Grading the 2013 Los Angeles Angels: Defense
With all of their other struggles this year, it’s easy to overlook how problematic the Los Angeles Angels‘ defense has been this year. And by problematic, I mean bad.
We all know about Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and the curse of bad contracts that has hung around this team like a horrible smell for the past few seasons. What’s lesser known, however, is that the Halos have committed the fourth-most errors in the AL. They improved somewhat in this area when they dealt Alberto Callaspo, who led all third basemen in errors when he was traded shortly before the July 31 deadline.
For all of Hamilton’s struggles at the plate, he has looked like a space cadet most of the time he started in right field. He leads all AL right fielders with eight errors, and he hasn’t shown a great deal of range either. Whoever is managing the Angels next year will have to decide if it is really worth keeping Hamilton as the everyday right fielder, or if it is wiser to hide him at DH at least some of the time (though that is also tricky, because Pujols and Mark Trumbo will also command significant time at DH).
To be fair, the Angels have been without center fielder Peter Bourjos for most of the season. Even so, their defensive struggles are alarming for a team that desperately needs to improve next year in order to justify its massive payroll. No matter how good your pitching and hitting are, you simply cannot give away as many runs because of poor fielding as the Angels have this year. Let’s hope they clean up their act in 2014.
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