It took some digging and all my super hacker computer skills to find it, but I managed to crack the Angels' internal mainframe recently. After doing so, I stumbled across a job posting of great interest, check it out.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Professional baseball team is seeking an experienced designated hitter to fill a part-time position with the possibility of promotion to a full-time position. This position requires that all applicants be right-handed, capable of hitting for power and possess a minimum of five years experience. Ideal candidates should also be able to demonstrate ability to drive in runs and produce offense in high-pressure situations (and not striking out or popping up with the game on the line). Ability to play the field regularly is a bonus. Our organization offers competitive salaries and benefits including the ability to work for a world class franchise in a contending environment. Former Yankees need not apply. If interested, call Tony R. at 1-800-ANGEL-DH.
Uh oh, sounds like someone needs to update their resume.
For anyone to be hiring in this economy, they must be pretty desperate, but the Angels have good reason to be hitting the job boards to try and find someone to share the designated hitter spot with Hideki Matsui. Hiring Godzilla during the off-season was considered a real coup for the Angels, but he hasn't performed nearly as well in his position as the Angels had hoped. Matsui's tenure has been marred by inconsistency and it is high time the Halos did something to address their shortcomings.
One specific area the Angels can get Hideki some help is in facing left-handed pitching. Despite having a career OPS of .805 against southpaws (versus .862 against righties), Matsui has been completely helpless against lefties this season to the tune of a .186 batting average and a paltry .594 OPS. There is no real rhyme or reason to why he suddenly is so vulnerable to left-handed pitching, but seeing how we are over halfway through the season, it is appropriate to assume that this isn't just a fluke.
Mike Scioscia has never been a huge fan of using formalized platoons, but any fool can see that a platoon is exactly what this situation calls for. Smart HR departments always look to promote from within to try and fill job vacancies, but that does not look to be a reasonable option for the Angels. Mike Napoli is a righty slugger who has performed well at DH before, but his services are currently needed at first base. After that, the next best choice appears to be Brandon Wood and I think we can all agree that nobody wants to go down that road.
So as much as the Angels have been downplaying their need to do some headhunting and bring in a hired gun from another organization, the job description posted above pretty much speaks for itself. Fortunately, it does give the Angels some options.
They could just go ahead and make a deal to acquire a straight-up DH type like Austin Kearns to split time with Matsui. That would probably be the most cost effective way of handling things since they wouldn't have to pay a premium to get a guy who would normally expect to play full-time. But if they want to try and land more of an impact player, they could easily acquire a position player and move someone on the current roster over to being the platoon mate for Matsui. Perhaps the Angels could make a deal a young masher like Corey Hart, putting him in the outfield and moving the underachieving Juan Rivera into a part-time role at DH. The position player doesn't even need be right-handed. Adam LaRoche is a left-handed power hitter, but he has generally been able to hold his own against southpaws (then again, that's what they said about Matsui). LaRoche could easily come in and take over first base on an everyday basis with Mike Napoli sliding back to catcher on occasion against righties while handling all the DH duties against left-handers.
It stinks that Tony Reagins has to go back out and pound the pavement to try and hire a new slugger to fill the void that Hideki Matsui hasn't been fully capable of filling, but at least he will have an opportunity to be creative in the way he goes about it, and as a hiring manager, that is the best he can ask for in this predicament.