Friday, March 24, 2006

Well, it looks like Garret Anderson is most likely to start the season on the Disabled List, with there still being an outside shot of him being able to DH. If the latter comes to pass, Juan Rivera will start the season as our left fielder.

But if Garret is totally unavailable to play, the DH spot will remain open for a couple of weeks. It would be nice if we had a young power-hitting lefty batter who might be able to fill in, but instead we will likely see Tim Salmon and/or, possibly, Kendry Morales.

Relatedly, the Angels may be trying to move either Kevin Gregg or Esteban Yan for a veteran lefty-hitting bench guy; if they are unable to, Curtis Pride may get the job. Pride is an inspirational story, and had a big hit for the Angels in the 2004 stretch drive, but he's never been a consistently good hitter in the major leagues.

The elephant in the field is Dallas McPherson, whose apparently imminent demotion has been the big developing story over the past few days. I can understand how, if he's not going to get regular playing time, the Angels want him to get his at-bats in AAA. But if Garret does indeed start the season on the DL, there is absolutely no reason not to have Dallas and Salmon platoon at the DH spot for a couple weeks so we can see what happens.

His bad spring does not deter me; as Dallas says, demonstrating an understanding of sample size that many managers and GMs do not have, "I'm putting good swings on the ball. I'm putting some balls in play and the rest will take care of itself. There are a lot of guys that have had bad springs. Are you going to base my swing on 21 at-bats?"

I'm sure you all remember this, but the Angels were so confident in McPherson's development a year ago that we let the only World Series MVP in franchise history to leave via free agency. The only thing that's changed in the last twelve months is that Dallas has suffered through more injury. Now, that's a real concern, but there is nothing in his performance thus far to indicate that he shouldn't be getting playing time against right-handed pitchers, at the very least.

If Garret can't open the season, and the Halos decide that Dallas McPherson's career .524 slugging percentage against RHP isn't a good substitute, there's something really wrong somewhere. Whether that's with McPherson or the Angel management, I don't know.

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