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, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 28: Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Texas Rangers during the spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA – FEBRUARY 28: Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Los Angeles Angels singles against the Texas Rangers during the spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 28, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /

Catchers –

The Angels were in desperate need of a starting catcher and Billy Eppler looked long and hard finding veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy available and signing the 12-year veteran toa one-year contract.  He also made a trade with he Chicago White Sox for Kevan Smith who would join Jose Briceno who finished the season behind the plate in 2018.

Lucroy has been a nice addition this Spring and was able to easily win the starting job. Lucroy hit a stellar .366 with three RBIs and a .422 OBP. He has also been doing a good job defensively.  They will roll with him into the season as the starter.

Backing up Lucroy will be Kevan Smith who edged out Jose Briceno because of his bat not his glove.  Smith hit .260 with a homer and seven RBIs.  The only negative for Smith is that he has 14 strikeouts and no walks in 50 Spring at bats.  Briceno only hit .150 in the Spring with three hits in 20 at-bats which earned him a trip back to Salt Lake City.  We will see what happens as the season goes along.  If defense becomes an issue Briceno may be back-up with the Angels quickly.

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