Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wherefore Art Thou Kendrys?

Almost 12 Months since his horrific injury celebrating a walk-off win against Seattle, Kendrys Morales received a grim bit of news. He won't be back for the 2011 season, and some are speculating he won't ever be back.

As it stands, the Angels are still 1.5 games ahead of Oakland and Texas for first place in the AL West, a division that looks far more winnable than it did a month ago when Texas started the season 9-1. Even more promising for the Halos is the surprisingly good play of youngsters Mark Trumbo and Hank Conger. Trumbo got the nod after spring training when the Angels learned Kendrys wouldn't be ready for Opening Day. Many thought he'd get a nice month/month and a half in the bigs before being sent back down to Salt Lake in favor of Morales.

Now, it would seem, that Trumbo is going to get to continue this audition for the rest of the season, and continue his Rookie of the Year campaign. Trumbo already leads AL rookie hitters in Hits, Home Runs, Doubles, RBI's and, wait for it, Stolen Bases! Granted, he also has 20 more AB's than the next closest rookie (Toronto's JP Arencibia), but his numbers speak for themselves. He is also second in Batting Average behind teammate Hank Conger.

If things don't work out for Kendrys, the Angels community will be upset, and it will be sad. This poor guy comes from Cuba just to play baseball (and for freedom, I suppose), and when things finally start to go his way, his career is cut short on a freak accident. But as an organization, the Angels will continue to stand strong, and that really is a testament to how amazingly well built an organization this is. Already this season, guys like Aybar, Morales, Kazmir, Pineiro, Downs, Izturis, Wells and Willits have all missed some time, but the Angels have prospered, and find themselves in the drivers seat of the American League West once again. Its a great season to be an Angels fan, Kendrys or no Kendrys.

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