C.J. Cron/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
First baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron on Monday was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City, a day after third baseman Kyle Kubitza was optioned out. Cron hit .256 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs in 242 at-bats in 2014 for the Angels, but he got off to a slow start this season and has twice been sent down.
In 108 at-bats with the big club, he’s hitting just .204 with a home run and six RBIs. He was hitting .323 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 93 at-bats at Salt Lake.
“Well, I think out of the guys down there, he’s swinging the bat the best and we looked at what C.J. did last year,” manager Mike Scioscia said, explaining the recall. “And, obviously, he hasn’t quite gotten into his game. But he’s, hopefully, made some adjustments. He was swinging the bat well down there and, hopefully, he’ll give us a boost right here.”
Cron was in the lineup Monday, batting seventh and playing first base in the series opener against the visiting New York Yankees.
Hector Santiago/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
– First and foremost, Hector Santiago had another fine outing. He pitched seven innings and for the most part matched “King” Felix Hernandez pitch-for-pitch. Santiago allowed just one run on three hits and struck out six while walking two. Hernandez allowed no runs and just one hit and struck out eight while walking three in six innings; he came out with cramps caused by the heat in the daytime game. Santiago’s ERA dropped to 2.58, lowest among Angels starting pitchers, fourth in the American League. He’s only 4-4, but Santiago is nevertheless making a case for being selected to the AL All-Star team.
– Rookie Trevor Gott, just 22, earned his first big-league victory with a perfect 10th inning. Gott has now pitched seven innings and has allowed just three hits and no runs; he has an ERA of 0.00 and has not walked a batter. He is regularly clocked at 98 miles-per-hour.
– It figured Albert Pujols would cool off, if for no other reason than he had been so hot for a long spell. Pujols went 0-for-5 in this one and has gone just 1-for-15 in his past four games with no home runs and no RBIs. Pujols’ most recent home run came June 22 in a 4-3 victory over Houston. He hit two that night. That was also the last time he drove in a run; he had three RBIs in that one.
– The Angels, who continue to struggle to score runs, hit into three double plays. The most notable came in the bottom of the 10th inning when Pujols hit the first pitch from Tom Wilhelmsen and grounded into a shortstop-to-home-to-first double play with the bases loaded. Fortunately for the Angels, Wilhelmsen then uncorked a wild pitch that scored Kole Calhoun with the winning run.
– Speaking of Calhoun, he has had two clutch at-bats the past two games. And since he’s been struggling at the plate, that’s huge for the Angels. He smacked a two-run home run in the first inning of Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Seattle. Then he had an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning in this one that gave the Angels a 2-1 lead. It could have been the winning run, but Huston Street gave up a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth. However, the Angels were glad to take the victory on Wilhelmsen’s wild pitch. Calhoun was hitting .314 on May 13. He’s now at .262 and is hitting just .232 this month.
Collin Cowgill/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels
Outfielder Collin Cowgill (sprained right wrist) has been on the disabled list since May 26. He hit off a tee Friday and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he should be taking batting practice any time. Cowgill is chomping at the bit.
“I’m dying to hit,” he said. “I haven’t done it for a long time.”
(Jered Weaver also progressing)
Right-hand pitcher Jered Weaver is on the disabled list with left hip inflammation. Seen at his locker, when asked about it, he said, “Great, it’s coming along.”
Weaver played catch from 90 feet Friday after five days of no throwing at all.
“A couple of more days of playing catch and waiting for them to tell me what’s going on,” Weaver said.
Chris Iannetta/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Angels
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta in 2014 had his best overall season with the club. He hit .252 with seven home runs, 43 RBIs, 22 doubles and an on-base-percentage of .373 in 306 at-bats.
It’s been a different story here in 2015, his fourth season with the Angels. This season he’s hitting just .184 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 141 at-bats. He has four doubles and an on-base-percentage of just .287, the lowest of his 10-year major-league career.
He said it’s not as bad as all that.
“Yeah, I had a really bad April,” Iannetta said. “Since then, I’ve been playing really well, to be honest with you. I think if you look at the numbers since May, it’s been what I did all last year.
“I just had an abysmal April. And it’s still reflected on the scoreboard. Since then I think I’ve been hitting roughly around .250 and doing pretty well, doing what I want to do. It’s going to take a long time to change the overall aggregate number on the scoreboard, but I like where I’m at.”
Iannetta hit just .093 in April and he did come back to hit .264 in May. However, he’s hitting just .206 this month. He’s hitting .241 (21-for-87) since the end of April.