In case you weren’t paying attention (and chances are you weren’t because of this whole “World Series” thing going on), the Angels made a small addition that could end up being bigger than perceived.
On Friday, the Angels signed utility infielder Angel Sanchez to a minor league contract. Adding Sanchez is a smart move by Jerry Dipoto given that it is very likely that the Halos let Maicer Izturis walk this off season, provided he doesn’t break something as he’s walking out the door. It’s been real, and it’s been fun Izzy, but it’s time for you to go. Of course, I could be wrong, and the Angels could keep Maicer around, I just hope they don’t.
The Scouting report according to soxprospects.com is that Sanchez is an excellent defender with a strong arm. He makes average contact and has doubles power. Sounds familiar. Last year Angel put up a .320/.390/.407 line for Oklahoma City, the AAA affiliate of the Houston Astros in the Pacific Coast League giving credibility to the report on his bat. Since I haven’t been able to do the “eyeball test” on his defensive skills (and defensive stats are rarely accurate), I’m going to have to take their word on how good he is defensively.
What does Sanchez really mean to the Halos? It means that now Andrew Romine doesn’t have as clear a path to the Major Leagues as he may have thought that he had. Romine’s defense is spectacular, his bat is not. Andrew put up a .285/.336/.390 line playing in the most hitter friendly park in the PCL last year. Not a bat worth writing home about.
And just because why not, here’s Angel and Andrew stacked against each other:
Can you tell which one fits Mike Scioscia's style of maniac ball better?
In Angel's favor is the fact that he has spent significantly more time in the big leagues (184 games to 27 for Romine). He also just had a really good season in AAA at the age of 28. His ability to show patience in the batter's box fits the team image that Dipoto is trying to mold. Look for Sanchez to break camp with the big club filling Maicer's super utility role. Andrew Romine should stay ready however. If Angel faulters, or just ends up in Scioscia's doghouse, Romine is next in line for Maicer's spot.