As the Los Angeles Angels make the last round of necessary cuts to their roster in preparation for Opening Day, infielder Ian Stewart will be among those considered for one of the final spots on the 25-man roster.
Stewart has quietly been a productive player for the Angels this spring as he is batting .311 with three home runs, six RBIs and seven runs scored in 21 games played. The 28-year-old has especially made a strong case as of late as he has a home run and three RBIs in the last two games. He hit a solo home run in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game that snowballed into a six-run outburst which also included an RBI single by Stewart in the 8-4 comeback win over the Chicago Cubs. His third RBI came in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Stewart has also been solid defensively as he has a .971 fielding percentage with just one error committed in 84.0 innings, three double plays turned, 18 putouts and 15 assists. There is no question that the six-year veteran has taken advantage of his opportunity this spring training, and he could be in for a spot on the team as a backup third baseman to David Freese.
His high level of play this spring training may be a product of his motivation to make a major league roster after spending the last season and a half in the minors with the Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers before being cut by both teams. So with that said, Stewart is a player with a chip on his shoulder ready to prove that he can make a MLB roster and also be a productive player.
However, Stewart will have stiff competition with Grant Green (.360 BA, one home run and 11 RBIs) and John McDonald (.321 BA with three RBIs) both having solid spring training performances themselves. So with three games left before the season starts next Monday, the 28-year-old must use this last chance to show the Angels that he can be a viable option off the bench as a backup infielder.