As the Los Angeles Angels prep for spring training, they have a few positions with multiple players vying for a starting job.
Looking at the Los Angeles Angels as a whole, they’ll likely have a different philosophy this season. For one, they will not try a platooning system in left field anymore. It’s also likely, they promote Jefry Marte to a starting role, whether it be second base or left field.
Furthermore, the Angels will have to dub Carlos Perez as the starting catcher for this upcoming season. Not only, is Perez a finalist for a Gold Glove award this season. He is also noted as being a “johnny on the spot” for the Angels this season.
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The Angels had multiple injuries to the catcher position. In fact, Perez only appeared in 82 games this season. Of those 82, he started in 76. Perez has an outstanding fielding percentage of .995. Within that, Perez had 571 putouts for the season while only committing three errors.
Defensively, Perez is a solid guy. Those numbers should guarantee him a starting role next season. His offensive numbers aren’t horrible either. Last season, he averaged a .209, while batting in 31 runners, with five homers of his own.
Ideally, the Angels will part ways with Geovany Soto and have Jett Bandy take the backup spot with Juan Graterol. His only real competition is Bandy. Bandy averaged a .234 batting average last season and also batted in a handful of runners with 25.
One thing to think about here, the Angels have two decent catchers and one coming into his own in Graterol. This is a good problem to have. While the Angels have to focus on the gaping holes in the starting rotation and the dreaded left field problem, they can rest assured that the catcher’s position should be a lock with Perez.
So, that brings up a huge question for next season. With all of these hidden gems on the squad, why didn’t the Angels compete? Even with sub-par pitching, the Angels clearly have some great defensive players, right?
The problem stems from the second base position and the left field. Once the Angels get these two keys areas of the field locked up, they can afford to have pitching that’s not as lights out as the Chicago Cubs.
The Angels also have to be mindful of Mike Trout and his upcoming free agency. The Angels must build around Trout and start making the postseason now. If the Angels can sneak into the playoffs this upcoming season, it would make a long-lasting effect in keep Trout for the future.