Watching the 2013 ‘outfield has been an adventure, to say the least. It started with manager (at least for the moment) Mike Scioscia‘s decision before the season to move prized franchise possession Mike Trout to left field and Peter Bourjos to center, a move that was supposed to reduce Trout’s risk of injury, while taking advantage of Bourjos’ equally impressive speed.
It all went pretty much downhill from there, as Bourjos got hurt less than a month into the season, right-fielder Josh Hamilton sunk into a horrendous slump from which he has never fully recovered, and Mark Trumbo was transplanted from left field to first base once legendary bust Albert Pujols went down with a torn plantar fascia.
The silver lining in these outfield woes has been the influx of minor league players who have seen big league action ever since the Halos fell out of contention around midsummer.
Kole Calhoun has distinguished himself from the Los Angeles Angels‘ other young pretenders ever since he made his 2013 debut on July 28. Since then, Calhoun has hit a very respectable .287 with 21 RBIs in 39 games, outproducing Hamilton over the same time frame.
It will be very interesting to see what the Angels do with the outfield once Opening Day rolls around in April 2014. Assuming Bourjos stays put in center and Trout moves to left, sacrifices in playing time will have to be made. Whether it’s Calhoun, Trumbo or Hamilton, someone will see reduced playing time. Even if Calhoun cannot realistically be an everyday starter in light of the $125 million investment that the Halos have already made in Hamilton, the Angels would be foolish to send him back down to AAA next year.