Let's take a look at the Angels Outfield and how it stacks up for opening day... now just three weeks away...
RF - Kole Calhoun
2015 will be Kole Calhoun's "Age 27" season. This is the mythical "peak year" in which a ballplayer has his peak physical skills balanced with a baseball intellect to make best use of those skills. Calhoun is loved in Anaheim and has shown no signs that anything about his success in the bigs is a fluke. He is not the prototypical leadoff hitter - and one can wonder some day in the far future what his numbers might have been like were he not batting ahead of the greatest baseball player since Willie Mays, but someday will just have to wait - he gets it done from spot number one. In the field he is occasionally exciting and rarely less than adequate.
CF - Mike Trout
This baseball player is pretty good.
Josh Hamilton Anyone's Guess
They'll try to make Josh go to rehab and he'll say no, no, no...
Matt Joyce - This lefty bat was acquired in the offseason from the Rays for Kevin Jepsen. He was platooned judiciously by Joe Maddon and, held to only facing righties, had a .349 On Base Percentage and a .383 Slugging Percentage. Not bad. Except now the talk is that Mike Scioscia thinks he can magically hit left-handed pitchers. Oh dear. Not to mention that he is just not a great fielder (although the advanced stats show him to not be terrible on the level of a Hideki Matsui) and is not going to save any runs out there above league average.
If the Angels were smart they would start Joyce against righties only and platoon him with...
Collin Cowgill - Batting from the right side against LHPs and covering ground in LF, Cowgill is the best option for a platoon with Joyce and certainly should be brought into close games late as a defensive replacement. Accept no substitutes.
Efren Navarro - He can play a little outfield and Joyce has been shockingly stiff and unavailable for a lot of Spring so if a bat is needed from the left side and HamBone is still in Rob Manfred's dog house, don't be surprised to see a few innings of "No Use For A Nickname" Navarro out here.
Daniel Robertson - If a few dominoes crash, look for this serviceable fourth outfielder to make it up from Salt Lake. Halos have zero depth here really.
Best Case Scenario: CowJoyce platoon is adopted and works - Trout is Trout and Calhoun is Calhoun.
Worst Case Scenario: HamBone gets a slap on the wrist and plays like he did in the playoffs and is given ample Plate Appearances to continue doing so.
That is the story - the Angels have precious little outfield depth and just the HamBone injury/relapse has exposed more than a little worrisome absence of impact.
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Complete Halos Heaven 2015 Season Previews:
The Infield (LINK)
The Outfield (LINK)
The Starting Pitchers (LINK)
The Bullpen (LINK)
The DH & Bench (LINK)