When the Los Angeles Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million contract this past winter, I bet they didn’t think they’d call up another right fielder who could out-produce Hamilton and steal most of his playing time in right field.
Additionally, I’m sure that when presented with the following information, Mike Scioscia, Arte Moreno and pretty much every Angels fan would assume that their team was well on their way to a World Series run: since August 8, Hamilton is hitting .357 with 16 RBI and 10 doubles.
World Series run? More like a run away from last place in the AL West. If this hall of mirrors-esque season from the Halos has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Thus we have Kole Calhoun hitting .305 with six home runs and 25 RBI since his season debut on July 28 at the time of this writing, and Josh Hamilton finally recovering from a massive disappointment of a season. A $25 million recovery? Maybe not, but an encouraging sign, nonetheless.
Both of these developments should make for interesting roster decisions by the time Opening Day 2014 rolls around; will Hamilton cede the right-field grass to Calhoun and be relegated to DH? What does that mean for a possible Mark Trumbo/Albert Pujols platoon at first base? Where does AL Rookie of the Year candidate J.B. Shuck fit in to the picture? Will the Angels try to maximize on Shuck and/or Calhoun’s value to land a quality pitching arm, potentially as a sweetener in a Howie Kendrick trade?
I don’t envy Moreno, GM Jerry Dipoto and anyone else involved in making these decisions. But hey, it’s never a bad thing to have too many serviceable players, right?