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Matsui sees first outfield action since mid-2008

Mar 22, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

Hideki Matsui started in the outfield this afternoon for the first time since June of 2008, as the Angels hope his knees will be able to handle at least occasional defensive duties this season.
In fact, according to Lyle Spencer of “the Angels’ plan is to give him a few starts in left field a week, if possible, to provide DH opportunities” for fellow outfielders Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera, and Bobby Abreu plus first baseman Kendry Morales and catcher Mike Napoli.
That seems like an exaggeration given that “a few starts in left field” each week would essentially mean he’s splitting time evenly between designated hitter and the outfield.
More likely is that Matsui sees one or maybe two starts per week in left field, allowing the Angels to rest other players at DH while also potentially keeping Napoli in the lineup on days he isn’t behind the plate. Barring an injury to Abreu or Rivera it would surprise me if Matsui ended up playing defense in more than a couple dozen games.

  1. Dball - Mar 22, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    I very much do not look forward to Matsui with a glove.

  2. Nasty Boy - Mar 22, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    They are playing with fire. That could be alot of trouble if he gets hurt. He’s not very fleet footed, but he’s better than people give him credit for. I would just worry about the injury aspect.

  3. BC - Mar 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    He’s not a bad defender when healthy. But he’s an injury waiting to happen if he plays the field too much.

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