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?