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Angels option C.J. Cron to Triple-A

The 27-year-old is back in the minors for the first time since 2015

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels announced that they have optioned first baseman C.J. Cron earlier today, just one day after Cron slugged a grand slam against the Mets at Citi Field. Infielder Nolan Fontana has been called up to take Cron’s place on the major league roster.

Despite yesterday’s grand slam, Cron has been struggling at the plate this season (the grand slam is his only home run of the season). His slash line of .232/.281/.305 was hardly impressive, and the lack of power from a corner infield position is a cause for concern.

Still, the move comes as a bit of a surprise for someone who played in over 100 games in 2015 and 2016, and had seen his batting average and OBP climb in each of his three major league seasons before this year.

The return of Luis Valbuena could have played an impact in the Angels’ decision. Cron was a possibility to be demoted earlier in the year before it was determined that Yunel Escobar needed more time to rehab from his hamstring injury. Cron himself missed two weeks this season with a bruised foot.

Fontana comes to Los Angeles with a slash line of .265/.374/.426 during his time at Triple-A Salt Lake. He was reported to be taking ground balls at second base earlier today, so we’ll see if that’s where Mike Scioscia elects to play him.