When Andrelton Simmons returns, what do the Angels do with David Fletcher?
When Andrelton Simmons was initially hurt, Anthony Rendon has been away from the team nursing an oblique strain. To cover for Rendon’s absence, David Fletcher had been manning third base. Simmons got hurt just as Rendon was ready to return, allowing Fletcher to then move to shortstop as the team needed.
Regardless of position, Fletcher has proven to once again be a sparkplug for the Angels. He’s setting the table at the top of the lineup, getting on-base at a healthy clip, and even riding a 10-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .306/.388/.514 and scored 11 runs as the team’s leadoff hitter.
Likewise, he has played stellar defense at both third and shortstop. While the latter may not be at the lofty levels of Simmons, it has been exceptional nonetheless and his bat has more than made up for the difference.
However, with the assumption being that Simmons will regain his role at shortstop, what do the Angels do with David Fletcher?
The easy answer is that he’ll go back into a platoon with Tommy La Stella at second base. However, La Stella has been off to a decent start with the bat as well (.292/.424/.458), and the Angels bats have been hot since he moved into the two-hole behind Fletcher and ahead of Mike Trout.
There is no doubt that the Angels defense is stronger with Simba on the field, but the lineup gets significantly shorter with his bat in the lineup. Removing on-base machines like La Stella or Fletcher in favor of Simmons’ glove is a tough decision that Joe Maddon will need to make. And it could be one that showcases the team’s stance on whether to re-sign Simmons or La Stella following the 2020 season.