Predicting LA Angels 2020 Opening Day Roster
1B/DH Albert Pujols
1B/DH Jared Walsh
2B/3B Tommy La Stella
2B Luis Rengifo
2B/3B/SS/OF David Fletcher
C Martin Maldonado
Same old stuff in the infield in 2020. Albert Pujols at first, Andrelton Simmons at shortstop, and a three-headed unit manning third base and second base. Tommy La Stella, David Fletcher, and Luis Rengifo are all expected to garner playing time next year, and it’ll be interesting to see how playing time shakes out.
After Joe Maddon expressed his love for David Fletcher nearly immediately after being named manager, Fletcher is a sure bet to be an everyday player. Watching how Maddon uses Fletcher is going to be one of the most interesting parts of the Angels’ season, as he can literally play anywhere on the diamond.
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La Stella should be a starter alongside Simmons and Fletcher as well, with Rengifo serving as the all-around backup for the infield. Last season we saw Brad Ausmus position Fletcher and La Stella defensively based on matchups. It’d be nice for them to find some regularity, but you obviously want Fletcher wherever more groundballs are going to be hit.
At first, it’s pretty straightforward. Albert Pujols will continue as the everyday option, likely serving as a DH when Ohtani isn’t in the lineup. Jared Walsh will be the first option to be the backup at first base, but will need to show improvement from his 2019 season if he hopes to hold onto that role.
Behind the plate, it doesn’t seem like Max Stassi will be ready for 2020 right away. Kevan Smith is the incumbent, but why not bring back Martin Maldonado? He has experience with a lot of the Angels’ current pitchers, and was Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher in Houston. A homecoming to Anaheim makes sense for every party involved.