LA Angels News

LA Angels: Updates on Three Pivotal Position Races

By Vincent Page
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 - 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - AUGUST 27: Outfielder Peter Bourjos #25 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base against the Tampa Bay Rays August 27, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Angels won 6 - 5. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next
PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 22: Infielder Taylor Ward #3 of the Los Angeles Angels fields an infield single during the fouth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 22: Infielder Taylor Ward #3 of the Los Angeles Angels fields an infield single during the fouth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 22, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Three Man Race for 2B/3B

This one may not seem like much of a race, but the Angels have three exceptional options to fill to of their infield positions. Zack Cozart, David Fletcher, and Taylor Ward are all competing to start on Opening Day, and there hasn’t been a clear winner yet.

At the start, it seemed as if Ward was the clear option to come off the bench. He hit just .178 last year while playing average defense at third. However, that has changed as Ward has arguably been the best Halo (.350 average, one home run, two doubles) not named Matt Thaiss so far in Spring Training. He has forced his name to be considered in the starting lineup, and if things continue to look so easy for the second-year player, he might just be the new Angels’ third baseman.

Zack Cozart has had an up-and-down preseason. Coming back from season-ending shoulder surgery, he reported early and said he felt better than expected. While the results are minimal, he has looked solid at the plate to the tune of three hits in seven at-bats.

Want your voice heard? Join the Halo Hangout team!

Write for us!

Next. Three Halos Exceeding Expectations This Spring

However, Cozart suffered a calf injury and will miss “a few weeks”. While he only has a Grade 1 strain, the Angels are likely (and widely) going to play it safe with the veteran. However, this gives Ward and Fletcher all the more opportunities. If Cozart is healthy come Opening Day, the likelihood of him getting the nod to start is high due to his veteran status.

However, if Brad Ausmus truly values production over everything, it’d be hard not to start Ward and Fletcher come Opening Day, especially if they each go on to have solid preseasons.

facebooktwitterreddit