|Third base has been the weak link to the Angels’ offense all season, so the defending American League West champs decided to do something about it. Los Angeles re-acquired Alberto Callaspo, who originally signed with the organization out of Venezuela in 2001, by sending righthander Sean O’Sullivan and lefty Will Smith to the Royals. Both pitchers have experience in the high minors and could be ready for Kansas City in the near future.
For the Angels: A modest offensive talent, Callaspo nonetheless represents a significant upgrade on incumbent Brandon Wood, who has hit a miserable .168/.185/.225 in 173 at-bats for the Angels. And it’s as bad as it looks, too—Wood has just four extra-base hits and a 4-to-52 walk-to-strikeout ratio. A switch-hitter, Callaspo has seen better results as a righthanded batter in his career (791 OPS vs. 720 batting lefty), and his line-drive stroke and knack for contact make him a dangerous situational hitter. The Angels dealt Callaspo to the Diamondbacks in February 2006, acquiring reliever Jason Bulger, who is on the big league disabled list at present.
For the Royals: Callaspo profiles better at second base, the position he played regularly until this season, when the Royals decided they had seen enough of his sloppy and often careless glovework. By trading him, Kansas City acquires a pair of potential back-of-the-rotation starters while simultaneously making room for third-base prospect Mike Moustakas, who recently arrived at Triple-A Omaha after demolishing the Double-A Texas League.
|Sean O’Sullivan, rhp
Born: Sept. 1, 1987 in San Diego.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 230. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Grossmont (Calif.) JC.
Career Transactions: Selected by Angels in third round of 2005 draft; signed May 29, 2006.
The burly O’Sullivan throws three pitches for strikes, but he’s No. 4 starter material because none of the offerings grade better than average. He sits in the high 80s and tops out at 92 mph with his sinker and is unafraid to throw his secondary stuff at any point in the count. He shows good separation with his changeup, while he adds and subtracts from his 75-80 mph curveball. O’Sullivan threw a nine-inning no-hitter for Salt Lake last July, but the Royals and their fans should look forward to more workmanlike performances in the big leagues. The Angels inserted him in their rotation on July 20 to replace the injured Scott Kazmir.
|Will Smith, lhp
Born: July 10, 1989 in Newnan, Ga.
Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 235. Bats: R. Throws: L.
School: Gulf Coast (Fla.) CC.
Career Transactions: Selected by Angels in seventh round of 2008 draft; signed June 11, 2008.
Like O’Sullivan, Smith is a physical pitcher who works with three pitches but does not have a knockout offering. He pitches at 88-90 mph and works both sides of the plate, while mixing in a curveball that ranges from 72-80. Smith lacks a feel for his changeup, and it shows. This season, opposing righthanded batters have battered him for an 856 OPS in high Class A, a 1010 OPS in Double-A and an 887 figure in Triple-A. A visit to pitcher-friendly Wilmington and the high Class A Carolina League could be just what Smith needs to get back on track, because 2010 is quickly becoming a lost year.
|Alberto Callaspo, 3b
Age: 27. Bats: B. Remaining Commitment: 3 arbitration years remain (2011 through ’13) prior to free agency ($460,000 salary in ’10).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.