Building a better bullpen Halolinks:
- I'm sure you've already heard the Angels added another piece to their bullpen on Wednesday: Angels add veteran Isringhausen to bullpen mix - The Orange County Register, but Bill Plunkett at the OCR has an interesting bit about the signing, "Isringhausen signed a minor-league contract with the Angels on Wednesday and will report to spring training with the team. The contract might be a minor-league deal but Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said Isringhausen would not be pitching in the minors for the Angels. Dipoto said the two sides will part ways and Isringhausen will become a free agent if he does not win a spot in the Angels' bullpen this spring – but the GM clearly expects Isringhausen to be part of the team's season-opening relief corps." So this is a no-lose situation for the Halos -- Isringhausen has a good spring, he makes the team...if not, he's gone. Atta boy Jerry!
- Also adding to the bullpen depth is this news: Jepsen throws encouraging bullpen session - angels.com. Angels' skipper Mike Scioscia says this about Jepsen, "He looks like a different guy this spring. He looks strong. He looks healthy. He had that knee that bothered him toward the end of the year that he had cleaned out, and he looks very good right now." So let's see, Walden, Downs, Hawkins, and Takahashi are sure to make the team. Add Thompson, who is out of options, and that leaves two or three (depending on if the club carries 12 or 13 pitchers) spots open in the pen for Izzy, Jepsen, Richards, Kohn, K-Rod II, and Cassevah. Lookin' good Billy Ray!
- MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
- Scioscia responds to Abreu's trade demand - angels.com. "Bobby and I have always spoken very candidly," Scioscia said. "I think Bobby, he's a professional. He's going to go out there and you don't get too many guys any more professional than Bobby. So I don't anticipate that being an issue. I think if there are some issues, I'm sure that his agent [Peter Greenberg] will work through [them] with Jerry. Bobby's here, he's going to help us win games, and that's what we're looking forward to." Good quote, but what else is he going to say? "Bobby's acting like a spoiled baby and he needs to get his fat ass in camp and accept whatever role we decide is best for the team." Wouldn't that be refreshing?
- Keeping Abreu creates the added depth: Scioscia on Pujols, Abreu and offensive depth - ESPN Los Angeles. "Angels manager Mike Scioscia joined Mark Willard and Jalen Rose on 710 ESPN on Wednesday to recap what's already been a hectic week. "Our offensive depth is something we’ve been searching for for years. There have been too many years with us where we’ve had to go back and try to find players and try to stretch our lineup for maybe three or four good players who were swinging the bat well at one time."
- Here's a quote from an Angel player, "...but I'm in the hands of [the Angels]. And if I'm here, I'm going to try to take on whatever role they give me. If they trade me, then hopefully it's good for the team and for me, too." Was this Abreu changing his stance on being a team player? Nope, it was this guy: Izturis prepared for any role this season - angels.com. "I know there are a bunch of teams that want me," Izturis, who usually arrives early from Venezuela, said in Spanish on Wednesday. "I know there are a lot of teams that want to give me second base every day, or shortstop every day".
- Is this still an issue? Could Pujols play third? - ESPN Los Angeles. "Not going to happen, Mike Scioscia said. Pujols is the team's best-fielding first baseman and it would be an unnecessary disruption for the team's best hitter."
- You might have noticed that there's a lot of news coming out of the angels.com site now that spring training has started. Most of it is news or updates, and then some are like this: Ankle injury strengthens Angels slugger Kendrys Morales' resolve - angels.com. There's usually something to take away from each..."The Angels played 213 games during the two seasons in which their switch-hitting slugger was absent."
- This is so horrifying, and yet I WANT ONE! Rays to give away 'Zim Bear' at June game. "The Rays this week released their 2012 promotional schedule, and before Tampa Bay's June 29 home game against the Detroit Tigers, the team will be handing out "Zim Bears" to fans in attendance."
SBN's Tampa Bay Rays site is doing a photoshop contest featuring this hideous beast, The Rays Tank: Zim Bear Photoshop Contest - DRaysBay. I encourage you to show them how creative Halo fans can be.
- Oh to be left handed: Scott Kazmir Considering Mets, Five Other Clubs - MLBTradeRumors.com. "Kazmir worked out in front of about ten scouts last week, throwing in the 86-89 mph range. The 28-year-old appeared in one game for the Angels last year, but got released after struggling at Triple-A."
- Nolan Ryan says these Rangers are his best team - NBC Sports. "Texas Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan says the team assembling for this spring training "is as strong a club as we've ever been. " Good enough to finish ahead of the Mariners and A's.
- I think this whole thing is getting blown way out of proportion: Stan Musial or not, it’s time for Albert Pujols to finally accept the ‘El Hombre’ nickname - Yahoo! Sports. "And if the Angels want to market him that way? So be it. They're certainly paying for the right." Yeah, but why piss of the guy you're banking on?