Monday, August 22, 2005

Garret Anderson is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday, and will likely begin his return as a designated hitter. If GA ends up being stuck at DH for awhile -- which the Angels are not yet ready to concede -- Scioscia has acknowledged that Darin Erstad may return to the outfield.

But perhaps not in the way we might hope. From the LA Times:
But Anderson will not play left field right away, and Scioscia acknowledged publicly for the first time Sunday that if Anderson is relegated to designated hitter for an extended period, Darin Erstad could move from first base to the outfield, and Casey Kotchman could take over at first.

"If Garret is a full-time DH, then we'll strongly consider that move," Scioscia said. "There are some trade-offs. It would be tougher to get [reserve outfielder Juan] Rivera's bat in the lineup, and if we commit to Kotchman at first, we wouldn't have that versatility [to play Rivera more regularly].
So it appears that moving Erstad to the outfield might mean making him a left fielder and sitting down Juan Rivera.
                 2005                    2004
Rivera 259 307 456 .251 307 364 465 .279
Finley 217 270 362 .220 271 333 490 .271
On a per-at-bat basis, Rivera has outproduced Finley going back to the beginning of 2004. This is not an effect of Rivera being a part-timer spotted against left-handed pitchers: Juan has actually hit right-handers better than left-handers over the last two seasons, and has an even platoon split over his career.

Speaking of Finley, I learned yesterday in the Times that he has the infinity symbol tattooed over his right shoulder.

Steve Finley wears a tattoo of the infinity symbol to represent:

A. His age.
B. How long Angel management will wait for him to re-find his skills.
C. What the Angel division lead would be if we hadn't signed Steve Finley.
D. All of the above.

So, while the Angels determine whether Garret is healthy enough to patrol the outfield, we're basically down to a competition between Steve Finley and Juan Rivera to see who stays in the starting lineup. I don't care which one it is, but hopefully one will step up and seize the opportunity.

Maybe it just means that Izzy will play 3B, and Figgy will play LF or CF.... Please, God.
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