For years the LA Angels always seemed to prefer good defense and pitching calling to strong offense in regards to the catching position. SInce Mike Scioscia was hired the Angels went with gloves over bats.
In the 19 seasons Mike Scioscia managed the LA Angels it was no surprise being that Scioscia, a former catcher known mostly for his defense and toughness preferred his catchers to take on that same mentality rather than swinging a big stick. During his tenure the. Angels had two Gold Glove Winners at catcher in Bengie Molina Dan Martin Maldonado. Mix in Molina’s brother Jose, Jeff Mathis, and Carlos Perez and you have guys who were mostly all glove and very little hit. Chris Iannetta could do both, and Mike Napoli was the anomaly who was actually a better hitter than he was a catcher.
With Scioscia out of the picture the question becomes how will new manager Brad Ausmus, also a former catcher, decide to fill the role of signal caller? Ausmus like Scioscia had a long productive career as a catcher focusing mainly on his defense, but will he prefer that to be the case with the Angels next catcher.
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In the fold right now he Angels have Jose Briceno and also Francisco Arcia as the two in-house options the team has. Both have shown the ability to go deep and give the Angels some offensive production out of the catching spot. So going forward what will Ausmus want out of his signal caller.
Just like at second and third base the Angels have in-house options, but they will explore all possible options.
The Angels could hit the free agent market or make a run at some of the potential free agents. Some of the potential free agents available are Yasmani Grandal, Jonathan Lucroy, Wilson Ramos, and Martin Maldonado. All would be an upgrade offensively except for Martin Maldonado who was the Angels starting catcher before being traded in July.
Many Angel fans don’t really care who the Angels have at catcher and a few other key spots in the field as they are more concerned about the pitching. Rightly so we need to look at potential upgrades to the pitching staff, but who is receiving the ball is equally as important.
So we will see how Ausmus will play his cards in regards to filling the hole at the catching spot. This will be an interesting situation to follow.