Almost... there... Opening Day is so, very close for the Angels but they do have a few housekeeping matters to tend to before Friday. Namely, they must decide on the final bench and rotation spots. Not exactly the most scintillating topic, but a necessary one nonetheless. So who's going to make the team and who's going to get a pat on the back accompanied by a one-way ticket to Salt Lake?
Quick note, I'm assuming the Angels dump Bobby Abreu either via trade or just straight out release him, so that means there are two potential bench openings to consider for the purposes of this exercise.
Why? Because he is fun-sized! Also, he plays second base and the outfield and can probably even make the occasional cameo at shortstop and third should the need arise. His biggest asset though is that he is speedy and is thus could actually see a fair amount of use as a pinch-runner.
Why not? Because umpires keep mistaking him for the batboy (short jokes never get old). Also, if the Angels have real designs on him taking over the Izturis role next year, Amarista is better off in the minors playing daily and getting more familiar with the defensive positions that he has little experience at.
Why? Because he had a good year or two a few years ago. Also, he theoretically can play both corner infield positions and provide some pop off the bench.
Why not? Because communism works, in theory. Also, Cantu, in practice, is a miserable defensive player and because the Angel lineup is improved this year, they have almost no need for a pinch-hitter off the bench, regardless of whether or not he actually still has pop in his bat.
Why? Because Jerry Dipoto is down with OBP. Also, Langerhans is a fine defender at all three outfield positions and swings a left-handed stick, which makes him a more ideal replacement for Abreu.
Why not? Because he had a bad spring, which shouldn't matter but somehow probably will. Also, the Angel outfielders are all good defensively, so a defensive replacement is not something they need.