LA Angels News

The LA Angels Need More Marte Parties

By Vincent Page
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 02: Jefry Marte #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws to first and is unable to get Bradley Zimmer #4 of the Cleveland Indians out on an infield single during the third inning of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim home opening game at Angel Stadium on April 2, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 02: Jefry Marte #19 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws to first and is unable to get Bradley Zimmer #4 of the Cleveland Indians out on an infield single during the third inning of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim home opening game at Angel Stadium on April 2, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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The LA Angels have seen several of their key players slump so far in 2018. While that’s going on, Jefry Marte is experiencing a true breakout season thus far. They need to find a way to keep him in the lineup, or they’ll regret it down the line.

While the LA Angels record of 21-13 rests at the top of the American League West, several players have been experiencing slumps. Kole Calhoun, Zack Cozart, and Justin Upton have all gone through streaks of poor play. Meanwhile, Jefry Marte has been hitting .333 with seven extra-base hits and eight RBI’s.

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Marte has filled in remarkably every time he’s been asked to play. On Saturday, he hit a sixth-inning home run to extend their lead to 4-0. Although the Angels lost the game, Marte once again showed why he deserves regular playing time.

So how would that work? The Halos have regulars at nearly every position except for a platoon at first between Marte, Luis Valbuena, and Albert Pujols. However, Marte has hit .296 and .375 against righties and lefties, respectively. He can hit no matter what side the pitch is coming from, and that should be utilized.

Chris Taylor of the Dodgers and Ben Zobrist of the Cubs are both great examples. They both hit well and play multiple positions, making them near every day players. Both players were major contributors to their teams World Series runs over the past two years, and Marte can do the same for the Angels.

If the pitcher is left-handed, Marte plays first. However, most pitchers are right-handed so that limits Marte’s at-bats. He should be the primary sub for the Halos as well though, filling in for whoever is taking a day off. He can play both corner infield spots along with corner outfield, which makes him a great piece for the Angels to use to their advantage.

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If the Halos are looking to get him into the lineup every day, right field would be his most likely position. While he has only played 17% of his big league innings in the outfield, he has proven reliable. He is not a Gold Glover like Calhoun or Upton, but if he plays next to Mike Trout, it’ll make his job easier.

One way or another, the Angels need to get Marte into their lineup in the majority of their games. Until he shows otherwise, he is one of the team’s best hitters, and deserves to be used accordingly.

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