Early on this offseason, the Los Angeles Angels made a trade acquiring Gio Urshela from the Twins. This was a trade I was a bit confused about because Urshela was primarily a third baseman who had very little experience playing anywhere else in the infield. I know Anthony Rendon has a big injury history so having insurance is great, but Urshela is a guy who's good enough to start on most teams.
Urshela's lack of a position with this team is why I criticized the move. The Angels went the entire offseason without acquiring a primary shortstop which wasn't smart in my eyes, but Urshela is doing everything in his power to prove me wrong (and I'm loving it!)
Gio Urshela trade is already looking like the right choice for the LA Angels
Gio Urshela can swing the bat. This was known already, as he had a 121 OPS+ last season and had a 119 OPS+ since 2019 entering the 2023 campaign. So far this season, he's recorded five hits in eight at-bats and has drawn a walk as well over his first two games as an Angel. Gio had a big two-run single in the middle of the Angels 11-run inning yesterday. That'll work!
Urshela's production in the eighth spot of the batting order is quite good and something Angels fans can enjoy watching all season.
I expected him to be able to hit, but didn't expect Urshela to defend the way he has at shortstop. Urshela has been known to be a great third baseman, but shortstop is a whole different beast.
He's made every routine play, and even made this non-routine play yesterday to end the fourth inning.
If the Angels get even adequate defense from the shortstop position with Urshela to go with his offensive ability, this move is a home run. From everything I've seen with Urshela in Spring Training and the first couple of games this season, he's at the very least capable at shortstop. This is such a relief considering how awful the Halos have been at short in recent years.
The Urshela trade looks like yet another solid move made by Perry Minasian.