Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Los_angeles_angels_a4f3
Torii Hunter is officially no longer an Angel, something we all have seen coming for weeks now.  For the most part, we've all made our peace with his departure and moved on.  We know the Halos have as they've already made it clear that they have a succession plan in place.  Peter Bourjos will take Hunter's spot in the outfield.  Albert Pujols and Mike Trout will fill his leadership void.  As for his spot in the lineup, the two-hole, that will be filled by... Wait... who the hell is going to bat second for the Angels now?  Umm, OK, maybe the Angels didn't quite plan for everything.  They certainly have options to take over that spot, but none of them really seem like a perfect fit. The common thought is Erick Aybar will get the first shot at hitting second.  With his speed and bunting skills, Scioscia has been trying to jam him into the top of the order for years now anyway.  Plus, as a switch-hitter, he breaks up the string of righties the Angels have littering the rest of the first half of the lineup.  The only problem is that Aybar isn't exactly an on-base machine with a .320 career OBP.   That's kind of a big deal.  It is also the reason that he has never been able to stick in the top of the lineup.  Frankly, it is probably for the best that Aybar doesn't earn the job because there is the great threat that Scioscia will constantly have him sac bunt to move Trout over, instead of just letting Trout steal the base which he can do, you know, without giving up an out. The next most popular choice, the choice of the people, is Howie Kendrick.  On paper, this seems like a good idea because Howie will supposedly feast on fastballs hitting between Trout and Pujols.  The Angels actually tried that last season and Kendrick fell on his face... and then grounded into a doubleplay.  Sorry, but Kendrick just isn't the kind of situational hitter that traditionalists prefer hitting second.  Non-tradionalists really don't care, they just want the best hitters at the top of the order, a criteria that Kendrick doesn't necessarily fit either. The least popular choice amongst the fans, but possibly the best actual choice is Alberto Callaspo.  He has a marginally higher career OBP (.335) than Aybar and Kendrick, is also a switch-hitter, is a good situational hitter and is very difficult to strike out.  What he isn't is clearly one of the team's best hitters and he really wasn't even that close. The outside the box choice could be Peter Bourjos.  He most definitely has the speed and pop you like to see in the two-hole, that is if he can hit like he did in 2011.  If he is more of the 2012 version, then he is just an awful choice.  As such, it probably makes sense for the Angels to give Speedy Petey a several weeks to prove himself and regain both his confidence and the confidence of the team before moving him up in the order.  One way they might do that is by having him only bat second against southpaws, much as the Angels did with him in the leadoff spot late in the 2011 season. There is also the possibility that the Angels could fill Hunter's vacated lineup spot with someone who isn't currently on the roster.  By everything Jerry Dipoto is saying publicly, he is perfectly content with the current roster.  But he has played possum on off-season moves before.  Nick Swisher or Shin-Soo Choo would certainly be pretty ideal replacements for Hunter.  Alas, that might just be wishful thinking on my part. Of course, the Angels could drop Mike Trout down to second in the order to take better advantage of his power, but that creates the same problem, just one spot higher with the added wrinkle of not wanting to use a slower runner like Callaspo who would only clog up the bases for Trout. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Browns lament ‘unacceptable’ loss to winless Jaguars

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

Hockey fights of the week

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 7

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.