The LA Angels are in a tough spot with Mike Trout’s calf injury keeping him out for six to eight weeks.
Replacing MLB’s best player of the last ten years is obviously a daunting task for the LA Angels.
Mike Trout isn’t replaceable, but it’s clear who will be called upon to step up for him in his absence.
The first is the player who switched over to center field the moment Trout got hurt, and that’s Juan Lagares.
If there’s one thing one can always count on Lagares to do, it’s play defense.
The outfielder has always been among the league’s better defensive outfielders. He even has a Gold Glove to show for it in 2014. In 2015, he was a key contributor to the Mets’ National League-winning run, particularly on defense.
His issue is on offense. He can’t hit for very much power at all, and his lifetime .253 batting average is rather disappointing. Entering Wednesday’s double-header, he was batting just .192.
He had a two-hit game in Game 1, however. The Angels are going to need that type of production moving forward.
Expecting him to replace Mike Trout’s unreal .333/.466/.624 line would be foolish. Lagares doesn’t have potential anywhere near that caliber.
He can, however, hit closer to the .281/.321/.382 line he had in 2014, and be a quality player as long as he continues to play very nice defense.
Other than defense, Lagares’ tools don’t compare well to Trout’s at all.
If the Angels want to be competitive with the roster they have, Lagares will need to step up.