Angels' Calhoun Looking For Opportunity
TEMPE, Ariz.—Kole Calhoun
doesn't have the kind of eye-popping skills
that would make him a top prospect, but he has enough tools to help the
Angels in a reserve role.
That could make this a season of uncertainty—and limited growth—for the
25-year-old outfielder, who would benefit from playing every day at
Triple-A but might spend much of 2013 on the bench in the big leagues.
"At this point in his career, Kole is looking for opportunity, and his
growth will come facing major league pitching," Angels manager Mike
Scioscia said. "There's only so much you're going to learn playing
Triple-A. You have to carve a spot for yourself, and that's what he's
trying to do."
The lefthanded-hitting Calhoun, an eighth-round pick out of Arizona
State in 2010 hit .298/.369/.507 with 14 home runs, 30 doubles, seven
triples and 73 RBIs in 410 at-bats with Salt Lake last season. The
5-foot-10, 190-pounder is an excellent defender at three outfield spots
and a good baserunner and bunter, as he showed in a 21-game big league
cameo last season.
But with Mike Trout
, Josh Hamilton
and Peter Bourjos
entrenched in the
Angels outfield and Mark Trumbo
and Vernon Wells
in reserve, there isn't
much room for advancement in Anaheim.
"No doubt, this team is stacked, top to bottom, which is great for the
ballclub and the fans," Calhoun said. "I think anybody who gets a job
playing outfield for this team, it's going to be well-deserved."
Calhoun, who is playing some first base this spring in an effort to
increase his versatility, is competing with Scott Cousins
and Bill Hall
for a reserve spot. His biggest challenges will be adjusting to a
significant reduction in playing time and coming off the bench to face
tough late-inning relievers.
"He has an opportunity to earn a spot on the club," Scioscia said. "But
if he's going to be a role player, he has to get used to keeping himself
sharp for when he gets chance to play."
• Reliever Bobby Cassevah
, whose once-promising Angels career was
derailed by a rotator-cuff injury last season, cleared waivers and was
outrighted off the 40-man roster. The righthander, who went 1-1, 2.72 in
30 games for the Angels in 2011, opted to become a free agent.
• Andrew Romine
, the favorite to win the utility infield job with the
Angels, gave up switch-hitting in 2012 and will hit strictly from the
left side this season.