As he struggles at the plate, Angels’ Ian Kinsler faces uncertain future
He turned 36 last month and is batting .215, with the second of his two consecutive five-year contracts nearing its conclusion.
Like never before in his career, Ian Kinsler faces a very uncertain baseball future.
“It definitely enters your mind,” the Angels second baseman said. “I’ve never been in a situation where I didn’t know where I’m going to be the next year. But, as far as it weighing on my performance, that’s not an issue.”
When the Angels acquired Kinsler from the Detroit Tigers in December — a deal that required him to waive his no-trade clause — the expectation was he would bring a steadying influence in the clubhouse and to the top the batting order.
As a veteran in his 13th season, Kinsler’s professionalism has been unrelenting. His offense, though, hasn’t matched projections.
“I’m not happy with the results,” said Kinsler, who was moved down in the order and replaced by Kole Calhoun in the leadoff spot Friday. “But I’m going to continue to work hard and compete. There are other ways to impact the game.”
The Angels added Kinsler and Zack Cozart in the span of two days to reinforce their infield. Both have struggled at the plate, and Cozart had season-ending shoulder surgery on Friday.
Unlike Kinsler, Cozart is signed for two more years. If the Angels make no moves the rest of this season, they’d go into the winter with the option of playing Cozart at third or second in 2019.
A longtime shortstop, Cozart originally agreed to move to second for the Angels before he then approved a switch to third when the Kinsler trade became a possibility.
Approaching free agency, Kinsler’s case is quite different, particularly seeing how tough last winter’s market was for players just like him seeking work.
“I’m human and I know my situation,” he said. “But if I’m in the batter’s box, I’m not thinking about that. If I’m in the field and there’s a double play that needs to be turned, I’m not thinking about where I might be playing next year.
“My energy right now is on getting this team into a groove and scoring more runs, whether that’s driving them in or touching home plate. I’ll have time to think about all that other stuff when the time’s right.”
Andrelton Simmons’ eight-game hitting streak ended Sunday. … Mike Trout failed to reach base for only the 12th game this season. … Reliever Taylor Cole made his Angels debut and second career major league appearance, pitching three scoreless innings.
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