“Mighty” Maicer Izturis was a fan favorite in Anaheim for many seasons for good reason. Following in the footsteps of Chone Figgins, Izturis took up the mantle of the do it all super utility man that the Los Angeles Angels have always used to great success. Following a decline in production for the 2012 season, Los Angeles and Izturis parted ways after he signed a surprisingly high dollar contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in free agency. Moving forward it poses a question for the 2013 season, where will the Angels find a way to make up the production they will be losing without Izturis?
Izturis was renowned around the league not just for his versatility in the field, but his propensity to deliver in the clutch with a big hit. Coming through in crunch time especially when having to pinch hit off the bench is a skill that cannot be taught or scouted, so it makes replacing that crucial impact that much more difficult. Especially with manager Mike Scioscia’s wise preference to spread out the rest days of his everyday players, causing the utility man to have a high number of starts by the end of the season.
Looking through the Angels farm system to find this replacement is an exercise in futility, as most of the prospects in the Halo’s system have either been shipped off in trades or are far too young to have any sort of impact in the coming seasons. Some might question the decision in hindsight to send off shortstop prospect Jean Segura in a package to pick up ace pitcher Zack Greinke for half a season. Segura, who has shown flashes of talent in Milwaukee to this point was a price that had to be paid to get a star like Greinke, even if it was for only a short amount of time. Everything seems clearer once the cards have already been played, and at the time the Greinke deal was universally lauded as a success for Los Angeles.
Mike Scioscia is the longest tenured manager in MLB for good reason, he will find out a way to replace the production of Izturis by committee. Whether that comes from fellow shortstop prospect Andrew Romine, or a decrease in the rest days of Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo, Scioscia will discover the best possible solution through trial and error as the Angels progress in their attempt to win their first American League West Championship since 2009.