Los Angeles Angels bring up hot-hitting Kaleb Cowart from Triple-A

By Grant Avise

Angels’ made a somewhat surprising move Tuesday afternoon, when they had newly obtained 3rd baseman Connor Gillaspie, designated for assignment (DFA).Gillaspie was brought over from the Chicago White Sox after David Freese was moved to the disabled list with a broken finger. Gillaspie was solid defensively, but was never able to do very much at the plate for the Halos. In 17 games he had 68 plate appearances 64 of which were at bats and only managed 13 hits for a dismal .203 batting average/.250 on-base percentage/.344 slugging percentage, slash line. The corresponding move, was not so surprising however, when the team called up their 2010 first-round draft pick, Kaleb Cowart, who had been hot all season with the Angels’ triple-A affiliate Salt Lake City, Bees batting .323/.395/.491 in his first year of triple-A.

Cowart, is only 23, and has struggled for the most part in the minor leagues. So much so, that the team went out this offseason and acquired 3rd baseman, Kyle Kubitza and looked at him to be the heir apparent to Freese, whose contract expires at the end of this season. Kubitza, who has had 3 stints up with the Major League club this year, hasn’t fared so well against the major league pitching. To be fair, it is an extremely small sample size with only 16 games played and 38 plate appearances but none the less he is hitting only .200/.263/.200 and with the team in need of immediate offense, Cowart makes a lot of sense right now.

Freese seems very close to returning from the DL. He can swing the bat just fine but gripping a baseball to throw is what is setting him back. Freese is having a bit of a down year at the plate batting .240 with 11 home runs and 43 RBI’s, however his veteran leadership and experience along with his knack for getting clutch hits has been missed.  Consider this that the Angels were 15 games over .500 with a two game lead in the AL West when Freese got hurt, and now they sit only two games above .500 facing a 5.5 game deficit behind first-place Houston.  Coincidence, maybe, but it is an interesting note.  Hopefully, Freese will get back soon and provide a spark, but until then the Angels will use Cowart and hopefully the third baseman of the future will be up to the task.