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The bottom half

May 25, 2008|Bill Shaikin

Angels: The Detroit Tigers come to town this week, giving Angels fans their first look at what might have been: Miguel Cabrera, the slugger the Tigers acquired from the Florida Marlins. The Tigers shuddered at Cabrera's defense and weight, neither of which was very impressive, and moved him from third base to first base. So, if the Angels had traded for Cabrera, would they have benched first baseman Casey Kotchman, their best hitter to date? Would they have put Cabrera at DH and benched Gary Matthews Jr.? Or would they have left him at third base and told shortstop Erick Aybar to show off his range?

Angels vs. Detroit Tigers, Monday through Wednesday at Angel Stadium.

Dodgers: The Dodgers visit New York this week, giving Dodgers fans their first look at what might have been: Johan Santana, the ace the Mets acquired from the Minnesota Twins. The Dodgers wouldn't trade four young players to get Santana, and they signed Hiroki Kuroda instead. The Mets did trade four young players to the Twins, for the pitcher regarded as baseball's best. Each pitcher has made 10 starts, with Santana's ERA at 3.36 and Kuroda's at 3.48. Santana and Kuroda could face each other Sunday.

The week ahead

Dodgers vs. New York Mets, Thursday through next Sunday at Shea Stadium, New York.

Elsewhere: When the Marlins traded Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit, cutting the team's payroll to about the cost of a gallon of gas, we didn't figure to be hyping their series against the Philadelphia Phillies next weekend as a first-place showdown in the National League East. The Phillies lead the league in home runs, led by second baseman Chase Utley and the resurgent Ryan Howard with 14 each; Howard had seven in his last 11 games. The Marlins rank second, also led by a second baseman -- Dan Uggla, with 15. The balls could be flying this weekend, in the Phillies' bandbox ballpark.

Florida Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies, Friday through next Sunday at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.

Minor leaguers of the week

Dodgers: John Lindsey, 1b

We'd be stretching matters to call a 31-year-old with no major league experience a prospect, but we'd be remiss not to salute anyone who hit three home runs and drove in seven runs in a game. Lindsey did that last week, for triple-A Las Vegas against Portland, in the middle of a 10-game run in which he batted .415 with five homers and 14 RBIs. He split last season between Las Vegas and double-A Jacksonville, batting .317 and leading the Dodgers organization with 30 home runs. He played seven years in the Colorado Rockies organization, three in the Seattle Mariners organization and two in independent leagues before joining the Dodgers.

Angels: Michael Anton, lhp

The Angels have one complete game this season, but one of their minor leaguers has two -- both shutouts. Anton pitched a two-hit shutout for Class-A Cedar Rapids last Monday, in a 2-0 victory over Wisconsin. He had a four-hit shutout against Wisconsin on May 9, and he's not just beating up on one team. He is 6-2 with a 1.72 ERA, he has pitched into the seventh inning in all but two starts, and he has held opponents to a .196 batting average. The Angels selected Anton, 23, in the 12th round of last year's draft, from Virginia Military Institute.

-- Bill Shaikin

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