For now, former Utah Utes star CJ Cron appears to be safe with the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball–even if he got called out at third base on Sun. April 26. The pending trade of troubled star Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers has opened the door for a prolonged stay for Cron.
But, it was the 4-for-4 performance the former Ute put out on Sunday afternoon in a 5-4 loss to these same Rangers–ironically–that really may have extended Cron’s stay in the city of angels.
You see, prior to Cron’s bat explosion he was hitting under .220 for the season, with just 1 homer and 5 RBI. But now with this letter perfect game on the Lord’s day, Cron is hitting a respectable .275 and lo and behold, he’s having quite the weekend.
How so, you might ask? Well, to start off the series against Texas, the former Ute slugger went 3-for-4 in a 3-2 win. The next night in a 4-1 win over the Rangers, Cron went 1-for-4 with 2 RBI.
Then came the coup de grace, a smashing performance reminiscent of the slugger Hamilton he replaced, the 4-for-4 Sunday feasting on Rangers’ pitching–even better considering the Angels only get a small portion back on what they spent for Hamilton. Can you say delicious bargain?
“From a baseball perspective, the Angels will recoup about $12-15 million between what the Rangers will pick up and what Hamilton will give up,” said Dallas Morning News reporter Evan Grant.
It’s insane to think about what the Angels doled out for Hamilton, who never measured up. As for Cron, well, they spent about $513,000 this season on the kid–muh-hillions less, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether Cron can be an everyday player in the Angels rotation. The answer seems to change by the day. He’s had 14 hits in 51 at bats and only four extra base hits.
Compared to the numbers Hamilton put up in his career, Cron has a long way to go to ever replace the All-Star in the rotation. Cron proved that when he got picked off at third base, squandering the potential game tying run in the fourth inning in the Angels’ loss to Texas on Sunday afternoon.
“It was definitely too close for me,” Cron said. “I should have been back. The infield was back. I shouldn’t have been off (third base) that far.”
As far as Cron’s hitting, well, it wasn’t that far off at all. He had a glorious weekend at the plate, nearly helping his Angels sweep the Rangers. But now that the Angels have–or will have–approximately $12-15 million more to spend on another slugger, Cron had better hope his stroke of hitting prowess continues.