Monday, May 01, 2006

Casey Kotchman's Collapse Boosts Howie Kendrick

Promising rookie Howie Kendrick, penciled in as the Angels second baseman of the future, may find a home a third base due to the offensive collapse of fellow rookie Casey Kotchman. With Kotchman hitting an anemic .162, the Angels are trying to be reassuring but are rapidly approaching the point where Kotchman must be sent back to the Salt Lake Bees for more seasoning. That would move center fielder Darren Erstad back to first base, move third baseman Chone Figgins to center, and open a spot for Kendrick at third. Kendrick has a .386 average with 13 RBI and two homers for the Bees and has greatly improved his defensive play, but is blocked at his natural second base position by veteran Adam Kennedy. Dallas McPherson, who fell flat after being projected as a potential top rookie last year, has swung a hot bat very recently for the Bees but his overall performance in spring camp and at Salt Lake has been lackluster. He is hitting .221.