Scioscia pondering offensive options

Scioscia pondering his options

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' offensive struggles in May and June have been well-documented.

Much has been made of the Angels' .224 batting average during that stretch and their 31 combined home runs in May and June is among the American League's worst. And they've scored more than five runs just four times in the past 39 games.

But one stat that has been overlooked is the team's on-base percentage. That mark of .318 is the third worst in the AL. It's a far cry from the .345 on-base percentage last season that was the AL's third best.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia pointed to a lack of baserunners as the reason for his team's struggles.

"There's a couple things you can do in a team offense such as moving runners, situational hitting or putting runners in motion, but the first step is getting guys on," Scioscia said. "We can't implement things at Step B before Step A. We need guys on base."

Luckily for Scioscia, the mark is sure to improve with the return of Chone Figgins and Howie Kendrick, who carry on-base percentages of .430 and .344, respectively, entering Sunday's game against the Braves. Figgins leads the team in getting on base and Kendrick is third behind Casey Kotchman's .352 mark.

Without a lot of team power -- the club's 59 home runs are fifth worst in the AL -- the Angels need to get runners on and move them into scoring position to generate offense.

"Right now, we're struggling in batter's box offense that we can't even create things," Scioscia said. "Our offense has always been about getting the first couple guys on in the inning and pressuring teams. A lot of our offense has been slow to come around."

Scioscia said if the team doesn't begin to come out of its slump soon he might resort to "internal personnel changes," which means he might turn to reserves Reggie Willits, Juan Rivera and Robb Quinlan for more playing time.

"We've got some guys we know that can add to our offense that haven't really gotten a chance," Scioscia said. "With guys like Reggie, Juan Rivera and Q. Sure, there could be a time if guys continue to struggle that we could turn to our guys in that room."

The three players, all of whom have been an Angels regular at one point in their careers, have combined for just 47 at-bats in the past two weeks.

Willits played in 136 games as an outfielder last season and his .391 on-base percentage was the third on the team. He's batting just .176 in 28 games this season but has walked 10 times and carries a .311 on-base percentage.

Rivera was the starting right fielder in 2006, when he hit .310 with 23 home runs and 85 RBIs and had a .362 on-base percentage. He broke his leg last season and appeared in just 14 games and hasn't seen much playing time this year. He is batting .170 with a .228 on-base percentage in 26 games.

"I've talked to Reggie and Juan about [their playing time]," Scioscia said. "I made it very clear and made sure they knew the situation. They want playing time, but those at-bats aren't here right now."

Quinlan has had the most success of the three this season, hitting .289 with a .341 on-base percentage in 32 games. But with the return of Figgins at third base his at-bats will be limited.

"I think every player wants to play," Scioscia said. "We have guys on the bench who have contributed a lot in the past. Right now their roles are more of a contributing nature instead of playing every day."

Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.