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OC Register: Angels planned to move Kaleb Cowart to the mound before he was claimed by Mariners


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LAS VEGAS — The Angels had been preparing to try Kaleb Cowart as a pitcher, but now they won’t get the chance.

Cowart was claimed on waivers by the Seattle Mariners on Monday, and the Mariners  announced that Cowart would come to camp as a pitcher and infielder.

Cowart had already been throwing in preparation for a transition with the Angels, according to general manager Billy Eppler.

Cowart, 26, had not been able to establish himself offensively in the majors, hitting .177 in 380 plate appearances over parts of four seasons. The Angels continued with him as an infielder because he was young and was well above average defensively, at third.

When he was a first-round draft pick in 2010, many teams viewed Cowart more as a pitcher than a hitter. After he struggled for a few seasons in the Angels farm system, the Angels toyed with the idea of moving him to the mound. That was when Jerry Dipoto was the general manager. Dipoto is now the Mariners’ GM.

The Angels have become more open to the idea of a two-way player since the success of Shohei Ohtani. They also have had minor leaguer hitters Jared Walsh and Bo Way begin getting instruction on pitching.

More to come on this story.

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2 hours ago, stormngt said:

Why the hell did they wait until he was out of options to do it?  It was pretty clear that he wasn't a major league hitter three years ago.

It's a fair question.  However, three years ago I think they saw greater value in the fact that he could play multiple positions in the infield, and even outfield, and they thought having him concentrate on finding himself at the plate would eventually work out.  He flirted with hitting from one side only, changing his batting stance, and becoming more patient, but it just didn't shake him out of his slumps.  I still maintain that he is a great player defensively, with just an average performance at the plate he would have made a great utility infielder.  Who knows what he will do with pitching at the MLB level.  Could be a really good gamble for Seattle.

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