The newest LA Angels were signed to round out the offense and play good defense. Danny Espinosa, Martin Maldonado, and Cameron Maybin did not do that in their first action as Angels.
However, after going a combined 0-11 with 7 strikeouts on Opening Day, the LA Angels newcomers all played excellent baseball on day two. In a game that’s storyline was supposed to be focused on Matt Shoemaker‘s return to the mound after a scary brain injury, the focus was instead on three new Angels, who all notched their first hits as Halos.
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Cameron Maybin started off the game well, ripping a single up the middle in his first at-bat. The most impressive part of this at-bat was his ability to wait for his pitch. After striking out twice on Opening Day, it was nice to see Maybin with some plate discipline. He did strikeout once, but was able to get on base with another hit later in the game. He played well in the field as well. His past experience as a center fielder showed, as him and Mike Trout both want to make every play.
Maybin put the ball in play in each of his at-bats. While that seems irrelevant, it allows runners to advance. The best part of Maldonado’s night was his defensive effort. He picked off a runner at first base to end the second innings. Rajai Davis then tried to steal second only to be gunned down by Maldonado. With an absolute cannon for an arm, he had perfect placement with his throw as well. Maldonado made a strong case to be the Angels’ main catcher this season. He has called games well to go along with his defensive gems. However, incumbent Carlos Perez has yet to play.
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The star of the night was Danny Espinosa. He played well in the field, and didn’t have a hit until the ninth inning, but he capitalized when needed. After a disastrous seventh innings collapse, the Angels found themselves down 6-4 and two outs away from an 0-2 record. Espinosa then hit a 383-foot home run to give the Angels a 7-6 lead. This would prove to be the game-winning hit.
The Angels played a great game of baseball as a team. However, the trio of newcomers are the ones who propelled them, offensively and defensively, to their first win of the season.