virtue of being next on the list in the player voting.

UP NEXT

Angels (LHP José Suarez, 3-2, 2.37 ERA) at Mariners (TBD), Sunday, 1:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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