The Los Angeles Angels offense needed an infusion of production heading into the 2017 season. The team acquired infielder Danny Espinosa to serve as the primary second baseman while adding some power at a position that has been powerless since the departure of Howie Kendrick after the 2014 season.
The Los Angeles Angels, who had primarily used scrappy Johnny Giovatella the previous two seasons needed more from the position. Danny Espinosa became available after moves made by his former team, the Washington Nationals looked to put him back into a super utility role. So Angels general manager Billy Eppler pulled the trigger on a deal that would send two minor leaguers, pitcher Austin Adams and pitcher Kyle McGowin for Espinosa.
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While Espinosa had flirted with the Mendoza Line last year, he had the power numbers. 24 HR and 72 RBI were far more than any Angels second baseman had had the preceding two years. Espinosa also possessed the flexibility to fill-in elsewhere if needed and the pop to warrant a game or two at DH if needed.
Unfortunately, the 2017 season has not gone anywhere near what the Angels and Espinosa had hoped for. While he does have 6 HR and 27 RBI, at his current pace he would finish with 14 HR and 52 RBI’s. All of that while hitting below .200. Considerably below .200 at that. Currently, Espinosa is batting .174 with six homers and 27 RBI’s with a .247 OBP. Always one to strikeout, he has already whiffed 78 times this season.
Overall Grade: D. Espinosa has his been given some increased playing time recently and is starting to pay dividends. Espinosa has hit .261 in the month of June with two homers and 11 RBI’s this month. However Espinosa still has a long way to go but the recently results are promising.
This time last month Espinosa was losing playing time to the likes of utility man Cliff Pennington and rookie Nolan Fontana. Espinosa will need to continue to turn things around in order too stay in the line-up. Even in an offense as inconsistent as the Angels have been at times this season, Espinosa needs to do more. Hopefully he will.