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Angels' Callaspo, Izturis carbon copies

Angels' Callaspo, Izturis carbon copies

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ARLINGTON -- Bobby Abreu was raving about Maicer Izturis on Thursday, how his return to the Angels' lineup after missing 27 games with a left forearm strain had given them a lift in New York, where Izturis homered and drove in three runs in helping power a win over the Yankees on Tuesday night.

"The guy can hit," Abreu said. "He can rake. With runners in scoring position, he handles it very well. He's calm. He's good. He's one of the keys for our lineup, against a righty or a lefty. He can do a lot of things."

The Angels apparently like Izturis so much, they went and got another one just like him.

Alberto Callaspo, a Venezuela native like Izturis and Abreu, was acquired on Thursday, several hours before the Rangers' Cliff Lee and Jered Weaver were set to hook up in a duel of aces in an American League West showdown.

"He's got a lot of versatility, much like Izzy," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, leaving the impression that he wouldn't mind having Callaspo at third base on a fairly regular basis, now and in the future.

Callaspo, 27 and signed originally by the Angels in 2001, is a switch-hitter, like Izturis, who can play shortstop and second base as well as third. He is expected to join the Angels on Friday and be in the lineup against lefty C.J. Wilson.

Callaspo is hitting .275 this season with a .308 on-base percentage and .410 slugging percentage. Callaspo had a breakout season in 2009, playing 155 games and batting .300 with a .356 on-base percentage and .457 slugging mark.

Izturis, 29, put together almost identical numbers last season in 114 games: .300 BA, .359 OBP, .434 slugging. Izturis is a .277 career hitter, Callaspo .283.

Both players are 5-foot-8, but Callaspo is heavier and more durable. One area where they are not close is with runners in scoring position. Callaspo is a career .271 hitter with a .750 OPS (on base plus slugging) in those situations, .226, .687 with two away and runners in scoring position. Izturis, by contrast, consistently has delivered: .327 BA, .877 OPS with runners in scoring position, .292, .815 with two away.

With Callaspo going to the top of the depth chart at third, Izturis drops to second, followed by Kevin Frandsen and Brandon Wood. Wood also plays shortstop and first, while Frandsen can handle all four infield spots.

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