There’s not a whole lot to play for when your team is 53-66. The only thing standing between the Los Angeles Angels and the bottom of the AL West division is the lowly Houston Astros squad. Not an enviable position, to say the least.
Even so, with a lack of postseason prospects comes the freedom to experiment. Manager Mike Scioscia must know that his time at the helm for the Angels is rapidly approaching the end; accordingly, the Halos have tried to make the most of their disappointing position by playing those prospects who rarely see time in the big leagues, an opportunity all the more available to the team due to a number of injury vacancies.
Ever since the Alberto Callaspo trade, Chris Nelson has taken over duties at third base and has produced at around the same level with a .258 average. Elsewhere around the diamond, Andrew Romine got his first start since April when he took the field Thursday night against the New York Yankees. If the Halos look to move shortstop Erick Aybar in exchange for a pitcher this offseason, look for Romine to take on a larger role with an eye towards becoming an everyday player.
Additionally, Grant Green has continued to fill in for the injured Howie Kendrick and has done a fine job: he is 10-for-23 since seeing his first action August 6, meaning that the Angels could have plenty of infield flexibility on opening day next year.
While this season has been a monumental disappointment for the Halo faithful, there have been some encouraging signs from recent acquisitions and minor leaguers who have been called up to prove their mettle in the big leagues. Let’s hope that bodes well for the team’s future.