C.J. Cron Ready to Seize Starting Job.

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Updated: March 24, 2017

Losing a player to injury, especially someone who was due for a starting role, is never a good thing. It’s always important to look for the silver lining in any situation like that, so when the Angels lost Luis Valbuena for four to six weeks, it was time to look for the silver lining. Luckily for the Halos, the silver lining was not hard to find. C.J. Cron, a breakout candidate this year, has been tearing the cover off the ball, but when it came time for the Angels to put together their starting nine for the first time this Spring, Valbuena was in at first instead of Cron. Now that Valbuena is injured, though, that gives the full time spot to Cron for at least the first few weeks of the season, and Cron won’t be giving it up.

This is the opportunity that Cron needed, and although Valbuena was set to add valuable depth and balance, it could end up paying huge dividends for the Halos. Cron has been unable to fully seize a full time gig, and when it seemed like he had finally taken that next step last season, he suffered an injury that had him out for a month. Cron will now have that month back in the form of a full time shot at first base without having to cede playing time to Valbuena or worse, playing scarcely while backing him up. It’s obvious that the Angels aren’t fully sold on Cron’s Spring, but Cron will now have that month to prove that his Spring was no fluke and he’s ready to be a force in the Halos’ lineup.

If Cron is able to carry this Spring’s production into the season, the Angels will have a tough time justifying just handing the job back to Valbuena when and if he’s fully healthy, (remember that this injury is to Valbuena’s surgically repaired hamstring, and could end up being even more serious than it is now.) By the time Valbuena is healthy, Cron could have seized the full-time starting first base spot completely, and the truth is that Cron still has higher upside than Valbuena if he can put it all together. The Angels are probably smart in not buying too much into Cron’s Spring, but if he’s able to roll it into the season and take advantage of this opportunity, the Angels will have no choice but to give Cron the starting gig.

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