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08/29/08 10:20 PM ET
Angels looking to deal for infield depth
Recent rash of injuries prompts GM Reagins to hit the phones
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Tony Reagins spent a busy day on the phones trying to find a trade for a middle infielder on Friday, but the Angels general manager said no deal was imminent. The Angels have until Sunday night to trade for a player who would be eligible to play in the postseason. Reagins isn't desperate to make a move, but the middle-infield depth has taken a hit recently with injuries to Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis. "I think even though you have that deadline, you want to make the best decision for your club," Reagins said. "Just because the deadline is in place, it doesn't mean you do something that doesn't benefit your team." Reagins, though, said finding the right middle infielder for the right price would be beneficial to the club. He didn't comment on who the Angels were targeting, but various reports indicate the Angels have spoken to Toronto about David Eckstein, Marco Scutaro or John McDonald, to Baltimore about Juan Castro and to Cleveland about Jamey Carroll. "Ideally, it's something we'd like to do," Reagins said. "I think it would strengthen us, but we're confident the pieces we have here will get us where we want to be." The pieces for the Angels right now are rookies Brandon Wood and Sean Rodriguez, who started at shortstop and second base, respectively, for the second game in a row on Friday. But Wood and Rodriguez, who both were very successful with Triple-A Salt Lake this season, have struggled offensively in various stints with the Angels. Wood is batting .118 with one homer and two RBIs in 30 games, and Rodriguez is batting .154 with homer and three RBIs in 31 games. Reagins, however, was confident that both players will pick it up offensively and pointed out that both players have done well defensively. "As long as their up here, the more comfortable they'll be," Reagins said. "When you're not swinging the bat well, the other aspects of your game have to be elevated, and I think they've been able to do that." Wood made his first start since June 10 on Thursday but went 0-for-4 at the plate. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia was encouraged by the fact that Wood didn't strike out and hit the ball hard. "I thought he had some good looks at the plate," Scioscia said. "He laid off some good pitches. He looks more comfortable than he was a few months ago." Wood, who lowered his hand position by about six inches while in the Minors, said he feels more comfortable because he's already made his adjustment and is ready for it to pay off. "I have more confidence now that there are not adjustments that need to be made right now," Wood said. "I think the swing and the foundation I built the last couple of months has a chance to be successful, and now I just have to go out there and do it." Wood has been one of the Angels' top prospects for years and now could be the time for the infielder to make his mark with the club and stay in the Majors for the long haul. "I think that's up to Brandon," Reagins said. "He's got to come up here and perform. If you take a look at his last seven or eight or weeks in the Minors, you saw him strike out less and walk more while swinging at his pitch. Those are things he has to do here, and if he can accomplish those things at the Minor League level, we're confident he can do it here."
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.