Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella has been placed on the disabled list with what the team is calling a “personal medical condition.”
Giavotella has started 114 of 124 games at second base for the Angels this season, but he’ll miss at least two weeks with the undisclosed issue and Triple-A call-up Grant Green is expected to see most of the action at second base in his absence.
Giavotella has hit .265 with three homers and a .662 OPS in 119 games. Green has spent nearly all season in the minors, but the former first-round draft pick previously hit .259 with two homers and a .640 OPS in 88 games in 2013/2014.
Thursday night Giants general manager Bobby Evans admitted that he’d made a trade offer to the Phillies for Chase Utley, but apparently there are other suitors for the six-time All-Star second baseman.
Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that the Angels “are exploring the possibility” of trading for Utley, who has hit well in limited action since returning from the disabled list. Prior to going on the DL he hit just .179 in 65 games.
Johnny Giavotella has done a decent job as the Angels’ primary second baseman, hitting .271 with three homers and a .679 OPS in 112 games. It’s possible the Angels could be interested in platooning the right-handed-hitting Giavotella and left-handed-hitting Utley, or like the Giants they may be looking to acquire Utley as a part-timer at multiple positions.
Multiple reports say Utley will only approve a trade to a team that assures him regular playing time down the stretch. Utley grew up in California and went to UCLA, so it’ll be interesting to see if he prefers San Francisco or Anaheim.
Matt Joyce was supposed to provide some pop from the left side of the plate for the Angels after they acquired him from the Rays this offseason, but instead he’s been terrible and has now been benched.
Joyce was out of the Angels’ lineup Sunday against a right-handed pitcher in what Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times calls “an indication they are running out of patience with the struggling outfielder.”
Joyce posted a .783 OPS from 2008-2014, including an OPS above .725 every season and especially good numbers versus right-handed pitching, but this year he’s hitting .183 through 56 games. It’s also worth noting that he struggled in the second half of last season for the Rays, suggesting his drop in production now may be more than just a two-month slump.
According to manager Mike Scioscia the team has not considered simply releasing Joyce, who’s making $4.75 million, but their alternatives would be unproven, relatively low-upside hitters playing out of position like Johnny Giavotella, Efren Navarro, Kyle Kubitza, and Taylor Featherson.