- Mark Saxon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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The Angels are a better team if Maicer Izturis is healthy.
Los Angeles Angels
He's one of the team's best fielders and they would love to plug him into the leadoff spot since he's one of the few speedy Angels willing to take a walk.
But he's no good to them if he's injured and Izturis has been on the disabled list nine times since 2005. The one year he stayed healthy, 2009, he played in just 114 games because the Angels still had Chone Figgins at third base.
Izturis said there's not a lot he can do about it other than coasting.
"If I play 70 percent, maybe I stay healthy," Izturis said. "But that's not me. I don't like to play 70 percent. I play as hard as I can all the time, 100 percent. They told me that a long time ago in Venezuela. That's the way you play the game."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia indicated earlier that Izturis will be the leadoff hitter when he's in the lineup, but he also said he's unlikely to play Izturis more than about five times a week to keep him healthy. That means it could be another season of revolving lineups in Anaheim. When Izturis doesn't play, Bobby Abreu and Erick Aybar are the best candidates to lead off. Abreu turns 37 on March 11 and Aybar has a career on-base percentage of .318, well below average.
Izturis played winter ball in Venezuela, then reported to Anaheim on Jan. 10 to begin a conditioning program with Angels trainers.
The Angels are a better team if Maicer Izturis is healthy. Maicer Izturis #13 3BLos Angeles Angels 2010 STATS GM61 HR3 RBI27 R27 OBP.321 AVG.