Angels working to improve infield defense

Discussion in 'American League West' started by truebluefan, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. truebluefan

    truebluefan Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    "The addition of Vernon Wells gives the Angels two Gold Glove winners to flank speedy Peter Bourjos in center field, turning what had been a weakness — outfield defense — into a strength.

    But that might not mean much if the Angels don't play better defense in the infield as well.

    Last season the Angels were second to last in the American League in errors and fielding percentage and second to last in the majors in double plays. That was a big drop off from the year before, when they led the majors with 174 double plays.

    "There are a lot of positives that are coming forward in where our team looks right now on the defensive side," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "These guys have been working very, very hard on everything from their feeds to turning double plays.

    "You have to make your plays on the left side of the infield, and we're seeing that right now."

    He didn't see that much last year. Only one AL shortstop committed more errors than the Angels' Erick Aybar, while the five players Scioscia used at third combined for 15 more.

    This spring the Angels made it to the fourth inning of their sixth exhibition before committing an error. And no other AL team had turned more double plays than the Angels' eight entering Thursday — a trend that could prove especially important to ground-ball pitchers Dan Haren and Joel Pineiro.

    "It's great to look and see you have no errors. But there's more important evaluation tools than just errors," Scioscia said. "Our range is terrific on the infield and outfield. That's going to play into a lot of things. Hopefully we can make more plays.""

    Read more: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-0304-angels-fyi-20110304,0,5571506.story
     

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