A few months ago, many Angel fans were dreaming about adding one of the premium free agent left fielders who were listening to bids this past off-season to the Halo roster, but those dreams poofed into the bitter reality of Arte Moreno’s new-found, tight-fisted, fiscal philosophy, and Halo Honks had to live with beginning the season with a Daniel Nava/Craig Gentry platoon in left field, which would soon dissolve into a beaker full of injury, and the Angels’ 2015 left field nightmare somehow managed to repeat itself all over again in 2016.
But what if instead of guarding his fortune like a dragon in a mountainous cave, Moreno had been willing to try to fix this black hole in the Angel lineup by signing one of the star free agents this winter? And since we’re dreaming, let’s say the Angels would have signed the one who is having a huge season so far, Yoenis Cespedes.
Here is what the batting order (with each player’s current OPS+) could have looked like:
- Yunel Escobar 115
- Kole Calhoun 119
- Mike Trout 168
- Albert Pujols 99
- Yoenis Cespedes 152
- CJ Cron 119
- Geovany Soto 119
- Johnny Giavotella 85
- Andrelton Simmons 78
As I wipe the drool away from my mouth, let me remind you that besides being a beast at the plate, Cespedes is also an excellent left fielder, so in addition to adding more on-base and slugging production to the Angel offense, his defense would also save more runs than the amalgam the Angels have been throwing out there have saved this season.
So with Cespedes in the batting order and in left field, how many more games would the Angels have won this year? Who knows, but let’s just put the figure at five extra wins. That puts the Angels about seven and a half games out of the American League’s second wild card spot with half a season left to play and Tyler Skaggs just about ready to jump into the starting rotation after posting a 1.06 ERA with 23 strikeouts and zero walks in three starts this July at Triple-A Salt Lake.