Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Erstad back in Centerfield

The Angels announced that Daren Erstad will move back to center, leaving first base in the hands of Casey Kotchman. Chone Figgins will play third, which means that Dallas McPherson will be the DH most of the time (except against lefties, I guess).
While I, like most Angels fans probably, am happy that I don't have to endure any more Steve Finley in Centerfield and that Kotchman gets his shot at first, Erstad playing center again reminds me of why he was moved in the first place: His proneness to injury. I somehow can't image Erstad starting more than 100 games in center next year. But plans for the worst (?) case are already made:
"... if Erstad got hurt and Figgy had to play center, Dallas could play third."
I bet Scioscia had to bite his lip not to say "when" instead of "if" when he gave that interview. However, when the inevitable happens, Dallas' back is hopefully completely healed and he can play the rest of the season in the field. That will free up the DH spot for Juan Rivera (vs RHP) and Robb Quinlan (vs LHP) or even Tim Salmon. As much as I like Daren and his gritty play and all his intangibles and his leadership and his running over catchers, at least offensively, this will probably make the Angels better.

Still, opening day and even spring training are still far, far away and there is a lot of time to spin a deal or sign a free agent. It doesn't have to be Manny or Tejada (although that would be really, really nice). Why not take a shot with a one-year contract on Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza. At least think about it. If the A's do it, so should the Angels.


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