Angels infielders share in stellar season

Angels infielders share in stellar season

TORONTO -- Howard Kendrick is the certified All-Star in the group, but four other Angels infielders have shared star billing over the course of the season, providing uncommon production offensively and high-caliber defense rivaling any unit in the American League.

Shortstop Erick Aybar came into Thursday night's series finale against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre having reached base in 33 consecutive games, the AL's best active run. His leather work merits Rawlings Gold Glove Award consideration.

Equally good defensively have been his middle-infield partners, Kendrick and Maicer Izturis. Kendrick, with a career-high 18 homers, and Izturis, with a team-best 35 doubles, have provided offense along with serving as middle men on an infield that has turned more double plays than all but two teams in the Majors.

Mark Trumbo's power numbers (team highs with 29 homers and 87 RBIs) make him arguably the leading AL Rookie of the Year candidate, but he also has exceeded expectations defensively. His major defensive strength is found in those double-play numbers with his ability to make quick, accurate throws to second on ground balls his way.

The primary third baseman, Alberto Callaspo has been one of the game's most efficient contact hitters while playing consistently steady defense.

An outfield that many scouts consider the game's best tends to draw most of the attention, but the infield has been just as steady and spectacular in helping the Angels' staff forge an AL-best ERA.