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Nolan Fontana called up to Angels, C.J. Cron sent to triple-A Salt Lake

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Fontana plays second base and shortstop.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

In shocking developments, the Angels sent down C.J. Cron to triple-A today.

Cron struggled to find his timing this season so far. He slashed .232/.281/.305 with the big-league club, good for a paltry 64 wRC+ (36% worse than MLB average). He struck out 21.1% of the time while walking 4.4%, but did not flash the expected power, only hitting 1 HR all year.

Acquired through waivers in the offseason, INF Nolan Fontana has slashed .265/.374/.426 with a 115 wRC+ at Salt Lake (15% better than AAA average). He struck out 18.5% of the time, flashing nice patience with a 14.5% walk rate. He also hit 5 HRs, including a walk-off inside the park home run. Fontana can play second base and shortstop, and likely profiles as a utility infielder. This would be the 25-year old Fontana’s first callup to the majors. Congrats Nolan!

What does this mean in the bigger picture? The Angels are looking for more production out of their 2b position and have another option for Mike Scioscia to play. The team likely views Cron as not versatile enough to play elsewhere on the diamond, and if he’s not contributing at first base then he shouldn’t occupy a roster spot that could otherwise be used to provide a greater marginal improvement (Fontana).

Update: Yes, the Angels definitely view Fontana as a potential 2b upgrade.