I think Ian Kinsler and Kole Calhoun are the most likely options. Kinsler has led off for most of his career, batting .271/.339/.461 in that spot, and he could give the club some pop and on-base skills at the top of the order. The 35-year-old veteran is coming off a
I think Ian Kinsler and Kole Calhoun are the most likely options. Kinsler has led off for most of his career, batting .271/.339/.461 in that spot, and he could give the club some pop and on-base skills at the top of the order. The 35-year-old veteran is coming off a down season after hitting .236/.313/.412 with 22 homers in 2017, but the Angels are optimistic he'll be able to return to his usual levels of productivity this season.
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The left-handed-hitting Calhoun could also be used in the leadoff spot, especially if the club wants to avoid starting with a string of right-handed hitters. Calhoun has batted .277/.334/.463 in 204 games as the leadoff hitter for the Angels.
I think it's unlikely the Angels will make any more significant additions to their pitching staff, but I'm sure they'll continue to monitor the glacial free-agent market for potential bargains, especially with Spring Training less than two weeks away. Despite the injury history of many of their starters, I think the Angels are satisfied with their internal depth and are expecting most of their improvement to come from a healthier rotation in 2018.
If the Angels decide to carry six starters, I think the rotation will be comprised of Garrett Richards, Shohei Ohtani, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs and Matthew Shoemaker, with Nick Tropeano, Parker Bridwell and JC Ramirez competing for the final spot during Spring Training. Of the group, only Richards and Ramirez are out of options, so the rest can be sent to Triple-A if they're unable to crack the rotation. Richards, arguably the club's most talented pitcher, is virtually guaranteed a rotation spot, while Ramirez has the flexibility to be a starter or a reliever.
I think it's more of the latter. Eppler and his staff have already addressed most of the Angels' holes this offseason, so I think whatever moves are left will likely be minor and more about complementing the depth they already have. However, many notable free agents remain unsigned, so perhaps the Angels take advantage of the state of the marketplace and pounce on a player who they view as a good fit for the club.
The Angels unveiled a commemorative logo to celebrate Vladimir Guerrero's induction into the Hall of Fame last week, but they are not planning on using it as a jersey patch throughout the season.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.