David Freese's lack of playing time makes it hard to hit out of slump

NEW YORK -- Third base is beginning to look like a platoon position for the Angels, with the left-handed-hitting Ian Stewart getting the start over struggling David Freese against New York Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda on Friday night, the third time in six games Manager Mike Scioscia has gone with such an alignment.

The lack of regular playing time is making it difficult, if not impossible, for Freese, who is batting .145 (nine for 62) with one homer, five runs batted in, 20 strikeouts and five walks in 17 games, to find any rhythm, timing or confidence at the plate.

“I’m sure we’ll talk,” Freese said, when asked whether he would speak to Scioscia about his lack of playing time. “The lineup cards are in his drawer, not my locker. Obviously, I want to be in there, for sure. I liked my last few days at the plate. I’m seeing the ball better. I’m normally a guy who hits my way out of these things.”

Scioscia, however, said his lineup decision Friday had more to do with Stewart’s career .462 average (six for 13) against Kuroda and not Freese’s slump. Freese, who sat out two games last weekend because of a tight right quadriceps, has never faced Kuroda.

“Freese is OK, he’ll play tomorrow,” Scioscia said. “With a night-day game and Ian’s production off Kuroda, it’s a good day for him to start. David Freese is going to play the lion’s share of third base. It’s not a platoon. But right now, until we get David in sync, this is a good matchup.


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