NL play, string of righties keeps Cron on bench

NL play, string of righties keeps Cron on bench

CLEVELAND -- It's been six days since power-hitting prospect C.J. Cron was in the Angels' starting lineup, partly because of the Thursday off-day, partly because of the National League rules in Atlanta this past weekend, partly because of the string of four straight right-handed starters the Angels are currently facing at Progressive Field and partly because Raul Ibanez had a solid game in Monday's series opener.

But Cron, 24, is still developing as a professional hitter, and he needs consistent at-bats, either in the Major Leagues or in Triple-A.

"At some point we're going to have to revisit that," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "but right now, we see some starts for C.J., certainly versus left-handers. We'll have to see how it comes into play."

The left-handed-hitting Ibanez -- with a single, two walks and a stolen base in Monday's 4-3 loss -- started in left field and batted eighth against Indians righty Josh Tomlin on Tuesday, with Josh Hamilton taking a half day as the designated hitter because he's experiencing some soreness.

Cron posted a .305/.329/.524 slash line in his first 26 games, but he has three hits and seven strikeouts in his last 20 at-bats and Scioscia prefers using Ibanez against righties, even though the 42-year-old is batting .150/.255/.256 so far.

"If a guy is going to help us in an appreciable capacity up here, he's going to be here," Scioscia said when asked of the possibility that Cron gets optioned to the Minors. "We've seen that from C.J. for the most part. Right now, with the games in National League parks, a lot of right-handers, trying to get some guys in their game, there hasn't been as many at-bats for him this week. But that could change."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.