Royals castoff Johnny Giavotella looks like Angels’ starting second baseman

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Despite being a consistent .300 hitter in the minors Johnny Giavotella never got an extended shot in Kansas City, but the Angels acquired him on the cheap in December and now he’s in line to replace Howie Kendrick as their starting second baseman.

Giavotella is hitting .412 this spring and manager Mike Scioscia told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times:

He’s getting a chance, and he’s feeling more comfortable on the defensive end. We need someone to step up, and he’s doing a nice job.

Giavotella hit just .238 with a .612 OPS in 125 games for the Royals, but never received as many as 200 plate appearances in a season. He’s still just 27 years old and is a career .315 hitter in 413 games at Triple-A, where he’s drawn 184 walks compared to 192 strikeouts and shown a decent power-speed combo.