Thanks to a bevy of injuries, the Los Angeles Angels needed to look outside of their organization to add much-needed depth. Injuries to Anthony Rendon, Zach Neto, and Gio Urshela combined with lackluster production at first base opened major needs in the infield for Perry Minasian to address. In late June the Angels addressed it with acquisitions of Mike Moustakas and Eduardo Escobar.
The Angels added Moose the same night they annihilated his team 25-1 in Colorado. They were hanging in the playoff race, and Moustakas was brought in to try and help get them over the top.
While the Angels missed the playoffs, Moustakas had some big moments with the team and wound up playing an integral role in the clubhouse.
Mike Moustakas deserves a C+ for his 2023 season
Moustakas' Angels stats weren't anything too noteworthy. He slashed .236/.256/.371 with eight home runs and 31 RBI in 65 games and 250 at-bats. For a guy who was primarily hitting right in the middle of the order, his numbers weren't good enough. When you dive deeper, you do realize Moustakas made more of an impact that the numbers on the surface might've suggested.
Seven of his eight home runs either tied a game or gave the Angels the lead. For a team that really struggled to hit in clutch moments, Moustakas was one player Angels fans could really hang their hats on and trust in big spots.
In addition to his clutch hitting, Moustakas proved to be a helpful veteran voice stepping up to lead a young clubhouse. The Angels went through a ton of losing with Moustakas around, but he was there to try and push his guys through it. Some of the other veterans on this team aren't quite there as vocal leaders, but Moustakas clearly is and has been through just about everything on a big league field.
Moustakas gave the Angels some versatility with the ability to play both corner infield positions. He's not a guy the Angels should be relying on to start, but if they choose to bring him back as a backup corner infielder I think that'd make a lot of sense. He's a local guy who can provide some veteran leadership.
Moustakas didn't provide the Angels much down the stretch, but they didn't give up too much to acquire him and while they were competitive he was hitting in the clutch.