Mike Trout took over because the Angels’ main middle fielder in 2012 and was a stalwart there till final yr, when a calf harm restricted him to simply 36 video games. It appears the time has come the place the staff is considering when to maneuver the 30-year-old right into a nook outfield function. Supervisor Joe Maddon informed reporters, together with Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, that the staff has talked about the potential of slotting Brandon Marsh in middle discipline as an alternative.

Heart discipline is mostly thought-about a extra bodily demanding place to play, relative to the corners, making the transfer a worthwhile consideration. If the toll of taking part in protection have been diminished for Trout, it could enhance his odds of staying wholesome and within the lineup. Trout has already been thought-about among the best hitters in baseball for a decade now, if not the easiest. There’s no signal of that slowing down on a fee foundation. Earlier than his season was reduce brief final yr, he was hitting .333/.466/.624, producing an unbelievable wRC+ of 190, a pair ticks above his profession excessive of 188.

By way of his work in middle, there are attainable indicators of decline. DRS and UZR each gave him detrimental marks in every of the previous three seasons. Statcast’s OAA is a little more favorable, giving him -2 in 2019 however +1 in 2020 and 2021. Marsh simply made his MLB debut final yr and has solely performed 70 video games, so small pattern caveats apply right here, however his numbers have been -Three DRS, +0.9 UZR and +2 OAA. Maybe the change would give the membership the double benefit of retaining Trout wholesome and discovering out if Marsh can present high quality middle discipline protection over a bigger pattern.

Elsewhere on the diamond, Maddon says that the shortstop place goes to be an open battle between Andrew Velazquez, Tyler Wade, Luis Rengifo and David Fletcher, however that Velazquez is the favourite proper now. (Twitter hyperlink from Sam Blum of The Athletic.) The 27-year-old Velazquez solely has 96 video games of MLB expertise up to now in his profession, producing a tepid batting line of .184/.249/.276. He fared significantly better in Triple-A final yr, however a staff with designs on competing would certainly desire a extra confirmed choice. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Spring Coaching is gearing up, there’s a lot offseason enterprise nonetheless ongoing because of the lockout, which means there’s nonetheless time for the membership to make an addition to their center infield group.

As for Maddon himself, he’s getting into the ultimate assured yr of his contract. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Instances relays that Maddon says he has not been approached about an extension, although he would like to signal one. Though that is the final assured yr on the deal, Bob Nightengale of USA Right this moment stories that the membership really has a $4M choice for Maddon’s providers in 2023, which comes with a $1M buyout. Which means the urgency to get an extension accomplished may not really be so excessive for the membership.

Transferring on to Maddon’s employees, it was reported in January that former bench coach Mike Gallego can be sticking round in some capability, although his function was undefined. Now Blum relays that Gallego’s title will likely be Main League discipline coordinator. The membership nonetheless hasn’t introduced a primary base coach, although it’s unclear if that’s associated to the Adam Eaton scenario. It was reported in January that Eaton was contemplating retiring and taking a training place with the Angels, although he was nonetheless a member of the MLBPA and unable to debate the chance through the lockout.

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