In recent years, David Fletcher has been a mainstay in the Los Angeles Angels lineup, but multiple injuries forced him to miss extensive time over the course of the 2022 regular season.
Fletcher appeared in five games from Opening Day until the first sign of injury hit him in early April. He was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a left hip strain and wouldn’t return until later in the month.
He would go on to play a handful of games before the hip forced the Angels to make the difficult decision to transfer him to the 60-day IL. In 41 plate appearances prior, he logged a .158 batting average and a 33 wRC+, which placed him among the worst hitters in baseball.
Fletcher’s light power bat would suffer even more with the discomfort of his injured hip, and as a result, he became even less of a threat. But a sliver of good fortune would find the 28-year-old after he was reinstated on July 28 by appearing in 40 games from then until Sept. 16.
The Angels sorely missed his consistent bat and ultimately, his lack of availability hurt them because of the stressed infield depth within their organization. Fletcher wouldn’t have many impactful stretches of offense, accumulating a 75 wRC+ in 61 total games.
He would hit the IL one more time at the backend of the regular season when he was struck on the hand by a pitch, causing nothing more than a minor bone bruise. He would tally six hits (all singles) over his final 27 at-bats to end the season.
David Fletcher 2022 highlight
On Aug. 6, Fletcher wound up posting a two-hit game against the Seattle Mariners including a single and a homer, accounting for three runs batted in and one run scored. The Angels went on to win the game 7-1.
Fletcher is currently entering the third year of a 5-year, $26 million contract, and following multiple seasons of reliable play, the Angels will undoubtedly count on him regaining his feel for his body and the game during the 2023 season.
After adding Gio Urshela and Brandon Drury to the mix, the Angels possess a very solid group of veteran infielders who are capable of putting together fantastic seasons if all is clicking. Fletcher will likely serve in a utility role in 2023, but if he doesn’t return to form, he may be further pushed out of the mix.
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