Angels Split as Pineiro Shines. Halolinks

Angels 10, Royals 2 - CBSSports.com
Joel Pineiro took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Kansas City Royals 10-2 on Monday. Pineiro worked 6 2-3 innings, his longest of five spring appearances, and allowed only two hits and a run with two walks and two strikeouts. "They hit some balls right at people," Pineiro said, downplaying the no-hit innings. "The last couple of games. I'm just trying to get ready for the regular season."

Angels 7, White Sox 7 -  CBSSports.com
Angels outfielder Reggie Willits played for the first time in two weeks after being sidelined because of a hamstring injury. He went 1 for 3 before being replaced. "We're optimistic that the worst is behind him and he'll be ready to move forward and see when he's ready," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

The only "regular" in this game was Mike Napoli (Izturis played SS), but they still managed to get a come-from-behind tie against the projected White Sox opening day line-up.  Also, checkout the boxscore below.  The Angels used 5 relievers who went 6 innings, giving up 2 hits, one walk, and 8 strikeouts.  Not too shabby.

Joel Pineiro impresses with execution in Angels’ win - latimes.com
There is no secret to Joel Pineiro's success. The Angels right-hander goes right after hitters with his sinking fastball and looks for ground-ball outs, the earlier in the count, the better. "The hitters know what my plan is, what we're trying to do," Pineiro said. "It's just a matter of executing."He threw 94 pitches, and 13 of his 20 outs came on ground balls.

I got into an online "discussion" last winter with the son of one of my ex-wives friends (got that?) after I posted on her Facebook page that I thought the Angels should sign Pineiro.  I've never met the guy (the kid, not Pineiro...although I've never met Pineiro either.  Ah nevermind), but he went off on how crappy that signing would be, spouting ERA, wins, and such.  Okay, it's only spring training, but I need to go back and find that conversation because it's going to feel really good to say "I told you so!" at the end of the year.

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

The Baseball Analysts: F/X Visualizations Archives
First note that the scale here is very small, there is little variation in the number of wins projected across teams in this division. Because the range of win projections is small the differences in win totals across projection systems result in very different orderings. OLIVER and CHONE like Texas, but don't think much of anyone else in the division. The other systems are pretty high on Seattle, while only Vegas thinks much of LA (Rich can take solace in at least someone respecting the Angels). But again because just 5 or 10 wins separates every team in every system there is broad consensus that the division is anyone's to win.

Al_west_medium

According to these pretty colors, it's the Rangers who are the biggest threat to the Angels this season, and the Angels aren't much of a threat themselves.  One thing notable, the only "projection system" to put the Angels on top is Las Vegas...the only entity who make their living off of projections.

Five questions: Los Angeles Angels - Sean Smith - The Hardball Times
5. The Angels have beaten preseason projections regularly. Why is that? They have done a few things right recently, and one is to score more runs than you'd expect given their number of hits, walks and extra base hits. The main reason is because they have hit so well with runners in scoring position. I don't expect that to continue to such a degree, because I don't understand why any player would become a better hitter just because of the situation. If you have the ability to hit .320 when it really counts, why hit only .280 when nobody is on base? You should be hitting your best all the time so the guy behind you can hit with runners in scoring position.

Our friend Sean Smith (RallyMonkey5) and the creator of the Chone player projections looks at the upcoming Angels season.  His point about the Angels depth (read the article), is the same as ESPN's Mark Saxon's below.

Angels observations with a week to go -  ESPN Los Angeles
To worry about: The reason behind it. When I left Arizona after my second stint with the team, I was struck by how much worse off they are in the high minor leagues than I realized. A lot of these spring training games are decided when the regulars are already at home sipping a cold beverage. The Angels Triple-A caliber talent is not impressive. Remember Sean O'Sullivan, Trevor Bell and Anthony Ortega when they made spot starts for the Angels last year? Not impressive. You don't need 25 guys to get through a major-league season. You usually need about 30 and the Angels look dangerously thin in the organization.

Should I be worried?

Los Angeles Angels bullpen returning to form - ESPN Los Angeles
"We have a nice bullpen going, I'm going to be honest with you," Hunter said. If Hunter is right -- and early indications suggest he could be -- the Angels will return to the formula that has been central to their success in the Mike Scioscia era: stifling, hard-throwing relief. A year ago, the Angels hardly looked like themselves for most of the season, their bullpen fumbling away game after game. The Angels' 4.49 bullpen earned-run average was worse than all but three teams in the American League (Cleveland, Baltimore and Kansas City) and the other three each lost at least 97 games. The Angels won 97, but largely in spite of their bullpen.

The return of "Old Time Hockey", I mean Angels baseball.  The Angels bullpen could shorten games to 6 innings.

MLB Network announces first live game schedule for 2010 MLB Regular Season - MLB.com
MLB Network today announced its live game schedule for the first month of the 2010 MLB regular season. To celebrate the opening of the season, MLB Network will air 30 Games, 30 Clubs, 30 Days, a package of 30 games featuring all 30 Clubs in the month of April, continuing on the theme of MLB Network's Spring Training series 30 Clubs in 30 Days. The schedule begins with the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees against AL East rival Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, April 6 with MLB Network's Bob Costas and John Smoltz calling the game at 7:00 p.m. ET. This will mark the first time Smoltz, MLB Network's newest analyst, calls a game for MLB Network. Immediately after, MLB Network will carry the Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET, rounding out a doubleheader that includes all four 2009 American League Division Series teams.

My cable system carries the MLB Network on channel 666.  I think it's only appropriate when they show Yankee/Red Sox games.

Famous Red Sox Fan To Publish New Baseball Novella - Walkoff Walk
Stephen King was once the Most Famous Author in America. (The current titleholder is Stephenie Meyer.) Now he's just one of many Celebrity Red Sox Fans. That doesn't mean he hasn't stopped writing. King will soon release a new novella, Blockade Billy, described by King's website thusly: He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first -- and only -- player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history. Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse... and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.

This could be really cool.

What to watch Tuesday: Ambidextrous Yankee facing Chipper Jones? - Daily Pitch: USATODAY.com
The Yankees' Pat Venditte, who went 4-2 with 22 saves and a 1.87 ERA for two Class A teams last season, is ambidextrous, so he chooses which hand to throw with depending on which side of the plate the opposing hitter stands on. Naturally a right-hander, Venditte uses a six-finger glove.

This could be Stephen King's next book!

The Minnesota Twins made the biggest headlines in spring training - Jon Heyman - SI.com
Between some very big injuries, one extremely big signing, a trio of superb prospects and a couple budding controversies, it's been quite a spring so far. With just a week to go, here's my spin on the biggest Cactus and Grapefruit league storylines.

Some interesting stuff in this article.

Frank McCourt's wife seeks nearly $1M per month - FOX Sports on MSN
When asked if Jamie McCourt would accept her husband's $150,000 offer, Wasser said outside of court that the figure wouldn't even cover the mortgage for one of the homes. He added the mortgages had been paid through February, but his client is behind on her attorney fees by $800,000. Wasser estimated her legal bills could reach as high as $9 million. Meanwhile, Frank McCourt continues to live in luxury despite claims the economic downturn has hurt his businesses. Wasser said Frank McCourt attended the Super Bowl and recently spent as much as $80,000 on a Caribbean vacation.

I sorry if I've said this before, but this shit never gets old.  Do either of these nitwits realize how ridiculous all of this makes them look?  $80K vacations.  $9M attorney fees.  $1M per month spousal support.  I don't feel sorry for either of them.

 

Kansas City AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
DeJesus, D, LF 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 .314
  Anderson, Br, LF-CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .341
Podsednik, CF 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 .318
  Aviles, M, 3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .487
Butler, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .382
  Ka'aihue, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .378
Ankiel, DH 2 0 1 1 2 0 1 .250
  1-Seratelli, PR-DH 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Guillen, J, RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .317
  Coats, RF 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .238
Thorman, 3B-LF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .326
Betancourt, Y, SS 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 .209
  Betemit, SS 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .310
Kendall, C 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .139
  Pena, B, C 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 .306
Falu, 2B 3 0 0 0 1 1 2 .250
Totals 32 2 4 2 3 4 14  


1-Ran for Ankiel in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Podsednik (3, Pineiro), Ankiel (1, Pineiro).
TB: Podsednik 2; Ankiel 2; Coats; Pena, B.
RBI: Ankiel (5), Pena, B (9).
2-out RBI: Pena, B.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ankiel; DeJesus, D; Thorman; Falu.
Team RISP: 2-for-11.
Team LOB: 7.

FIELDING
E: Falu (3, missed catch).

 
LA Angels AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Aybar, E, SS 4 1 4 2 0 0 0 .325
  Amarista, 2B 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 .167
Abreu, B, RF 3 1 1 1 0 0 2 .233
  a-Aldridge, C, PH-RF 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .382
Hunter, CF 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .405
  b-Trout, PH-CF 2 0 1 1 0 1 1 .667
Matsui, H, DH 2 0 0 1 0 1 1 .250
  c-De Los Santos, A, PH-DH-C 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .250
Morales, K, 1B 2 1 1 1 0 0 0 .385
  d-Romine, An, PH-SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .143
Rivera, J, LF 3 0 1 1 0 1 1 .245
  Fuller, C, LF 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1.000
Kendrick, H, 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 .309
  e-Brossman, PH-3B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Mathis, J, C 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 .229
  Rodriguez, Fr, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Wood, B, 3B 2 3 2 2 1 0 0 .283
  f-Navarro, E, PH-1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .300
Totals 36 10 15 10 3 5 14  

a-Grounded into a forceout for Abreu, B in the 6th. b-Struck out for Hunter in the 6th. c-Flied out for Matsui, H in the 6th. d-Grounded out for Morales, K in the 7th. e-Grounded out for Kendrick, H in the 7th. f-Grounded out for Wood, B in the 7th.

BATTING
2B: Mathis, J (3, Soria), Wood, B (2, Soria), Rivera, J (6, Lerew), Trout (1, Hardy).
3B: Wood, B (3, Lerew).
TB: Aybar, E 4; Amarista; Abreu, B; Trout 2; Morales, K; Rivera, J 2; Fuller, C; Kendrick, H; Mathis, J 3; Wood, B 5.
RBI: Wood, B 2 (5), Abreu, B (7), Matsui, H (8), Morales, K (13), Aybar, E 2 (5), Rivera, J (10), Mathis, J (10), Trout (3).
2-out RBI: Aybar, E; Rivera, J; Mathis, J.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Matsui, H; Rivera, J; Kendrick, H; Romine, An.
SF: Matsui, H; Morales, K.
Team RISP: 6-for-13.
Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING
SB: Aybar, E (2, 2nd base off Farnsworth/Kendall), Wood, B (1, 2nd base off Cruz, J/Kendall).
CS: Kendrick, H (1, 2nd base by Cruz, J/Kendall).

FIELDING
E: Hunter (1, fielding).

 
Kansas City IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Farnsworth 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 7.98
Soria (L, 0-1) 0.0 4 4 4 1 0 0 7.20
Herges 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11.88
Cruz, J 0.2 2 1 1 1 1 0 3.38
Lerew 1.1 4 3 3 1 1 0 7.84
Hughes, D 1.2 1 1 1 0 1 0 6.10
Hardy 1.1 3 1 1 0 1 0 6.75
 
LA Angels IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Pineiro (W, 3-0) 6.2 2 1 1 2 2 0 3.48
Pugliese 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.75
Fuentes 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.17
Rodriguez, Fr 1.0 2 1 1 1 2 0 2.89

Soria pitched to 5 batters in the 3rd.
Lerew pitched to 3 batters in the 6th.

HBP: Kendall (by Pineiro).
Groundouts-flyouts: Farnsworth 3-2, Soria 0-0, Herges 0-3, Cruz, J 0-0, Lerew 0-3, Hughes, D 3-1, Hardy 2-0, Pineiro 13-4, Pugliese 1-0, Fuentes 0-3, Rodriguez, Fr 0-1.
Batters faced: Farnsworth 7, Soria 5, Herges 3, Cruz, J 4, Lerew 9, Hughes, D 6, Hardy 7, Pineiro 26, Pugliese 1, Fuentes 3, Rodriguez, Fr 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Herges 3-2, Lerew 1-0, Hughes, D 1-0, Hardy 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Jim Joyce. 1B: Dana DeMuth. 2B: Gary Darling. 3B: Alfonso Marquez.
Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 3 mph, Varies.
T: 2:54.
Att: 4,597.
March 29, 2010

 

LA Angels AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Izturis, M, SS 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 .375
  1-Bourjos, PR-CF 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 .200
Willits, CF 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 .250
  2-Patchett, PR-SS 1 2 1 1 1 0 0 .348
Napoli, DH 5 1 1 0 0 2 4 .282
Quinlan, LF-1B 5 0 1 2 0 2 4 .186
Wilson, Bo, C 4 1 1 2 0 2 1 .292
  Ramirez, C 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Evans, T, RF 3 0 1 0 1 1 0 .206
Ryan, 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 1 .290
  Gorneault, LF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Sandoval, F, 3B 4 0 1 0 0 1 4 .176
Statia, 2B 2 1 1 0 0 0 1 .158
  a-Segura, PH-2B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 37 7 10 5 4 11 17  

a-Grounded out for Statia in the 7th.
1-Ran for Izturis, M in the 6th. 2-Ran for Willits in the 6th.

BATTING
2B: Napoli (4, Danks), Patchett (3, Linebrink).
TB: Izturis, M 2; Willits; Patchett 2; Napoli 2; Quinlan; Wilson, Bo; Evans, T; Sandoval, F; Statia.
RBI: Quinlan 2 (3), Wilson, Bo 2 (5), Patchett (4).
2-out RBI: Wilson, Bo 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Quinlan; Sandoval, F 2; Ryan.
GIDP: Statia.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 7.

BASERUNNING
SB: Quinlan (1, 2nd base off Linebrink/Pierzynski), Bourjos (8, 2nd base off Linebrink/Pierzynski), Napoli (2, 3rd base off Linebrink/Pierzynski).
CS: Izturis, M (1, 2nd base by Danks/Pierzynski).
PO: Izturis, M (1st base by Danks), Bourjos (1st base by Pena, To).

FIELDING
E: Cassevah (1, fielding).

 
Chi White Sox AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Pierre, LF 3 1 0 0 1 1 4 .286
Beckham, 2B 2 1 0 0 2 1 2 .289
  Lillibridge, 2B 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .243
Quentin, RF 3 0 0 1 1 1 3 .254
  Danks, Jor, RF 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .194
Konerko, 1B 3 2 2 1 1 1 0 .345
  Castillo, Ja, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Kotsay, DH 4 1 2 3 0 0 3 .426
  a-De Aza, PH-DH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .255
Jones, An, CF 4 1 1 1 1 2 0 .326
Pierzynski, C 4 0 1 1 0 0 2 .275
  1-Lucy, PR-C 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .278
  2-Fuller, J, PR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Teahen, 3B 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .265
  Nix, J, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 .341
Ramirez, A, SS 5 1 3 0 0 0 1 .262
Totals 36 7 10 7 8 9 20  

a-Grounded out for Kotsay in the 8th.
1-Ran for Pierzynski in the 7th. 2-Ran for Lucy in the 9th.

BATTING
2B: Konerko (4, Ortega, A).
HR: Kotsay (1, 3rd inning off Ortega, A, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Lillibridge; Konerko 3; Kotsay 5; Jones, An; Pierzynski; Ramirez, A 3.
RBI: Kotsay 3 (11), Jones, An (9), Pierzynski (7), Quentin (12), Konerko (8).
2-out RBI: Kotsay; Jones, An; Quentin; Konerko.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Pierzynski; Quentin; Kotsay 2; Pierre; De Aza.
Team RISP: 5-for-14.
Team LOB: 11.

BASERUNNING
SB: Ramirez, A (5, 2nd base off Ortega, A/Wilson, Bo), Lillibridge 2 (3, 2nd base off DeHoyos/Ramirez, 3rd base off DeHoyos/Ramirez), Jones, An (4, 2nd base off Ortega, A/Wilson, Bo).
CS: Pierre (2, 2nd base by Ortega, A/Wilson, Bo).

FIELDING
E: Konerko 2 (2, throw, fielding), Nix, J (6, throw), Pierzynski (2, throw).
DP: (Teahen-Beckham-Konerko).
Pickoffs: Danks (Izturis, M at 1st base), Pena, To (Bourjos at 1st base).

 
LA Angels IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Ortega, A 2.2 8 7 7 6 1 1 9.28
Wilding 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00
Stokes 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.57
Jepsen 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1.80
Kohn 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Cassevah 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.29
DeHoyos 2.0 1 0 0 1 3 0 6.00
 
Chi White Sox IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Danks 5.2 7 3 3 0 7 0 4.62
Putz 0.1 0 0 0 1 1 0 3.68
Linebrink 0.2 2 4 2 1 0 0 6.48
Pena, To (BS, 1) 1.1 1 0 0 1 0 0 3.60
Thornton 1.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 1.42

Balk: Pena, To.
HBP: Pierre (by Ortega, A).
Groundouts-flyouts: Ortega, A 2-3, Wilding 1-0, Stokes 1-1, Jepsen 2-0, Kohn 1-0, Cassevah 2-0, DeHoyos 2-1, Danks 7-2, Putz 0-0, Linebrink 2-0, Pena, To 1-2, Thornton 0-0.
Batters faced: Ortega, A 21, Wilding 2, Stokes 3, Jepsen 3, Kohn 3, Cassevah 5, DeHoyos 8, Danks 23, Putz 3, Linebrink 6, Pena, To 5, Thornton 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Wilding 3-1, Putz 1-0, Pena, To 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Rob Drake. 1B: Cory Blaser. 2B: . 3B: Manny Gonzalez.
Weather: 75 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 1 mph, Varies.
T: 3:18.
Att: 7,088.
March 29, 2010
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