LA Angels News

LA Angels Opening Day Roster taking shape

By David Rice
TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 01: Matt Thaiss #85 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim waits for a throw from teammate Forrest Snow #70 as Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals gets back to first base during a spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
TEMPE, AZ - MARCH 01: Matt Thaiss #85 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim waits for a throw from teammate Forrest Snow #70 as Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals gets back to first base during a spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 1, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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TEMPE, AZ – FEBRUARY 24: David Fletcher
TEMPE, AZ – FEBRUARY 24: David Fletcher /

Second Base and Third Base 

The incumbent at second and third base coming in to the Spring was rookie David Fletcher and veteran Zack Cozart who was trying to bounce back from a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder. Veteran Tommy La Stella and rookie Luis Rengifo were in the mix dependent also on what Taylor Ward did in th Spring. Ward was trying to win the third base job from Cozart.  Ward performed admirably and when Cozart went down with a calf injury in early March, Ward seemed primed to take over at third base to start the season.

Cozart however, bounced back and has played himself back into the third base spot.  In limited action this Spring Cozart is hitting .389 with a homer and three RBIs.  Ward despite a great start which saw him hit a pinch-hit grand slam is his first Spring at-bat.  Ward ended up hitting .250 with two homers and 10 RBIs, but a lackluster .291 OBP with only two walks and 16 strikeouts which solidified Cozart’s hold on third and in-turn gave Fletcher the second base job. (Ward was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake over the weekend).

For Fletcher’s part he started very slowly hitting under .200 for the first three weeks of Spring, Fletcher righted his ship and is now hitting .275 with eight RBIs and a .333 OBP which was good enough for the Angels to give Fletcher the second base job.

Luis Rengifo, one of the Angels top prospects was in the race early as well, but he only hit .182 with no homers and four RBIs.  Veteran Tommy LaStella who was brought in as a utility infielder will most likely fill that role backing up both Fletcher and Cozart at second and third. He hit a paltry .182 in the Spring, but since he has a major league contract and can play multiple positions La Stella had the edge to be the utility man.

So to recap if you are keeping score David Fletcher will be the opening day second baseman and Zack Cozart will anchor down the hot corner with La Stella being their back-up and pinch-hitter off the bench.

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