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Angels Official Website: Mix of vets in heated battle for Angels' bench


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Five veteran position players were added on Minor League contracts over the offseason, including first baseman Carlos Pena, corner outfielder Brennan Boesch, corner infielder Chad Tracy, third baseman Ian Stewart and utility infielder John McDonald. Five intriguing in-house candidates are in the mix right along with them, which makes 10 players fighting for three spots on the bench.

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"Five veteran position players were added on Minor League contracts over the offseason, a quintet that has accumulated 4,308 Major League games: first baseman Carlos Pena, corner outfielder Brennan Boesch, corner infielder Chad Tracy, third baseman Ian Stewart and utility infielder John McDonald.

 

Five intriguing in-house candidates are in the mix right along with them: outfielders J.B. Shuck and Collin Cowgill, utility infielders Andrew Romine and Grant Green, and third baseman Luis Jimenez."

 

 

Tough choices to be made with only 3 available spots.  I imagine they'll go with 1 outfielder and 2 infielders, and will look mostly for versatility rather than offense.  I don't anticipate this lineup struggling to score runs.

 

I'd have to say Shuck is almost a lock considering his versatility in the outfield and he'd most likely become the leadoff hitter if/when one of the big bats goes down.  In that scenario, they'd likely have to push Calhoun and Trout down the order to maintain that MOTO production which means Shuck would be the only guy available that can give you consistent OBP at the top.

 

As much as I like Green's bat, I'd have to choose Romine over him just for the versatility.  Romine can cover 2B, SS, and 3B which makes him a good candidate for the infield.

 

As for the last spot, that's the toughest choice and would have to be someone that can back up Pujols.  I think this is the one spot where offense is a little more important than defense because putting Pujols at DH will more than likely push Ibanez to the bench and they'll have to somehow replace that bat in the lineup.  That really only leaves Pena and Tracy to back up Pujols, and you might as well flip a coin for that one.

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