Cron optioned, Green coming up …

The Angels optioned struggling, seldom-playing young power hitter C.J. Cron to Triple-A Salt Lake after Friday’s 4-3 walk-off win, and a source said utility man Grant Green will be taking his place on the active roster.

Cron scorched through Spring Training, batting .413 with a 1.165 OPS. But the 25-year-old first baseman carried a .204/.225/.276 slash line through his first 102 plate appearances and had started only three of the Angels’ last 13 games, essentially only playing against left-handed starters.

“I wasn’t playing much,” Cron said. “Obviously when you’re not playing, you’re doing something wrong, and the opportunity is not there for you to just prove you belong. I knew in the recent stretch there was a chance [of getting optioned].”

The Angels begin this week facing at least four consecutive right-handed starters, which means Matt Joyce and Marc Krauss will probably get most of the starts. Green is a right-handed hitter, but can play up to four positions – second base, third base, shortstop, left field – and was batting .329/.351/.457 in Triple-A.

Heading into the year, the Angels planned to have the right-handed-hitting Cron and the left-handed-hitting Joyce platoon at designated hitter. And when Josh Hamilton’s departure became a foregone conclusion, Cron looked like a legitimate candidate to get everyday at-bats.

But he never quite found his stroke.

“When you’re getting at-bats every once in a while, it’s hard to get your timing right,” Cron said. “That’s what I’m going down for, to get better timing and to start swinging like I know I can.”


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