Brian Goodwin has big shoes to fill.
With teammate Mike Trout, a three-time American League MVP, on the paternity list, Goodwin will likely be patrolling center field when the Angels open a three-game series against the three-time defending American League West champion Houston Astros on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.
Goodwin, coming off a career year in which he hit .262 with 17 home runs and 47 RBIs, had a home run and three RBIs Wednesday and added two hits Thursday in losses to Seattle to raise his season average to .412.
"I've been sticking with my training regimen. I got to see a lot of stuff work last year, didn't forget what I did to get into that position," Goodwin told MLB.com. "Took it into the offseason, and the second offseason. I had more time to nitpick and get to the finer details of what I could do better and what would have the best production to come from it."
Goodwin has also been active off the field. He told reporters he participated in protests last month in Washington, D.C., after the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.
"It's an important issue and is something that needs to be addressed," Goodwin said. "And when you have the stage to address it, I feel like that you need to use it. And as of right now, I have the stage, I'm in a position and I'll have the support from the Angels, so it will be a detriment to people who know me and my fans, and people back home, for me to not take advantage of it."
As for those shoes?
Wednesday, Goodwin wore custom cleats, one blue and one yellow, to pay tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant and rapper Nipsey Hussle, both of whom died in the past 16 months.
"It just felt right to give them some honor and pay homage to them and what they meant to L.A., and me playing in L.A. right now, I thought it was just the right thing to do," said Goodwin, who went back to his regular red cleats Thursday.
Right-hander Matt Andriese (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is scheduled to make his first start for the Angels after pitching 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief Sunday at Oakland. It will be Andriese's first start since Sept. 18, 2018 while with Arizona. He's 1-1 with a 6.14 in four career appearances against the Astros, including two starts.
Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 3.00) is set to start for the Astros, who will be making their first road trip of the season. McCullers is 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 career starts against the Angels.
McCullers said the team recently held a meeting to discuss the importance of following health protocols to avoid contracting COVID-19 on the road.
It came after an outbreak among Miami Marlins players and staff forced several teams to postpone games.
"It's on us," McCullers said. "I'm not sure what the story is with Miami and how the virus was contracted and how it kind of spread. I see guys here being very good and diligent about the guidelines and making sure they do the right things. We're confident we can continue to have good testing and stay on the right track."
--Field Level Media