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Angels cut long-struggling lefty José Suarez, bring up Zach Plesac, activate Brandon Drury from IL

Struggling left-hander José Suarez was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels after his latest poor outing.

The Angels also designated infielder Cole Tucker for assignment, activated infielder Brandon Drury from the 10-day injured list and selected the contract of right-hander Zach Plesac from Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday.

Plesac was then assigned to start in his Angels debut Monday night against Milwaukee when scheduled starter José Soriano was scratched about two hours before the first pitch with lower abdominal pain.

Suarez joined the Angels' rotation midway through the 2021 season and pitched well through 2022, going 16-16 with a 3.86 ERA. The 26-year-old Venezuelan hasn't been able to recapture that form since then, missing most of 2023 with a left shoulder injury and going 2-5 with an 8.22 ERA in 29 appearances over the past two seasons overall.

"He just wasn't performing," Angels manager Ron Washington said. "We need to get some people up here to perform. We certainly want to keep him in our organization, so our fingers are crossed that he won't get claimed and we can keep him and get him right. He just wasn't right."

Suarez took two losses on the Angels' road trip last week while giving up nine runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings. His ERA jumped to 8.15 when he allowed five runs on five hits over one inning Sunday in Los Angeles' 13-6 loss to San Francisco.

Washington also said Suarez didn't irritate the Angels when the lefty curiously said he thought he had pitched well against the Giants.

"I think when you're a baseball player, you're going to be positive about what you do out there," Washington said. "But it's obvious the results weren't there, so that's it."

Plesac joined the Angels in January after his five-year tenure in Cleveland ended. The right-hander is 26-27 with a 4.20 ERA in his major league career as a starter for the Guardians, and he has made 13 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake this year.

Plesac was scheduled to start again in the minors on Tuesday, so the Angels decided to put him on the mound a day earlier after Soriano was ruled out.

"I'm just looking for Zach to be Zach," Washington said. "He's a starter. Stay out there as long as he can. I don't think when he flew here, this was his idea. But it is what it is, and he's a starter."

Drury has been out May 8 with a hamstring injury, missing 34 games. The veteran was off to a rough start in the Angels' first 30 games, batting .173 with one homer and six RBIs.

Tucker has batted .180 with a .563 OPS for the Angels, who recalled him in late April.

Luis Rengifo wasn't in the Angels' starting lineup Monday night after exiting Sunday's game with a bruised wrist after getting hit by a pitch, but Washington said the injury isn't thought to be serious.

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