Wednesday, March 30, 2005

MacPherson Back

Third baseman Dallas MacPherson returned to Cactus League action yesterday in spectacular fashion. The Halo's hot corner specialist played in his first game since March 3 and went 2 for 4 with a double, triple, two RBI and two runs scored as the Angels DH. Manager Mike Scioscia said MacPherson will still likely need a week or two in the minors before he is ready to assume his duties at third base for the big club.
"It's good to see him drive the ball, but he needs at-bats, he needs to build up stamina, and he needs to work things out defensively," Scioscia said. "He needs playing time, and I don't know if we can get him enough to start the season."

This is excellent news as the Angels will be counting on power numbers from their third base slot. Something that was missed dearly last year in Troy Glaus' absence despite the huge effort from Chone Figgins.

Mike Sciocia let reserve shortstop Maicer Izturis play third base yesterday for much of the game. The versatile Izturis had no errors while going 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. Izturis is competing with Casey Kotchman and Robb Quinlan for one of the final bench spots and his ability to play third base as well as short and second may give him the edge. Here is how the three compare so far this spring:

Izturis.....53 AB // .340 avg // .543 SLG // .453 OBP // 14 RBI // 3 2B // 4 3B
Kotchman..59 AB // .373 avg // .441 SLG // .413 OBP // 16 RBI // 4 2B //
Quinlan.....56 AB // .268 avg // .429 SLG // .379 OBP // 8 RBi // 3 2B// 3 3B

Interestingly, none of these guys have any HR's this spring but all three score runs (Izturis has 15 R, Kotchman 13 R and Quinlan 11 R). The primary reason Quinlan looked like the natural replacement for MacPherson to start the year were his power numbers from last season (.525 SLG in 56 games). But if Quinlan is not going to deliver on the power numbers than the 27 year-old may find himself back in Salt Lake and Izturis, like Chone Figgins before him, could be the Angels designated utility infielder.

Orlando Cabrera, who has been MIA at the plate this spring, is finally starting to get some hits. Cabrera had two singles yesterday with 2 runs scored and an RBI.

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