The Angels acquired David Freese to fill the hole they created when they traded Alberto Callaspo. They got Grant Green in that trade. The thought in some circles was that Green might be mildly serviceable at 3B as he is blocked at 2B by Howie Kendrick.
Jerry DiPoto gave the offseason attention to this mild crisis of depth at the hot corner some attention. He signed a decent duo of fill-ins:
- Ian Stewart - 28-year old former Rockies infielder
- Chad Tracy - 34 and been around but never played more than 29 games in a season
They balance in-house options Kaleb Cowart, Luis Jimenez and Andrew Romine. Along with Freese not a one of them is batting better than .273.
Meanwhile over at the assumedly-sealed-up 2B, everyone is a hitting machine. Grant Green is batting .379 and he is looking up at Howie, Tommy Field, Alex Yarbrough and John McDonald all batting over .400 in limited playing time in Tempe.
While last year Luis "Lucho" Jimenez had his chance to show us what he could do (yawn) at 3B, it appears that the veteran McDonald will be singing E-I-E-I-O on the bench. A much better glove than Freese look for him to enter games after the seventh inning when there is a lead to be protected with the leather.
Is McDonald scenario a good thing? Not really. Freese is made of glass and Farmer John has only played in 150 ML games over eight seasons. At 39 years old he cannot be expected to carry the weight of filling in every game should one of Freese's many noted aches and pains return.
The wild card here is Romine. Defensively he is top-tier material and offensively he has little to prove in the minors. With a bench role here, though, will h stay sharp? Perhaps the solution is Romine in AAA and up here to fill in for Freese should injury befall the new Halo with McDonald keeping the role of bench glove and stopgap.
And even in that, is there an Angels fan who can tell me he is more comfortable with this than the awesomely reliable if underwhelming Callaspo at third?