It was a day of firsts for Utah athletes. Former Weber State star Damian Lillard won his first playoff series as a pro. And on Saturday, May 3 former Utah Utes star CJ Cron made his big league debut for the Los Angeles Angels.
Cron, who has played in 28 games this season for the Salt Lake Bees, the Angels’ AAA affiliate, had hit .319 with six home runs and 26 RBI for the Bees -- including six doubles -- before he was called up to play his first Major League Baseball game on Saturday.
Cron was originally slated to start as the team’s designated hitter but an injury led to his insertion just before the first pitch as a first baseman. He did not disappoint in that regard, getting solid at-bats for a lineup ravaged by injury.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the Orange County Register that plans for Cron are not just to play him against lefties -- but righties as well as he believes his versatility and lively bat will help them immediately and often while their other players are on the mend.
"We plan on getting his bat in the lineup as much as we can," Scioscia said. "C.J. had a terrific spring for us. I think he's really found a comfort level the last copule years. He had a great Fall League, a springboard to a terrific spring training. He's off to a great start there. Hopefully he'll give us a little boost right now."
The Angels came into Saturday’s game in third place in the American League West standings at 14-14 overall. And with Cron expected to play in the majors for a few weeks, they'll continue trying to navigate a loaded AL going into the second month of the season.
Cron has more than proven he can play at Salt Lake with the Bees. Now he’ll get a chance to prove his worth with the Angels for a solid few weeks to see if he can stick on the 40-man roster.