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Ask the Competition: LA Angels

It's only a matter of time until Hank Conger is the Angels' everyday catcher.
It's only a matter of time until Hank Conger is the Angels' everyday catcher.

Jim Gardner of Halos Heaven was kind enough to answer a couple questions about the first-place Los Angeles Angels:

Let's Go Tribe: Do Vernon Wells' at-bats look as bad as his batting line?

Halos Heaven: Yes.  Wells has looked much older than the 32 years his birth certificate claims he is.  His bat is slow and he swings at everything.  There’s still a chance Wells can turn this season around, but I’m pretty skeptical based on how bad he’s been the first month of his Angel career.  So far, the trade that brought him to Anaheim from Toronto may go down as the worst in Angels’ history, and not just because of the $81M owed to him.

LGT: How long will Hank Conger and Jeff Mathis continue to split playing time? Is Mathis that much better defensively?

HH: Angel fans have been watching Mathis fail for over four years and it seems like it’s just been recently analysts and fans from other teams have caught on to how bad of a hitter he is.  It’d be one thing if his defense was better than the other options the Angels have had, but that’s not the case.  The bigger story with the Angels catching situation is how manager Mike Scioscia seems to have finally noticed Mathis isn’t good and he has a better hitter in rookie Hank Conger.  Like he’s just realized he doesn’t HAVE to play Mathis.  If Conger can continue to hit at his current rate, he’ll be the fulltime catcher within the next 2 or 3 weeks.  Oh, and he’s a better defender too.

LGT Peter Bourjos is off to a nice start at the plate. What's he been doing at the plate this year that he didn't do in his debut season?

HH: Honestly...I don’t know.  If I were to guess, I’d say he’s just a little more comfortable as a returning player than as the rookie he was last season.  I think he knows he’s going to be in the lineup fulltime and he’s no longer trying out for the team.  His minor league numbers, although inflated by Salt Lake City, were pretty good, so what he’s doing now isn’t that much of a surprise.