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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

THE FIRST CASUALTY IS ...
Comes now Mike Scioscia to inform Adam Kennedy -- and by extension, us -- that he is now in a platoon with Howie Kendrick.

The idea of platooning Adam is, of course, very sound, as he's only a career 254/310/338 hitter against southpaws. I do have some concerns about Howie in a platoon arrangement, though, which are the same concerns I had when he was brought up earlier this year. Basically, I think that adjusting to the majors can be a tough adjustment and adjusting to a part-time platoon role can be a tough adjustment, and that it is doubly difficult to adjust to major-league pitching when you only play a couple of times per week. I don't know that the Angels are going to get enough games against lefties to get Kendrick into a groove.

He has looked good in his first two games back, for whatever that's worth, going 4-for-8 with his first two extra-base hits of his career, and generally looking comfortable and confident at the plate.

We all knew going into this season that Adam's days as an Angel were numbered, and of course, as I have recently discussed, many people are thinking (or even hoping) that that number is less than what it used to be. The main problem is that most competitive teams across the league -- the teams that would want to trade for a second basemen for two months -- generally have decent second sackers (or at least guys having good years). The Yankees and the Chavez Ravine team have suffered injuries to their second basemen, but we don't know at this point that such ailments will be devastating enough to cause the teams to look for someone else.

The one team with pretty poor second baseman is St. Louis, who runs Aaron Miles out there. Miles is having about as "good" a year as Kennedy at the plate, but doesn't have the track record to indicate that he should do better. But he is a switch-hitter who has been slightly better against lefties than righties in his career, so a platoon in Missouri may be in order.

I would say that Kennedy would best be moved for bullpen help (we don't have a dominant seventh inning guy, as you know) or a minor league outfielder. The Cards have a multitude of promising and/or intriguing relievers, though none of them are likely both dominant and available.

And the thing is, unless Howie is getting big hits every time he plays (and no one does), he's not going to force the Angels to bench Kennedy outright, meaning that the only to get him into the lineup every day (assuming he's even ready) would be to trade the veteran. I just don't know if I see that happening. But this is a developing and intriguing story for our Lads, one with no easy answers, and one that may end up making a decisive difference in a tight division.

Comments:
I don't see anybody taking AK. He's only decent against lefties and he's decling rapidly
 
whoops, sorry... I emant against righties.
 
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