The LA Angels may not have made the World Series (or playoffs, or have come anywhere close) this season, but a group of former Halos will take the field in Boston on Tuesday night. Which players are there, and what might their impacts be?
Overall, the LA Angels have five former players representing them in the series. The Los Angeles Dodgers have three former Angels while the Boston Red Sox have two past Halos on their roster. An unrelated note, Dave Roberts was a key cog in Boston’s 0-3 comeback against the Yankees while Alex Cora was drafted by and played for the Dodgers.
Back to the Halos, the obvious player is Ian Kinsler. The Angels traded Kinsler to the Red Sox earlier this season for a couple of pitching prospects. While the Angels’ return looked good in their playing time with the team, neither of them will be playing for a World Series tonight. Kinsler, however, will likely be starting for the Red Sox in Game 1 and Game 2. However, when the Sox travel to Chavez Rivine and lose their designated hitter, Kinsler will likely come off the bench. With possible MVP JD Martinez at DH for the Red Sox, he will likely play right field in LA while other possible MVP Mookie Betts plays second base, where he played throughout the minors and at the beginning of his MLB career. Also worth noting, Kinsler hit the wildest of walkoffs against the Dodgers earlier this season.
The other former Halo representing the Red Sox is relief pitcher Ryan Brasier. An interesting story, Brasier pitched one season in Anaheim and worked a 2.00 ERA in seven outings after being a seventh round pick by the team. After a two-year stint in the minor leagues of the A’s, he spent a year in Japan pitching before being signed by the Red Sox this offseason. He has been lights out in the playoffs, and will be a big part of the Red Sox bullpens this series.
On the Dodgers, Rich Hill is the most important former Angels player. His tenure with the Angels was short, as he made only two appearances and finished with an infinite ERA. He never recorded an out for the Angels in 2014, but gave up one run on a hit and three walks. For the Dodgers, he’ll be a weapon out of the bullpen and a possible Game Four starter in LA.
Ryan Madson will also be a reliever for the Dodgers. While he never played for the Angels, they did sign him to a contract in 2013 but he was unable to return from Tommy John surgery and was eventually released by the team.
David Freese has the potential to be an x-factor in this series. His time with the Angels wasn’t anything special, but for two years he handled the hot corner while hitting .258 with 52 doubles in his time in LA. For the Dodgers, he’ll be vital against the Red Sox left-handed pitchers (Chris Sale, if you’ve heard of him) and his playoff statistics speak for their self. If he can perform heroically again, the Dodgers will have a good chance of upsetting.
Overall, the Angels have a big influence in their former players, despite only having five former players. A couple have a chance to be major factors in the outcome of the series, and it will be interesting to see how other former Halos are used throughout the Fall Classic.