Los Angeles Angels: Finally Cut Ties With Mike Napoli

Eric DentonContributor IJanuary 24, 2011

Mike Napoli, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Mike Napoli, Los Angeles Angels of AnaheimStephen Dunn/Getty Images

The day most Angel fans surely knew would be coming is here. Mike Napoli, along with Juan Rivera, has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Vernon Wells

Mike Napoli set a career high in games played and at bats for the 2010 Angels. As a part time catcher and first baseman after the injury to Kendry Morales, Napoli smashed a career high 26 homers and drove in a career high 68 runs. He also saw his on-base percentage fall to .316 and had an anemic .182/.641 OPS with runners in scoring position.

Those internal numbers, as well as not being the most defensively sound catcher in the organization, made this move inevitable. While the pitching staff enjoyed throwing to Napoli, the Angels coaching staff had concerns about Napoli's conditioning and inability to remember pitch sequences during pitchers meetings.

With Jeff MathisBobby Wilson, and prized rookie Hank Conger all looking for at bats, it seemed clear one of them would be moved. The less said about Juan Rivera's 2010 performance, the better. Lack of playing time and an appeared lack of desire to play makes his inclusion by subtraction.

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Eric Denton is the head writer and content editor at LA Angels Insider.com. Angels coverage from the locker room to the press box to the front office and everywhere in between. Featuring interviews with the players and coaches making headlines for the Angels.