A Bright Side to an Injury Plagued Season

Updated: June 2, 2016

While the Angels pitching staff has been decimated by injuries this year losing Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, CJ Wilson, and Huston Street for part or all of the season, the rest of the team has not been able to escape to the injury bug.

Injuries at third base, shortstop, left field, and catcher during different parts of the season have forced the Angels to field a team that at times is more familiar playing in Salt Lake City than Anaheim.  

One positive outcome of all these injuries is that it gives the younger players a chance to show their skills and gain valuable major league experience.  One such player is Jefry Marte, who has made the most of his opportunity at playing third base by hitting .429/.429/.857 in his 14 at bats this year. While it may be a small sample size, Marte is filling in well for the injured Yunel Escobar and with the ability to also play first base, the 24 year old shows a promising start.

Another player making the most of his situation is catcher Jett Bandy.  After Geovany Soto, whose .283 average at the time of his injury was the highest for an Angels’ catcher in recent memory, had surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee, Bandy was called up from Salt Lake to become the backup behind Carlos Perez.  

Bandy is a southern California native who was originally drafted out of high school by the Dodgers in the 41st but decided to attend college at the University of Arizona.  In 2011, he was picked in the 31st round by the Angels and started his professional career playing for the Orem Owlz in the Rookie League.

During his 6 seasons in the minors, Bandy was able to hit .265 with an impressive OPS of .759.  In that time he was also solid behind the plate, throwing out a respectable 36% of base stealers.  If he keeps these numbers up in the majors (and of course that is a big if) it would place him in this year’s top 10 for throwing out attempted base stealers and his .265 would place him third all time in Angels’ history for batting average in a season for a catcher.  Yes, that stat is true!

Bandy, like Marte, has only played a handful of games while backing up Perez but has shown the ability to hit in key situations driving in three RBIs with his three lone hits.  He most likely will be sent down when Soto returns from the DL but the time in the majors will definitely benefit him for a later call up in the season or for next year,

We are all aware of the injuries that have plagued the Halos this season, both on the mound and in the field, but the bright side of the situation it is this is an opportune chance for players to show that they can perform at the major league level and they could be an important part of this Angels team sooner than later.

Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com

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