For the Los Angeles Angels, every ground ball is an adventure. And I’m not talking about the kind of adventure that you might find at Disneyland just a few miles away from Angel Stadium. Rather, every time a ground ball is hit to Alberto Callaspo or Howie Kendrick, Halo fans cross their fingers and hope for a routine out rather than a bobble or an errant throw.
As if its shoddy rotation, rash of injuries and sub par play from big names weren’t enough, Los Angeles now has to worry about its ability to make simple plays in the field. Callaspo is tied for second among AL third basemen with 11 errors, while Kendrick leads AL second basemen with 10. Who knows how porous the Halo infield would be if not for 2011 Gold Glover Erick Aybar holding down the fort at shortstop.
But it’s not just ground balls that are giving the Angels problems; catchers Hank Conger and Chris Iannetta are tied for second in the AL among catchers with five errors each, most of these resulting from wayward throws. It’s pretty shameful that both catchers rank so high in the AL, considering they split catching duties 50-50. Even so, they’ve clearly made up for the lost time.
Finally, the most egregious example of Los Angeles’ ineptitude in the field is none other than Mr. $125 Million Embarrassment Josh Hamilton. Not merely content to squander his plate appearances with a .223 average, Hamilton leads all major league right fielders with eight errors. To put that number in perspective, the next highest error total among AL right fielders is three, making Hamilton 167 percent worse than the next worst right fielder.
Errors are like missed free throws in basketball; there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop the bleeding. But at this point the Angels simply cannot afford them.
Tony Baker is a Los Angeles Angels writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter at @tonloc_baker.