Angels Give Up On Struggling Veteran Outfielder, Call Up Former First-Round Pick

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The Los Angeles Angels made a huge roster move on Monday ahead of their series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. The team announced that they were selecting the contract of veteran outfielder and former first-round pick Cole Tucker and recalling right-handed pitcher Davis Daniel from Triple-A Salt Lake.

To make room on the active roster for both players, and to make room on the 40-man roster for Tucker, the Angels designated outfielder Aaron Hicks for assignment, and optioned right-handed pitcher Zac Kristofak to Triple-A.

Hicks, 34, was the Angels' only offensive player added on a major league contract this offseason. The team signed him to a minimum contract for $740,000, taking a chance on the veteran slugger who struggled with the New York Yankees before figuring things out last season in Baltimore with the Orioles.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get things going in Anaheim. In 18 games, Hicks slashed .140/.222/.193 with one home run and five runs batted in. Due to the emergence of outfielder Jo Adell, who's slashing .327/.382/.592 with three home runs and 10 runs batted in, the team elected to DFA Hicks and give more at-bats to the former No. 10 overall pick.

With Hicks off the roster, the Angels elected to bring up another veteran outfielder in Tucker.

The team recently signed Tucker to a minor league deal, and he made an instant positive impression by homering off of Max Scherzer, who was making a rehab start.

In total, Tucker played 10 games in Triple-A Salt Lake, and slashed .313/.439/.469 with an OPS of .908. The Angels want to see what he can do at the MLB level, where the five-year veteran has a career slash line of .216/.266/.318.

As for the pitching, Kristofak allowed two unearned runs on Sunday in his MLB debut. Daniel, on the other hand, had a 6.08 ERA in five starts at Triple-A this season. He had a 2.19 ERA in three long relief appearances in 2023 at the MLB level.

Noah Camras


Noah graduated from USC in 2022 with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Sports Media Studies. He is the lead editor for Halos Today. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, and grew up a fan of all LA sports.