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Los Angeles Angels Pennington provides stability

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; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Cliff Pennington (7) is greeted at the dugout by teammates center fielder Mike Trout (27), catcher Geovany Soto (18) and designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) after hitting a solo home run in the 3rd inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sportsaq
; Los Angeles Angels second baseman Cliff Pennington (7) is greeted at the dugout by teammates center fielder Mike Trout (27), catcher Geovany Soto (18) and designated hitter Albert Pujols (5) after hitting a solo home run in the 3rd inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sportsaq
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Los Angeles Angels utility-man Cliff Pennington is in his first year with the team, but the stability he has provided in the infield has been invaluable.

A re-occurring theme when discussing the Los Angeles Angels has been injuries.

Few have been spared from the hex that cursed the team as early into the season as April, and so many key players have been banged up it’s been hard to keep count.

Cliff Pennington, in his first year with the team, recently recovered from a hamstring injury and he has picked up right where he left off in the couple of games he has played since his return.

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Cliff Pennington Player Grade: B

Pennington entered Tuesday on a four-game hitting streak and is hitting .333/.364/.381 in his last seven games. That’s on par with the fact that he’s batting .310 in May after hitting just .160 in April.

Those numbers show that he’s heating up and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Halos.

But what makes Pennington so valuable to the team isn’t his ability to put the ball in play, it’s that he’s been able to play defense anywhere the team needs him.

Most of his appearances have been spent at second base, where he’s played in 19 of his 26 games this season, but he’s also played six games at shortstop, a pair of games at first base, and a game at the hot corner.

And it’s not as though he’s played mediocre defense at any of these positions — the 31-year-old has a 1.000 fielding percentage at each of the infield positions this season. He hasn’t committed a single error.

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Pennington also has experience playing in the outfield, which he did with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays, so if the Halos need a short-term solution for left field (although Rafael Ortega seems to be playing well while Daniel Nava and Craig Gentry are hurt), Pennington could fill in there too.

His batting this season seems to be right where it was expected to be.

Now in his ninth season, he’s hitting .241 which is just a hair under his .245 career batting average.

He also has a home run and six RBIs to his name with 16 strikeouts and six walks.

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In a year that has seen so many Angels hurt themselves, it’s been refreshing to see a utility player that has been consistent and reliable through it all.

Pennington plays like Chone Figgins did years ago, with competitiveness and grit, willing to play anywhere he’s needed as long as he gets to be on the field.

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Pennington’s fielding is Grade A at this point in the season, but if he can put a few more balls into play his overall grade will go up.

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