The LA Angels have a very notable offense with the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Andrelton Simmons leading a strong pack. While every offense has their front-end starters there is also the back-end, the guys on standby ready to come in and give the team production from the bench. The two men leading the Angels standby offense, Rene Rivera and Jefry Marte, are having one of the best months of their career.
With the way the LA Angels bench-men been playing in 2018 they’d likely be starters on a lower end team, if not competing for starting jobs at worst. Rene Rivera, backup catcher to the tireless Martin Maldonado, is hitting a beautiful .323/.382/.484 with a HR and two doubles in 31 AB’s. Jefry Marte has been smashing a clean .311/.367/.489 with a HR and 3 doubles in 45 plate appearances.
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Rene Rivera has been a fantastic counter to the defensive heavy Martin Maldonado, who is hitting only .156 on the season. Maldonado’s defense more than makes up for his woes with the bat, and with the offensive capabilities of Rene Rivera you have a near perfect catching tandem. With jobs as compartmentalized as theirs is (Martin the glove-man and Rivera the bat-man) its easy to see exactly why they’re able to excel at one specific side of the game.
It’s almost a necessity for Rivera to excel at his job given the specialized role he fills, and with Marte it’s the same situation. Albert Pujols has played in 27 of the Angels 28 total games so far with 15 of those games coming as a 1B starter. Pujols is pushing 38 years of age, and with the downtrend in durability that tends to come with age it’s surprising to see him anchor so many games at first base.
But then again it isn’t so surprising when you see how well Jefry Marte has held it down as Pujols’ backup. Marte has appeared in fifteen total games, six of those being complete games while reaching at least 4 innings of defensive play in four other games. In total, Marte has appeared in nineteen games defensively with three at third and one in left and the rest at first.
Marte has been a presence on the Angels on and off for three years, one of those years seeing him bat .252 with 15 HR’s in 258 AB’s (2016).
Rene Rivera is playing in his first season with the team. Last year was one of the best of his career, hitting .252/.305/.431 in 218 total games with the Mets and Cubs.