The LA Angels continue to try to battle for offensive stability. As the the season’s second half begins, the team has begun making moves.
The trade deadline looms near for the LA Angels and the rest of baseball on July 31st. As that date approaches teams on the bubble such as the Angels are must decide if they are in or out on a further push to the playoffs. Besides deciding whether they are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline, teams must make moves to position themselves for their plan of attack.
The LA Angels have designated second baseman Danny Espinosa for assignment. It isn’t where the Angels or the former Cal State Long Beach alum thought they would find themselves. when Espinosa was acquired from the Washington Nationals in the offseason.
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While never known for being the go-to guy in the batter’s box, Danny Espinosa has been able to get the ball into the stands in the past. However, while the team could have possibly absorbed a .220 batting average from someone who hit 15-25 HR and still has a measure of defensive respectability, that has not been the case in 2017.
Through 254 at-bats Espinosa has towed a .162/ .237/ .276 line. He has also struck out more than a third of the time (35.8%) leading to the Angels move today.
In Espinosa’s roster spot the LA Angels has recalled spot starter and potential future building block Parker Birdwell.
In six games (five starts), Bridwell owns a 3-1 record with a 3.24 ERA. Birdwell has yet to face any team in a start more than once. However, he has matched up with the Yankees twice along with Braves, Red Sox, Twins, and Mariners once. Only the Mariners did any real damage against him.
Bridwell was once a Baltimore Orioles prospect who LA Angels GM Billy Eppler got on the cheap. Acquired in mid-April of 2017 for the oft traded player to be named later or cash considerations. While Birdwell has not overwhelmed in the minors or majors in 2017, he has been much more than serviceable.
Still just 25 years old, Bridwell was in the Arizona Fall League as a Baltimore player as recent as 2014. With the Angels still without four of their starting pitchers of the future and some of the team’s current options not faring well, this may be the young pitcher’s best shot in the majors.
In the end, for Espinosa, his best bet is to hope that a contender may see some value in his power potential. Espinoza could come off the bench and be an extra weapon. If the Angels end up releasing him, prospective teams would only be on the hook for a minimal amount of the roughly two million dollars still owed to him. For Bridwell, this is a chance to help the Angels climb back into contention and work towards securing a possible rotation spot now and into the future. Tyler Skaggs and Garrett Richards aside, the Angels will hope to have Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano ready to launch for all or most of the 2018 season.