Tag:Ryan Church
Posted on: March 4, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 7:37 pm

Angels on prowl for lefty hitter

ChurchBy Evan Brunell

The Angels are on the hunt for a left-handed hitter, as ESPN's Buster Olney reports.

While the Angels have plenty of switch-hitters on its projected 13-player squad with six, only one bats exclusively from the left side in DH Bobby Abreu. However, three of the switch-hitters are projected to be on the bench, including catching prospect Hank Conger although the Angels could opt to go with right-handed hitting Bobby Wilson to back up Jeff Mathis. An additional two switch-hitters don't provide much thump in the lineup with Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo, leaving Kendry Morales the only switch-hitter who is an offensive threat. (Check out the Angels' depth chart.)

No wonder the team would like to expand its options from the left side. But what position fits?

Catcher is one option if the Angels are interested in bringing in someone from outside, but given how much emphasis skipper Mike Scioscia places on catching and the battery of tests he runs these catchers through early on in spring training, it's unlikely the club will import an outside presence, especially with a strong prospect in Conger on hand along with Scioscia favorite Mathis and yet another backup candidate in Wilson.

The club appears set in the infield. While they wouldn't mind upgrading from Howie Kendrick at second base or Alberto Callaspo at third, that would require a larger deal, a move most teams wouldn't be prepared to do at the moment -- and there aren't many options there. It's unlikely L.A. would import a backup to steal playing time from Macier Izturis. They could go with two infielders and bump Mark Trumbo down to Triple-A, which is a distinct possibility if they can find a left-hander who would provide power off the bench and an ability to play first and a little outfield like Trumbo.

Where the most likely move will come from is in the outfield, where switch-hitter Reggie Willits is far from guaranteed as the fourth outfielder. Willits has spent chunks of the last five seasons with the Halos, including a 518-plate appearance stint in 2007 but hasn't shown any aptitude with the bat and is easily replaceable -- and there's no obvious option behind Willits.

So who could the Angels go after? For starters, let's look at left-handed outfielders currently on the free agent market.

Ryan Church.

That's pretty much it. The 32-year-old split last season between the Pirates and Diamondbacks. Most of his playing time came in Pittsburgh where he flopped big time although his bat bounced back in Arizona. Church (pictured) has a career .264/.336/.431 mark in 2,128 PA and may be an upgrade over Willits, although that's far from a sure thing especially when you look at defense and speed. One thing in Church's favor is his platoon splits against right-handers, posting up a .272/.345/.451 mark against righties in 1,634 PA. Church isn't an exciting option, but he's certainly a viable option.

It's far too early to speculate on the trade market, but there will be a flood of players available via free agency and waivers later on in the spring, even some that may be capable of starting (which would likely push Peter Bourjos to the bench or Triple-A). However, anyone available via those means will also be of similar quality to Church. At this point, all the Angels can hope to do is find one name among the many that will cross their desks over the next few weeks and select one that they think has the most value to the club and cross their fingers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

More MLB coverage
Posted on: December 3, 2010 12:28 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:37 am

Russell Martin among those non-tendered

The deadline to tender contracts was Thursday night at 11:59 p.m., and here's the players who were not tendered contracts and are now free agents:

A's: Edwin Encarnacion, Jack Cust, Travis Buck

Angels: Kevin Frandsen

Astros: Sammy Gervacio

Blue Jays: Jeremy Accardo, Fred Lewis

Braves: Matt Diaz

Brewers: Todd Coffey, Joe Inglett

Diamondbacks: Blaine Boyer, Ryan Church, Augie Ojeda, D.J. Carrasco

Dodgers: Russell Martin, George Sherrill, Trent Oeltjen

Giants: Eugenio Velez, Chris Ray

Mariners: Ryan Rowland-Smith

Marlins: Jose Veras, Ronny Paulino

Mets: Chris Carter, Sean Green, John Maine

Nationals: Wil Nieves, Joel Peralta, Chein-Ming Wang

Orioles: Matt Albers

Padres: Scott Hairston, Tony Gwynn Jr., Luis Perdomo, Matt Antonelli

Pirates: Lastings Milledge, Argenis Diaz, Donnie Veal, Brian Burres

Rangers: Dustin Nippert

Rays: Lance Cormier, Willy Aybar, Dioner Navarro, J.P. Howell

Red Sox: Hideki Okajima, Taylor Buchholz, Andrew Miller

Rockies: Manny Delcarmen

Royals: Josh Fields

Tigers: Zach Miner

White Sox: Bobby Jenks, Erick Threets

Yankees: Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Mosley

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:14 pm

Pirates' Crosby close to return

Good news for the Pirates, who need any good news they can find.

Second baseman Bobby Crosby will hit off a tee today and could be available to pinch-hit against the Cubs today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel writes . Crosby is expected to be available for Thursday's game.

Andy LaRoche is playing second for the Pirates today in Chicago.

Crosby was the second Pirates second baseman to collide with a right fielder in the course of four days. Friday night the team lost Neil Walker in a collision with Ryan Church and Walker has since been put on the disabled list with a concussion. Crosby collided on the same type of shallow popup on Monday, this time running into Lastings Milledge.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 11:04 pm

Pirates lose another second baseman

Bobby Crosby Being the Pirates' second baseman is dangerous business these days.

Bobby Crosby was removed from Monday's game against the Cubs with concussion-like symptoms after colliding with outfielder Lastings Milledge.

On Friday, Neil Walker collided with Ryan Church and suffered a concussion. He has been sent back to Pittsburgh for more tests.

The Pirates released their Opening Day second baseman, Akinori Iwamura, two weeks ago. Andy LaRoche has been transitioning from third to second but is a work in progress. The only player to start at second for the Pirates this season other than Iwamura, Walker and Crosby is Delwyn Young, who has started there three times and is batting .221.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 28, 2010 5:08 pm

Walker sent home for tests

Pirates second baseman Neil Walker has been sent back to Pittsburgh to undergo more tests, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel writes .

Walker left Friday night's game after a collision with Ryan Church. It was later revealed Walker suffered a concussion on the play.

Walker is hitting .295/.325/.464 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 28 games for the Pirates so far this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com