8/22/2014 12:34 A.M. ET
Angels add infield depth with Beckham
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
BOSTON -- The Angels acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash considerations on Thursday.
The right-handed-hitting Beckham, expected to join the team in Oakland on Saturday, is expected to fill in at second base, third base and potentially shortstop, occasionally spelling the infielders while also serving as a platoon option at designated hitter.
Beckham has batted only .221/.263/.336 this season but has posted an .803 OPS against lefties (compared with .530 against righties).
"Not having a great year with the bat, but really wearing out left-handed pitching," said general manager Jerry Dipoto, who put a claim on Beckham before working out a trade. "We feel like it's a real nice platoon advantage for us."
The Angels finish the season with 43 games in 45 days, with their only off-days coming on Sept. 1 and 25. Beckham's presence will allow manager Mike Scioscia to give second baseman Howie Kendrick, third baseman David Freese and shortstop Erick Aybar a day off when needed, while keeping utility infielder John McDonald in his role as a late-game defensive replacement.
Beckham, 27, is controllable through 2015 and is making $4.175 million this season, with the Angels picking up the prorated portion of that.
The No. 8 overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Beckham -- a natural shortstop who has mostly played corner infield in the Majors -- has a career .244/.306/.374 slash line through six years in the big leagues. He showed promise in his first season, batting .270 with 14 homers and 63 RBIs to finish fifth in American League Rookie of the Year voting, but he struggled offensively over the next five years.
The Angels are hoping to maximize Beckham's abilities in a part-time role.
"I think the benefit with our team is that you don't need him to take four at-bats a game, seven days a week," Dipoto said. "You just need him to be a part of the team."
Angels turning to LeBlanc with Richards out
BOSTON -- In a way, Garrett Richards and Wade LeBlanc are tied together.
It was LeBlanc who saved the bullpen in Oakland on May 29, providing 6 1/3 innings of four-run ball immediately after Richards gave up five runs in the bottom of the first.
Now LeBlanc will get the first crack at Richards' suddenly vacant rotation spot.
The 30-year-old lefty was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday to potentially provide some length out of the bullpen over the next couple of games and to start on Monday against the Marlins. LeBlanc went 10-3 with a 4.00 ERA and a 3.14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
"Guys in the organization are very pleased with the way he's throwing the ball," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's got a chance to come up here and shut a team down by mixing and matching and changing speeds."
LeBlanc accumulated 424 1/3 innings in the big leagues from 2008 to 2014, going 20-32 with a 4.56 ERA. After he appeared in that May 29 game at O.co Coliseum, the Angels -- in need of fresh arms for a tired bullpen -- designated him for assignment and watched him get claimed by the Yankees.
LeBlanc made one appearance for New York, then was put on waivers again, cleared, rejected his outright assignment and re-signed with the Angels on June 17.
"We were very fortunate that after he left the Yankees, he came back to us," general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "He has feel, he has an out-pitch changeup, he has a breaking ball he can throw for strikes. He's pitched in this league many times; he's started games over and over.
"Between Wade and Randy Wolf and Chris Volstad, we felt like, if nothing else, we have a volume of Major League experience. If this moment came, we had someone who was competent, who can go out there and start at the Major League level."
• In addition to LeBlanc, the Angels recalled right-handed reliever Cam Bedrosian from Triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday. Bedrosian, 22, has a 1.30 ERA with 16.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 39 appearances in the Minors and a 7.59 ERA in 10 appearances in the Majors.
• Asked if he had any concerns about Albert Pujols, 34, taking part in the five-game exhibition All-Star Series in Japan in November, Scioscia said, "I have no reservations [when it comes to] what guys do after the season. If he wants to go, fine."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.