Dodgers Claim Matt Angle On Waivers From Baltimore

Yesterday, I mentioned that the 60-day disabled list was now available for Rubby De La Rosa, should the Dodgers need to open up another 40-man roster spot to make room for Jamey Wright, John Grabow, or another NRI at the end of camp. Who knew we’d be revisiting that idea less than 24 hours later?

Today, the Dodgers took advantage of that option by moving De La Rosa off the 40-man roster and claiming 26-year-old outfielder Matt Angle from Baltimore. Angle made a brief debut with the O’s last year but spent most of 2011 as Triple-A Norfolk’s center fielder; since the Dodgers already acquired Norfolk’s primary right fielder, Tyler Henson, in the Dana Eveland trade, all they need to do now is get 2011 Norfolk left fielder Kyle Hudson (now with Texas) to complete the entire set.

Angle hit just .177 in 31 games for the Orioles last year, but he’s not without his uses, since he has a .372 career minor league OBP and plenty of speed, stealing 11 bases in 12 attempts with the big club and an additional 27 in the minors. Baseball Prospectus 2012 has additional info:

Angle’s best tool is his speed, which he put on full display in his first taste of the big leagues: despite a mere .293 OBP, Angle stole 11 bases in 95 plate appearances thanks to an absurd 55 percent attempt rate and a 92 percent success rate. Widely considered the best defensive outfielder in the system, his bat is suspect. He has no power to speak of and struck out 18 percent of the time at Triple-A, unacceptable for a guy without pop and without Ichiro‚Äôs BABIP. Still, he takes some walks, and if he can manage to stretch his tools, his best case scenario is becoming a toned-down version of Michael Bourn.

So for the low, low price of a waiver claim, you’re getting a young guy who can fly and is apparently a plus defensive outfielder. By itself, that’s all well and good, though you do have to wonder about a player who got DFA’d by Baltimore (and to fit in Luis Ayala, of all people), because the Orioles are hardly overflowing with talent and might actually start Endy Chavez in left field this year. Still, Angle didn’t cost anything and comes with at least two tools, so that’s fine for additional depth.

Now that the 40-man roster is indeed full, that makes it all the more likely that the out-of-options Ramon Troncoso is going to get the axe unless he surprises us all to take that last bullpen spot. It also makes Trent Oeltjen‘s spot that much more perilous with another outfielder around; it also does make me wonder if Alex Castellanos really is destined for more infield work in Albuquerque, perhaps pushing Alfredo Silverio to a corner (where he probably belongs) and letting the defensively superior Angle remain in center.

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