Thursday Halolinks: Angels Dealing From Infield Depth? Rock Pile Giving Angels Edge?

Los Angeles Angels second baseman Alexi Amarista shows how talented some infielders are by not allowing the ball to hit them in the face.

The day after a day off slowdown Halolinks:

  • In addition to the Mark Trumbo question, Alden Gonzalez answers one regarding the Angels depth in the infield: Angels Inbox: How much playing time will Mark Trumbo get at third? - angels.com
    "With the Phillies (possibly) looking for a second baseman and the Angels having Maicer Izturis and Alberto Callaspo, what does Philadelphia have that the Angels need? -- Scott V., Villa Park, Calif.
    Perhaps a couple of back-end rotation arms? Joe Blanton, who could come in as a fifth starter to eat innings and bridge the gap to the developing Garrett Richards, could be one. But he's owed $8.5 million this year, so the Phillies would have to eat a significant portion of that contract. Kyle Kendrick, currently looking like the odd-man out in the rotation, may be another option, and is owed $7.5 million over the next two years. The Phillies have publicly stated they're not looking for outside help at second base. They may be waiting to see just how severe Chase Utley's knee injury is and how good Freddy Galvis can be." Kendrick would be a nice pick-up if the Phillies are truly looking for infield help. Another option is Oakland. With the loss of Scott Sizemore, the A's could be looking for some temporary help at third...and the Halos might have just the guy in Jorge Cantu:
  • Jorge Cantu tries to find balance - ESPN Los Angeles. "They're intrigued by Cantu's bat, which offers more power than any of the other reserve infielders’ other than Mark Trumbo's. "This guy knows his way around situational hitting. He knows his way around RBI situations and his ability to put the ball in play is going to be something that’s attractive," manager Mike Scioscia said. "That's why he's getting an opportunity here. We'll see where we are on Opening Day but he's looked great." Oakland recently had to decide between Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes as to which would close out their games. Balfour won the competition, but I'm pretty sure they'd be willing to deal him in the right situation. The closer we get to the start of the season, the more every team will know what options they have available.



MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

  • Here's an interesting post from Dave Cameron: Jered Weaver’s Favorite Rockpile - FanGraphs Baseball. "The fact that the data lines up with what an opposing hitter noticed instinctively by facing him in a certain situation lends some credence to the belief that this isn’t just small sample noise. It could be, of course, but it could also be that Weaver’s specific arm angle and the position of the rock pile in Anaheim combine to make it very, very hard to see the ball coming out of his hand." Within the post, Cameron shows Weaver's home day/night splits and how Weaver does much better during the day than at night. (1.51 ERA - day games, 3.00 ERA - night). Although the data isn't split between home and away, the Angels' pitchers as a whole did better during the day. Also, it doesn't make sense to me that the angle of Weaver's delivery could be so much different than other right-handed pitchers as to have a greater effect on success. Plus, don't the visiting pitchers throw from the same mound?
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  • Jerome Williams' balky hammie may have cost him the #5 slot in the Angels' rotation...at least to start the season: Garrett Richards figures to take the fifth - ESPN Los Angeles. "It is exciting. I'm trying to show to them that I have been working hard and that I've committed myself to my craft," Richards said." Richards didn't do much in his outing yesterday: Richards could be Angels’ fifth starter - The Orange County Register. "Richards, meanwhile, has pitched well in spring play. He went five innings Wednesday in a minor-league game, allowing two runs on six hits with a walk, a strikeout and a wild pitch against a team of Rockies Triple-A level minor-leaguers." Those five innings Wednesday afternoon against Triple-A players doesn't look too impressive.
  • Everyone has heard about Trout's bout with the flu and how he lost so much weight, but this is the first I've heard about any shoulder problems: Trout, Iannetta see action in Minors game - angels.com. "Outfielder Mike Trout (viral infection, shoulder tendinitis) and catcher Chris Iannetta (sore elbow) got some much-needed playing time in a Triple-A game against the Rockies at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Wednesday." When did that happen??
  • Time to start getting closer to the 25-man roster. Cole Calhoun impressed me with his spring, and not just because he has a great baseball name: Angels reassign Efren Navarro, Kole Calhoun and Ryan Brasier to Minor League camp - angels.com. "The Angels reassigned first baseman Efren Navarro, outfielder Kole Calhoun and right-hander Ryan Brasier to Minor League camp on Wednesday, bringing their Spring Training roster down to 38 players. Calhoun, who was selected by the Angels in the eighth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University, impressed this spring, batting .361 (13-for-36) with six doubles and three RBIs in 15 Cactus League games. "It's been everything I expected and more," Calhoun said earlier this spring of his first big league camp experience. "I've been a fan of this game for a long time and the guys on TV forever, and now I'm in a locker room with them. It's been fantastic. There's so many superstars in this locker room, it's surreal. It's crazy to step back and be like, 'Wow, I'm looking at [Albert] Pujols' locker and Vernon Wells' locker.' It's fantastic. It's been fun." Mentioning Pujols and Wells in the same sentence regarding superstars is like comparing Rachel McAdams' ass to Kathy Bates'.
  • Introducing the Simple WAR Calculator 2.0 — Wahoo's on First. "From the studio that brought you the Simple WAR Calculator, introducing the Simple WAR Calculator...Version 2.0!" Yeah, it's not that simple.
  • Interesting story: The Beards Of Summer: Remembering The Days When A Barnstorming Cult Ruled Baseball. For two decades in the early 20th century, a band of religious eccentrics from Southwest Michigan was one of the biggest draws in sports, selling out ballparks in big cities and small towns across the country. Baseball fans adored their aggressive style of play, vaudeville flair, and flowing beards—House of David players were forbidden to shave because of an obscure rule in the strict doctrine to which they adhered. More than any franchise of its day, the House of David skillfully exploited the American love of spectacle.
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