Who's on First, Who Hits Second? Hank Conger Moving Forward. Halolinks.

Trumbo, Wood in running at first for Angels -  CBSSports.com Baseball
Mark Trumbo, one of the most intriguing players in camp, and Brandon Wood, coming off a disappointing showing, can carve out a regular role with a strong spring, manager Mike Scioscia said Tuesday. Trumbo hit 36 home runs with 122 RBIs at Triple-A Salt Lake in 2010, giving him 120 career minor-league homers in the Angels organization. His big swing has gotten him places, but it might not be suited for a part-time role with this year's Angels. "In theory, when you have a guy with a bigger swing, the entire maintenance of maintaining that swing is to play," said Scioscia, adding that a hitter with a big swing doesn't necessarily have to receive 400 or 500 at bats per season, but "it's a difficult role for anybody, especially guys with bigger swings." Wood could be the first option for Scioscia at first base should Morales open the season as the designated hitter.

The maintenance of maintaining?  The whole quote is kind of confusing to me, especially the part where he says a player with a big swing needs to play, but doesn't need 400 - 500 at bats, and it's difficult especially for guys with big swings.  If I get what he's saying I'm to assume Trumbo has a big swing that needs plenty of at-bats to keep effective, but plenty of at-bats is less than 400.  I think he thought I'd think he was thinking about his thoughts, but I really think he hasn't put too much thought into his thinking.

Angels catcher Hank Conger faces stiff competition to make roster - angels.com
He has the range of talent, intelligence and dedication to be a special player. But Conger won't despair if he's not on the Opening Day roster as he competes this spring with more seasoned catchers Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson. "My goal is to get better every day," he said. "I had some good things happen to me last season, and I want to keep enjoying them as they come and moving forward."

I'm really looking forward to seeing Conger become an everyday player, even if it won't happen until next season.


MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

Angels lineup: Who bats second? - Sam Miller - The Orange County Register
The American League’s No. 2 hitters last year batted .265/.333/.400, with an average of 16 homers and 17 steals per team. The Angels hit .259/.309/.404 with 14 home runs and 24 steals.

Sam is breaking down the possible Angels batting order.  The Register's poll attached to this post has Bobby Abreu receiving the most votes.

Angels' Ervin Santana adds pitch to repertoire - latimes.com
Teammate Joel Pineiro showed Santana the grip for the pitch, which looks like a fastball but drops sharply toward the dirt as it approaches the hitter. Santana has sought more input this spring from teammate Dan Haren, who has one of the game's better split-fingered fastballs. "Dan showed me different grips, one that will make the ball fade to the side and one that will make it go straight down," Santana said. "I want mine to go in the dirt. It's a strikeout pitch."

As first reported by Halos Heaven user Trott HERE, Santana has been working on a new pitch.  The question most people have is what effect does throwing a slitter have on a pitcher's elbow, and considering Santana's history of elbow problems, is this a smart move for the Halo's hurler?  According to this article from 1985, Baseball Digest October 1985- Google Books the pitch is "easy on the arm", but I seem to remember that in the late 1980's and early 1990's many people within baseball thought the split-finger was the reason behind some arm trouble for pitchers who threw it.  I'm speculating here and have no real proof for the assumption, so don't take my opinion as fact.

Spring diary: Trying to play gracious host at home, in clubhouse - USATODAY.com
That was also my first camp with the Angels where we were missing some pretty big leaders that had been there before, the biggest to me being Lack (John Lackey). Lack signed as a free agent with Boston and there were some pretty big shoes to fill. Anyone that knew John knew that he was an intense competitor and left it all out on the field. What a lot of people didn't see is how he was a leader in the clubhouse and on the pitching staff. John had no problem voicing his opinion and letting you know when you needed to step it up. He was always on me, and honestly showed me first hand that the harder you work, the more successful you become.

More from D'back Joe Saunders.  I always find it interesting when a player talks about what goes on in the clubhouse and who are the "team leaders".  Sounds like Lackey (and Troy Percival before him) were not afraid to speak up and keep others focused. 

Rich Thompson's best, last chance -  ESPN Los Angeles
It took him nine seasons, but Thompson's talents seem to be blooming late. Last year, he had a 0.61 ERA in a full season at Triple-A, then came up to the Angels and nearly repeated that success, going 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA.

Is there any doubt Thompson will be in the Halo bullpen this season...especially since he's out of options.

Prosecutors plan to show Barry Bonds mistreated wife, others - SI.com
Federal prosecutors urged a judge Tuesday to let them show the jury in Barry Bonds' perjury trial a trove of evidence alleging the slugger mistreated his wife, girlfriends and other people around him.The witnesses include Bonds' former mistress, Kimberly Bell, his personal doctor and a childhood friend who served as his assistant and personal shopper during his playing days.

We interrupt this post to bring you this breaking story:  Barry Bonds is an asshole.  Now back to your regularly scheduled reading...

Baker reveals disturbing Cubs story - CBSSports.com
"At the very end, somebody took a dump right where I stood in the dugout every day," Baker told FOX Sports. "That was the low point. The grounds crew guy cleaned it up. He said, 'Oh, I think it’s dog crap.' I said, 'No it ain’t. That’s human crap.'"

Dusty Baker, major league player, manager, and poop professional.

Getting to know RHP Zack Greinke - JSOnline
“It has been fun so far, just a real relaxed camp,” said Greinke. “I like the coaching staff a lot, too, so far. It’s been easy to fit in so far. It’s just more relaxed here.” Later, Greinke added, "I like a lot of the guys. I haven't seen anyone yet that's annoying to me. They've all been good."

He hasn't seen anyone yet that's annoying?  Obviously he hasn't been around the post game spread when Prince takes the last pizza roll.  Causes Ryan Braun to freak the fuck out.

Bartolo Colon will start Yankees spring training opener against Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday - NY Daily News
Colon will start for the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field against Philadelphia, getting the first shot at making a statement in the competition for the two open spots in the rotation. "I'm very excited to pitch and I'm ready to pitch," Colon said through an interpreter. "I pitched a lot in the winter and I pitched very good. I'm ready to demonstrate to the Yankees that I can pitch."

Okay, which is it?  Is Colon that good, or are the Yankees that desperate?  I'm leaning towards the later.

Rosenthal: A's, Rays must relocate or face contraction -  FOX Sports on MSN
The Yankees contributed about $130 million between revenue sharing and luxury tax last season, the Red Sox about $86.8 million. Eliminating the Rays and A’s, both of whom face severe ballpark concerns, would remove two leading revenue-sharing recipients, reducing the burden on the big-money teams. And the plan would not necessarily end there. The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, two of the game’s marquee franchises, soon might require new owners. It’s only speculation, but connect the dots: The Athletics’ Lew Wolff could use his buyout money to purchase the Dodgers. The Rays’ Stuart Sternberg could do the same to acquire the Mets.

Yeah, this makes a ton of sense.  Who remembers when the brain trust in baseball were going to contract the Twins and Expos?  How'd that work out?

Does New Book Get Baseball Right? -  SBNation.com
There's a new book that's been doing pretty well: Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won. Written by Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim, it's been marketed as a sports version of Freakanomics.

Thanks to Halos Heaven member RallyWookie, here is the Rob Neyer write-up I couldn't remember during yesterday's LunchTime HaloTalk.

February 23 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on February 23.
1960 - Demolition of Ebbets Field begins. Lucy Monroe sings the National Anthem, and Roy Campanella is given an urn of dirt from behind home plate.
1974 - The California Angels send veteran Vada Pinson to Kansas City for minor leaguer Barry Raziano and cash. Pinson will call it quits at the end of the 1975 season, having rung up 2,757 hits, the most ever for an eligible player not in the Hall of Fame.
1988 - A committee of Chicago aldermen vote 7-2 to allow the Cubs to install lights and play up to 18 night games a year at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had feared losing the 1990 All-Star Game, as well as future playoff and World Series games, if lights were not installed.
R.I.P.:
1922 - Pickles Dillhoefer, catcher (b. 1894)

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