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Angels continue to mix and match at DH

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Iannetta has evolved into the everyday catcher, Albert Pujols is the first baseman, Howie Kendrick is at second, David Freese starts at third, Erick Aybar mans shortstop, Josh Hamilton is the left fielder, Mike Trout is in center and Kole Calhoun plays right.

The primary designated hitter? Well, it's complicated.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Iannetta has evolved into the everyday catcher, Albert Pujols is the first baseman, Howie Kendrick is at second, David Freese starts at third, Erick Aybar mans shortstop, Josh Hamilton is the left fielder, Mike Trout is in center and Kole Calhoun plays right.

The primary designated hitter? Well, it's complicated.

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The Angels have had a revolving door all year at DH -- or, as manager Mike Scioscia calls it, "the ninth bat," because he often uses the spot to give some of his position players a rest. It started with Raul Ibanez, then merged into C.J. Cron and has been done by committee since the start of August -- from Efren Navarro to Brennan Boesch to Gordon Beckham, who's normally inserted as the third baseman so that Freese can DH.

Ideally, Scioscia would ride one bat at DH the rest of the season.

More likely, he'll continue to mix and match.

The list of candidates can be whittled down no further than four -- two right-handed hitters in Cron and Beckham, two left-handed hitters in Navarro and Boesch. From Aug. 1 through Sunday, Cron has started four games, Navarro has started 12, Boesch has started nine and Beckham (acquired from the White Sox on Aug. 21) has started seven.

"If it means that one guy really steps up and starts swinging the bat, so be it," Scioscia said. "If it means that somebody's gotta DH a little bit more to get off their feet, so be it. If we have to mix and match, we'll do the best we can."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.

Los Angeles Angels, Gordon Beckham, C.J. Cron, David Freese