Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun stepping up in Mike Trout’s absence
By David Rice
Mike Trout is on the disabled list for the second straight season. He is supposed to be out for 10 days, but it could be longer. In his absence Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun have stepped up to lead the Angels.
There have been so many injuries in 2018 and now that Mike Trout is on the DL most thought the Angels would slip below .500 never to return again, but this has not happened. Justin Upton and Kole Calhoun with help from the catching platoon of Francisco Arcia and Jose Briceno the Angels have gone 7-5 in Trout’s absence.
While this is nothing to write home about or get the Angels back into the playoff picture, but it still has made them entertaining to watch. In the last 15 games Calhoun is hitting .321 with four home runs and 12 runs driven in with a .426 OBP. Upton has done Calhoun one better hitting six homers, driving in 15 runs with a .322 batting average and a .365 OBP.
Twice in the last week Calhoun and Upton both went deep in the same game both Angel victories. Upton has raised his average to the highest it has been (.267) since early in the season. He also has 26 homers and 73 RBIs.
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Calhoun’s numbers don’t look as good, but after starting out with .152 average with one homer and 10 RBIs in the first two months of the season the fact that Calhoun is batting .220 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs is nothing short of amazing.
Calhoun has been holding down the lead-off spot and has been both driving in runs and setting the table for Upton, Pujols, and Ohtani. Upton has been holding down Trout’s third spot in the line-up very nicely.
In addition to the other two-thirds of the Angel outfield, catchers Francisco Arcia and Jose Briceno have been hot as well helping bring more balance to the line-up. In the last seven games Briceno has hit .409 with a homer and three RBIs. Arcia has hit .324 with three homers and 13 RBIs.
Hopefully a few more players can get it going to make the Angels line-up really potent. For now the Angels will take a hot Calhoun and Upton to make up for what they have lost without Trout in the line-up.