TEMPE, Ariz. -- A few things have changed since we first took a crack at predicting the Angels' Opening Day roster last month.One week into Spring Training, the Angels traded C.J. Cron to the Rays and signed veterans Chris Young and Chris Carter. The moves had implications for the club's
TEMPE, Ariz. -- A few things have changed since we first took a crack at predicting the Angels' Opening Day roster last month.
One week into Spring Training, the Angels traded C.J. Cron to the Rays and signed veterans Chris Young and Chris Carter. The moves had implications for the club's 2018 roster outlook, prompting a few minor tweaks to our original prediction.
Injuries and other unforeseeable events could still alter the composition of the Halos' roster over the final two weeks of Spring Training, but here's a look at where things stand with 16 days left until Opening Day.
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Catcher (2):Martin Maldonado, Rene Rivera
First base (2):Luis Valbuena, Jose Pujols
Cron is no longer in the mix, as the Angels decided to clear up their logjam at first base by trading him to the Rays in exchange for a player to be named. The next day, the Halos signed Carter to a Minor League deal, so he would be next on the depth chart in the event of an injury to Valbuena or Pujols.
Second base (1):Ian Kinsler
Third base (1):Zack Cozart
Shortstop (1):Andrelton Simmons
Simmons suffered a left shoulder strain last week, but the Angels don't believe the injury is serious enough to jeopardize his availability for Opening Day.
Utility (1):Colin Walsh
The Cron trade opened up a spot on the Angels' bench for another infielder, and Walsh's versatility makes him a good fit for the role. Signed to a Minor League deal over the offseason, Walsh is a switch-hitter who can play all four infield spots as well as left field. The 28-year-old Stanford product hit .346 (9-for-26) with a 1.106 OPS, three home runs and nine RBIs in 14 Cactus League games this spring. Kaleb Cowart, Nolan Fontana, Jose Fernandez and Jefry Marte are other options for the final bench job.
Outfield (4):Michael Trout, Justin Upton, Kole Calhoun, C. Young
Eric Young appeared to be the fourth outfielder at the outset of spring, but that job is now projected to go to Chris Young, who has yet to play because of a right calf injury, but is expected to be ready for the start of the season.
Starting pitching (6):Garrett Richards, Shohei Ohtani, Tyler Skaggs, Andrew Heaney, Matthew Shoemaker, JC Ramirez
There had been some questions about Ramirez's health entering Spring Training, as he was coming off stem-cell therapy to treat a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, but the 29-year-old right-hander has dispelled concerns by posting a 3.72 ERA over three Cactus League starts. Ramirez seems likely to earn the final spot in the Halos' rotation over Parker Bridwell and Nick Tropeano, both of whom could be optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to start the season.
Bullpen (7):Richard Parker, Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Jose Alvarez, Keynan Middleton, Blake Wood, Noe Ramirez
The bullpen prediction remains unchanged for now, but the race for the final spot is still wide open. Noe Ramirez has pitched well, with a 2.84 ERA over 6 1/3 innings this spring, but Rule 5 Draft pick Luke Bard, non-roster invitee Ian Krol and Felix Pena still have time to make a push over the last couple weeks of camp.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.