Angels switch-hitter finds success from left side of plate
By Kaelen Jones
ANAHEIM -- Danny Espinosa took concerns about his recent rough stretch at the plate, and launched them high, deep and far away into the stands in right-center field Sunday.
The infielder's solo, go-ahead home run off Justin Verlander in the fourth inning of the Angels' 4-1 win over Detroit marked his second hit since an 0-for-36 slump, the worst individual drought in franchise history.
According to Angels manager Mike Scioscia, Espinosa's recent at-bats from the left side of the plate have been some of the best he's taken since Spring Training. He was ecstatic about Espinosa's day, despite the blast being the only hit he collected on a 1-for-3 day with a walk.
"You have to put context, too," Scioscia said. "You're facing a really tough pitcher, and he laid off a pitch down early to get a walk, and then squared up a fastball that had some hair on it, and hit it out of the park."
Espinosa's homer had an exit velocity of 110 mph and carried 433 feet, according to Statcast™. It's the hardest ball he's connected with this season.
Scioscia said that Espinosa's day from the left side is really encouraging, and "gives us some optimism moving forward."
The Halos manager noted his belief in Espinosa's ability from the right side, too, although the statistics, as he says, don't show it.
"I think our bigger thing right now is from the left side. Today, he was on everything against a really good pitcher, and swung the bat extremely well," Scioscia said. "Hopefully, we take that confidence and move forward."
Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.