Callaspo and Izturis — redundant?

Mark Trumbo‘s road towards potentially morphing into a Major League third baseman reached its most climactic phase yet on Saturday, when the towering slugger played in what was really his first game (Wednesday’s three innings of defense only, with hardly any balls hit near him, hardly counts). How many games Trumbo eventually plays at third base — 20? 30? 40? More? — nobody really knows.

What we can say with some certainty is that Mike Scioscia won’t shy away from putting him there if he shows he can at least be competent at the position. His bat is just too important, too impactful.

The question, then, would be: What happens to Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis?

If Trumbo spends a good portion of the season at the hot corner, will the Angels keep them both? Should they keep them both?

Scioscia has continuously preached throughout the spring that he can find ample playing time for everybody, and that the amount of depth is only a good thing because it’ll keep guys fresh. But at what point do you have too many options; juggling at-bats to the point where guys who are used to getting regular playing time suddenly aren’t, and suddenly aren’t as productive?

The Angels’ skipper probably wouldn’t let that happen, which is why it’d be tough to imagine a situation where both Callaspo and Izturis still have important roles if Trumbo is an option at third base.

To the naked eye, at least, Callaspo and Izturis are very similar. They’re slap hitters, they hit from both sides of the plate and they play three infield spots (though Izturis is a lot more seasoned at shortstop). You can be almost certain that Callaspo or Izturis will be late-game substitutions on the days Trumbo starts at third base.

But can both have sizeable roles on this team if Trumbo is getting semi-regular playing time at third base, the position Callaspo played full time last season?

That would be up to Jerry Dipoto to decide, but both could be attractive to suitors because of their versatility, their price tag and overall value (perhaps one can bring a solid back-end bullpen piece). Callaspo, 28, has hit .285/.341/.404 the last three years, is owed $3.15 million in 2012 and isn’t eligible for free agency until after the ’13 season. The 31-year-old Izturis, who has only played in one Spring Training game due to sore legs, has hit .282/.345/.397 the last six years, but has averaged only 97 games during that span due to injuries. Izturis is owed $3.8 million in his finally season before free agency.

So, what would you do with the two Venezuelan infielders?

  • Keep them both for insurance?
  • Trade Callaspo?
  • Trade Izturis?

Alden

4 Comments

The need for a Super Sub on this team is limited. We have very capable bench guys for the infield with Amarista and Romine and Lindsey and Segura are on their way in a year or two. I think a combination of Trumbo and Cantu at 3rd and Romine/Amarista on the bench makes sense this year. We trade both Izzy and Callaspo for Bullpen help or shore up some holes in the minors, maybe a real prospect at 3B

The most likely scenario is trading Callaspo for Bullpen help and keeping Izzy for this last year.

The biggest concern is the long-term solution at 3B. Trumbo is not going to make his career there.

That’s a good point about the long-term solution.

Part of me thinks ‘keep the insurance” and I like both players. However, it always comes down to who could we get for each? I still think the BP needs arms but don’t expect a top rate guy. Tough question which is why you write about it. I have enjoyed your coverage a lot. Good job.

Thanks, Barbara, I appreciate your feedback.

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