Here's today's lineup:
.@HecSantiago53 is on the hill this afternoon when the #Angels take on the Blue Jays. http://t.co/PjBO0WtTZV pic.twitter.com/lMgf1NCJga— Angels (@Angels) May 19, 2015
Few quick notes:
1. David Freese is today's DH, and Taylor Featherston is playing 3B. Ideally, neither of these guys are in the lineup on any given day, but Freese's homer from yesterday has Mike getting a little too cute for his own good.
2. Chris Iannetta is being given a chance to reclaim some starts at the catcher spot. Scary, scary stuff. Going 3 for 4 with two doubles and a homerun is definitely a reason to try to pencil someone into the lineup. Except, of course, if that person is Chris Iannetta and you recognize yesterday's sudden dominance at the plate as nothing more than a fluke. I guess we'll know in a few hours if Chris has turned the corner on a horrible start, or if it's back to the statistical abyss. Sosh really paints himself into a corner with trying to ride a hopefully-not-a-fluke Chris Iannetta, which means he can't even play one of his better hitters on the team at DH(Carlos Perez).
3. As predicted yesterday, Kole Calhoun is back in the clean-up spot, and Erick Aybar is leading off again. Both of these spots are not ideal for either player, but Scioscia is going to continue doubling down, because hey, it worked yesterday! Kinda. It's been tried in the past, but Erick Aybar has never really worked out as a lead off hitter, and you then put one of the team's best hitters of 2015, Kole Calhoun, in a spot where he'll now be seeing less ABs. We will probably have to get used to this, barring an injury or two.
So...It's not like Mike's lineup card yesterday was all that different, but they did manage to score six runs, so that's obviously what Scioscia is trying to replicate today. The issue is that he's trying to replicate statistical anomolies: Freese and Iannetta being extremely productive. It's my feeling that between this, and the Aybar/Calhoun lineup positioning, that Sosh deserves some criticism on a daily basis for these inane tweaks and blatant disregard for his best players' strong suits. But is it really that bad? Is the blame really on Scioscia's tinkering? Or is the entire team in a slump bad enough to render the order irrelevant?