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According to multiple sources, minor league OFer Peter Bourjos has been called up to join the Major League club. While Bourjos was on a tear offensively for Triple-A Salt Lake, this move is seen as more of a defensive move, since the fly-catching struggles of our malfunctioning quintet of Rivera, Matsui, Hunter, and Abreu are pretty well documented, both here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, Hunter is still firmly entrenched in the Angels’ CF, with too many people still in love with the reputation of his defense to see the way he’s eroded over the years. Because of this, the biggest defensive improvement Bourjos could provide won’t happen, since he’ll be relegated to a corner OF, and thus not nearly as defensively important, spot. Looking at Sean Smith’s Total Zone Ratings for the last three seasons, it’s clear to see that Bourjos should be taking over in CF.
Bourjos’ bat, however, may leave something to be desired at the Major League level. While he has a .364 OBP, CHONE projects his bat with the Angels to only deliver a .255/.300/.375 line. Even as bad as that is, it’d still be better than what Brandon Wood has provided us with thus far. Much like Howie Kendrick, Bourjos’ seems to be allergic to drawing walks, although he still does better than Kendrick’s career high of 5.0 BB%. Just not a lot better.
Whether you think the Angels are still in this or not, it’s time this happened. Moves need to be made to improve the abysmal defense we’ve seen in our OF thus far, and this is one of the easiest moves to make. Perhaps getting Bourjos some exposure to Major League pitching this season will also help him adjust quicker next season and in the future beyond that, as well.