Cron optioned to Triple-A; Green to get call-up

Cron optioned to Triple-A; Green to get call-up

ANAHEIM -- The Angels optioned struggling, seldom-playing young power hitter C.J. Cron to Triple-A Salt Lake after Friday's 4-3 walk-off win, and a source said utilityman Grant Green would be taking his place on the active roster.

Cron scorched through Spring Training, batting .413 with a 1.165 OPS. But the 25-year-old first baseman carried a .204/.225/.276 slash line through his first 102 plate appearances and had started only three of the Angels' last 13 games, essentially only playing against left-handed starters.

"I wasn't playing much," Cron said. "Obviously when you're not playing, you're doing something wrong, and the opportunity is not there for you to just prove you belong. I knew in the recent stretch there was a chance [of getting optioned]."

The Angels begin this week facing at least four consecutive right-handed starters, which means Matt Joyce and Marc Krauss will probably get most of the starts. Green is a right-handed hitter, but can play up to four positions -- second base, third base, shortstop, left field -- and was batting .329/.351/.457 in Triple-A.

Heading into the year, the Angels planned to have the right-handed-hitting Cron and the left-handed-hitting Joyce platoon at designated hitter. And when Josh Hamilton's departure became a foregone conclusion, Cron looked like a legitimate candidate to get everyday at-bats.

But he never quite found his stroke.

"When you're getting at-bats every once in a while, it's hard to get your timing right," Cron said. "That's what I'm going down for, to get better timing and to start swinging like I know I can."

Worth noting

• An MRI on outfielder Collin Cowgill's right hand, which he hurt during batting practice at Fenway Park on Sunday, revealed a joint sprain. Cowgill took a shot prior to Monday's game that prevented him from swinging a bat for 24 hours, but is day-to-day and won't have to go on the disabled list. Cowgill said he's "extremely" relieved, "because I didn't know what happened, man. It was kind of a freak thing."

• Asked about Hamilton, who went 0-for-3 with a walk in his debut for the Rangers, Angels manager Mike Scioscia declined comment, saying: "I think we've said all we can say on that issue. He's with another team, and we're focused on being the best team we can be. We feel we have a championship-caliber club, that we just need to play at a little higher level on the field. That's what we're going to focus on. Believe me."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.