Cantu determined to show what he can do

Cantu determined to show what he can do

Cantu determined to show what he can do
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jorge Cantu stood out in the Angels' 6-2 win over the White Sox on Tuesday, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored while getting the start at first base.

The way Cantu looks at it, he has to. The veteran corner infielder, who signed a Minor League contract with the Angels in January, is really only two years removed from being a consistent run producer but now finds himself trying to find a place in the big leagues.

If a spring injury occurs to the Angels' infield, or Kendrys Morales starts the season on the disabled list, or a trade occurs, the 30-year-old Cantu could get the first crack at the Opening Day roster.

If none of that happens, Cantu feels he can help somebody else.

"At the end of the day, I want to be wearing an Angels uniform," Cantu said earlier this spring. "And if that doesn't happen, there's 29 other teams who can look at you, see the results that you're having in Spring Training and may give you an opportunity. That's the other side of this Minor League thing. You're playing for other teams, too, because if this team can't fit you here, [another team will] come and find you."

Cantu, who starred as a second baseman with the Rays in his early years, was a fixture in the middle of the Marlins' batting order for a couple of seasons, hitting 29 homers in '08 and driving in 100 runs in '09. But he struggled with the Marlins and Rangers in 2010, then batted just .194 in 57 games for the Padres last season.

This offseason, though, Cantu played well in the Mexican Winter League, batting .315 with nine homers and 22 RBIs in 26 games, and arrived a week early for Spring Training.

Cantu negotiated an opt-out in his contract for May 1. But he and his girlfriend are expecting a baby boy in June, so Cantu would prefer to know where he's going to spend the foreseeable future by the time the Angels break camp in early April.

And he's hoping it's not in the Minor Leagues.

"I've seen it a lot, guys who do great in Spring Training, and they cannot fit with the team, they trade them right away and they're superstars with that other team," Cantu said. "I never let that out of my mind because I know that can happen. But here it's just a day at a time, and I just have to get after it."