Angels reliever Hans Crouse thrilled to return to majors with new attitude

LOS ANGELES — Hans Crouse returned to the major leagues for the first time in three years, and this time it meant even more to him.

“This one feels 10 times better than when I got called up by Philly,” the Angels right-hander said on Friday, after he was called upon from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Crouse, a 25-year-old product of Dana Hills High, was a top prospect with a 102 mph fastball. He was the second-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers and a rookie with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Crouse, who dealt with a biceps tendon tear in 2022 and thoracic outlet syndrome in 2023, said getting past those injuries has given him a new perspective on being in the big leagues.

He also said he might have taken his spot for granted, based on his prospect status and raw talent.

“I just had some things I didn’t like about myself as a person the past few years,” Crouse said. “I felt like, and it sounds weird, I felt like the game almost owed me something. And this game does not owe you a damn thing. And I just put my head down and I went to work. I told myself going into this year, ‘Just throw the ball over the plate as many times as you can and see how far that can take you.’ And it’s pretty cool that it got me here.”

Crouse’s fastball is now around 96 mph. He still relies heavily on his slider and a splitter that he developed this season at Salt Lake.

He had a 2.70 ERA at Salt Lake, with 42 strikeouts and seven walks in 23⅓ innings.

Those numbers helped him back to the majors, and back home.

Crouse grew up in Orange County and he still lives in Huntington Beach, with his wife and son. He said he would enjoy sleeping in his own bed while he’s in the majors.

The Angels called him up to take the roster spot of right-hander José Soriano, who is on the injured list with an abdominal infection.

Manager Ron Washington said Soriano isn’t expected to miss more than the minimum 15 days. He will be eligible to be activated when the Angels open a trip in Oakland on July 2.

The missed time helps manage Soriano’s innings. A converted reliever, Soriano is just 10 innings shy of his career high, which he reached in 2019, two Tommy John surgeries ago.

“We were thinking about pushing him back anyway, so this helps us to get him a break,” Washington said. “It’s not going to be longer than the time he has to stay on there.”

Right-hander Zach Plesac, who was an emergency replacement for Soriano on Monday, will pitch in his place on Saturday.

RENDON UPDATE

Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who is out rehabbing from a torn hamstring, continues to hit and take ground balls with no limitations. He is running, but not doing sharp cuts, Washington said.

“He’s getting close,” Washington said.

It remains to be seen whether Rendon will go on a rehab assignment before being activated. Rendon has the right to determine whether he needs one or not. If not, the Angels could just have him get live at-bats against minor league pitchers in Anaheim. The Angels did that in the past with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani when they were coming back from injuries.

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“I think when that time comes, he’ll make that decision and we’ll move forward from there,” Washington said.

NOTES

Second baseman Brandon Drury was a late scratch because of an illness. …

Right-hander Chase Silseth (right elbow inflammation) was scheduled for his third rehab outing with Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday night. Silseth had allowed six earned runs in eight innings in his first two games. …

Miguel Sanó was scheduled to DH for Salt Lake on Friday night. Sanó is on the injured list because of left knee inflammation. He was set for the 14th game of his rehab assignment, which was interrupted when he burned his leg with a heating pad.

UP NEXT

Angels (RHP Zach Plesac, 1-0, 4.50 ERA) at Dodgers (RHP Tyler Glasnow, 7-5, 3.00 ERA), Saturday, 7:10 p.m., Bally Sports West, 830 AM

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