The Los Angeles Angels approach the 2023 regular season with new weapons at their disposal and more of a structured plan in place for how to deploy different players.
Anthony Rendon, Mike Trout, Archie Bradley, David Fletcher, Taylor Ward, Jared Walsh, and many others spent time on the injured list last season, some much more than others, which caused a domino effect that contributed to the team’s downward spiral.
However, general manager Perry Minasian understood that dipping into their incredibly thin MLB-ready player pool at the Minor League level wasn’t something they’d like to do again, and he has been open about the team’s willingness to shift guys around the diamond.
Minasian reinforced his roster this winter, adding Hunter Renfroe to the outfield mix, and acquiring Gio Urshela and Brandon Drury for the infield rotation. The Angels expect an uptick in offensive production from the new acquisitions, and Minasian discussed how the team plans to use them in any way possible on the field, via Sam Blum of The Athletic:
It sounds like (based on Perry Minasian presser) the Angels are going to have guys play all over & mix/match.
Drury will play all over. Walsh might see time in the outfield. Lots of different players can see time at short.
Purpose is to have Angels more prepared for an injury.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) December 23, 2022
The division has retooled after the Texas Rangers signed Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, which means that teams on the outside have committed some serious financial assets to improve.
Angels manager Phil Nevin noted that the strength added to his infield is a huge step up from what he had this past season, and players missing significant time are instances that can’t be forecasted.
“There’s so many things are going to happen before Opening Day. The fact is we have a lot of options, we have a lot of depth, and it’s something that we struggled with in the past when we’ve had injuries,” Nevin said. “You don’t plan to have injuries but the fact is they happen. And we know we’re deeper. We know we’re stronger. We know at full strength how deep our lineup is and how much it’s lengthened us out.
Angels ‘feel good’ about Brandon Drury playing 2nd base
One of the underrated signings of the offseason was the addition of Drury on a two-year deal with the Angels. Minasian saw the value in the 30-year-old due to his versatility and breakout offensive performance.
Drury enjoyed a bit of success with the New York Mets in 2021 with a then-career-high 114 wRC+, but this past season with the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres, he posted a 123 wRC+, which put him on the radar of the most interesting free-agent bats.
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