Angels have faith in infielder Kyren Paris as Guardians come to Anaheim

Thu May 23 8:53pm ET
Field Level Media

It's not often that a player hitting .091 in Double-A gets a promotion to the big league team. For Los Angeles Angels infielder Kyren Paris, though, that is exactly what happened.

Paris is not spending a lot of time riding the bench; and he could get significant time at shortstop starting Friday when the Los Angeles Angels host the Cleveland Guardians in Anaheim, Calif.

The Angels are awaiting word on the severity of an injury to starting shortstop Zach Neto, who had to leave Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros after hurting his right elbow on a throw to first base.

That could give Paris an opportunity for more playing time in the infield, whether it's at shortstop or second base. Paris was called up on May 9, not because he was tearing it up for the Rocket City Trash Pandas -- he was hitting .091 with no homers and a .328 OPS in 23 games -- but because the Angels' infield depth was challenged after injuries to several players.

One of those players on the injured list was Luis Rengifo, but Rengifo is back and can play shortstop.

Paris has struggled offensively in 11 games with the Angels, hitting .138 with one homer and a .541 OPS. But that one home run came in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over the Astros, giving Angels manager Ron Washington hope that the 22-year-old can become a productive major league player.

"The kid has that in him," Washington said. "He's young; he's still learning. But when he realizes what he can do, he's going to be a good baseball player. And right now, he's in the right place to learn how to play the game."

Paris hit .255 with 14 homers, 23 doubles and an .810 OPS last season for Rocket City in Madison, Ala., so the Angels had faith in him despite his slow start this year in the minors.

"I think things have been going really good," Paris said. "I've been learning a lot and just continue to work and improve on my game. We have an incredible coaching staff and an incredible group of guys around me. So it's been special to just be in this environment and keep getting better."

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval (2-6, 4.59 ERA) will make his 11th start of the season for the Angels. He is 1-2 with a 2.96 ERA in five career starts vs. Cleveland.

Lefty Logan Allen (5-2, 4.91) will make his 11th start of the season for Cleveland. Allen is 1-0 in two career starts against the Angels with a 3.86 ERA in 9 1/3 innings.

Allen is coming off two consecutive starts in which he did not allow a run -- six scoreless vs. the White Sox on May 12 and six scoreless vs. Minnesota on Saturday.

It all started with the first pitch of the game against the White Sox when Chicago's Tommy Pham hit a live drive off Allen's back. Allen not only stayed in the game, he has thrown 12 consecutive scoreless innings over the past two games since then.

"He's such a bulldog," Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. "(Catcher David Fry) was joking with him when we were on the mound. He said, ‘Hey, last time you got hit, you dominated. Let's do it again.' "

Allen also got hit by a liner earlier in the year, taking one off the left elbow from the Yankees' Anthony Volpe on April 14. Allen remained in that game as well.

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