This is the 12th different Halolinks post in 12 games:
- Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels - April 18, 2012 - MLB.com. "10: That's the number of lineup combinations already used by manager Mike Scioscia, who's still trying to get a feel for how he'll use his deep slate of position players." Ten different lineups in 12 games. While I don't think that's a big deal, especially when you're trying to get players into the game, but those players have to be GOOD. And if the reason you keep trotting out these old guys is to keep them "fresh", what about the young guys...the guys who should be playing 98% of the games, isn't it important to keep their playing time consistent? Of course it is. Sitting Peter Bourjos is never a good idea unless he's nursing an injury. He needs to be in the lineup everyday.
- How much of Colon's success last night was due to his pitching and how much is due to who he was pitching against? Colon goes 8 scoreless to lead A's over Angels 6-0 - Yahoo! Sports. "It wasn't as though Bartolo Colon didn't give the Los Angeles Angels anything good to hit. The Oakland Athletics' right-hander threw 82 of his 108 pitches for strikes against his former team - including 38 in a row at one point. But the Angels' vaunted offense managed only four hits over eight innings against the 38-year-old Colon, who struck out five and walked none in a 6-0 victory on Wednesday night." Something I noticed while watching last night's game was the number 0-2 and 1-2 counts Angels' starter Ervin Santana had, but somehow couldn't do anything with. Santana faced 30 batters last night. Of those 30 A's batters, Santana was able to get to 0-2 or 1-2 eleven times. Typically when a pitcher is dealing like that he's going to see success. Not Ervin. Not last night. Those eleven batters went 5 for 10 (one base on balls) including Yoenis Cespedes' first inning, 3-run bomb. Santana had the Cuban rookie swinging over the top of two sliders, but then, in what became a pattern all night, was unable to put Cespedes away. Santana managed to get three strikeouts after going 0-2 or 1-2, but that number should have been significantly higher. Is Santana's inability to "put the batter away" signs of a possible crappy 2012?
- Perhaps the Angels scoring problems is a result of the hitters not knowing their "roles": Athletics-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "C.J. Wilson has been one of the few bright spots during the Los Angeles Angels' difficult start to this season.The left-hander allowed one run for the second straight game and scattered six singles over six innings during a 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees on Saturday. Los Angeles has scored a combined three runs over its back-to-back defeats after totaling 18 over its previous three games." Let's hope Wilson can continue his winning ways by throwing a shutout.
MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
- I still can't wrap my head around this: Abreu leading off, Trumbo calls in sick - The Orange County Register. "Scioscia is trying yet another lineup Wednesday, putting Bobby Abreu in as the leadoff hitter and playing in left. Scioscia said he can’t ever recall putting Abreu in that slot in his three previous seasons with the Angels, but that "it’s a good spot for Bobby. … He’s led off before, when he was younger." Abreu is 38." That's a good reason, he's done it before when he was younger. You know what else he's done before when he was younger? Shit his pants...something he's likely to do again.
- Angels' lineup tweaks include Abreu at leadoff - angels.com. "Angels manager Mike Scioscia unveiled lineup combination No. 10 prior to the 12th game of the season on Wednesday, with Bobby Abreu hitting leadoff for the first time since 2010, the struggling Erick Aybar taking a breather and Mark Trumbo not starting for the third straight time. "I think it's a good spot for Bobby," Scioscia said prior to the matchup with A's right-hander Bartolo Colon. "He's led off before, when he was younger, and the one thing about seeing pitches and getting on base is important out of anybody who's going to hit first or second. Right now, Howie [Kendrick] is getting comfortable hitting in the two-hole, and we'll give Bobby a chance to hopefully set the table ahead of him." Heading into last night's game, Bobby Abreu had an OBP of .250. Some guys who's OBP is slightly higher than Abrue's; Maicer Izturis - .550, Chris Ianetta - .353, Mark Trumbo - .714. I'm not saying Scioscia should put Trumbo or Ianetta in the leadoff spot, but come on, let's be smart. Who wants a 38 year-old fat guy with a .250 OBP leading off for their team?
- Scioscia has message for his team - ESPN Los Angeles. "For the first time, manager Mike Scioscia told his players to stick around for a postgame meeting after a 6-0 loss to the Oakland A's on Wednesday, so he could -- in his words -- "bounce a couple things" off them. After watching former Angel Bartolo Colon pitch with no apparent fear to a lineup that was supposed to scare pitchers witless, Scioscia wanted to deliver a message. He wouldn't say what that message was, but in comments to the media afterward, the term "grind it out," arose about 15 times." They just need to turn the page. Play 'em one day at a time. Keep hustling.
- Has anyone told him it's okay to hit home runs in the American League? Angels, Pujols slump through April waiting game - Yahoo! Sports. "As Haren told reporters amid the gloom of the club's seventh loss in 11 games, accounting for its five-game deficit in the AL West, "You can only say it's early for so long." The solution for the folks of Orange County – and any of those who've drifted south from the reign of McCourt – seems to be time – time for Pujols to find his power stroke; for Scioscia to find a spot for Trumbo; for Erick Aybar, reportedly nearing a contract extension, to get on base; for the whole thing to catch up with what the Rangers charged out of camp doing. "We have to be more than Albert and we are more than Albert," Scioscia said a few days ago. "We have to be deep enough to go nine games without Albert hitting a home run." Then two more games passed." The home runs will eventually come, but I'm worried about the base on balls. Pujols has walked just three times this season and struck out six times. Not since his rookie season in 2001 has Pujols struck out more times than he's walked.
- In case you haven't herad, the Angels have locked up the middle of their infield for a few years: Angels Extend Erick Aybar - FanGraphs Baseball. "This also represents a pretty significant commitment from the Angels towards a player whose skills aren’t generally valued all that highly on the open market. While Aybar has averaged +3.2 WAR per season over the last three years, most of that value has come from his defense and baserunning abilities, as he’s hit just .280/.327/.391. Those aren’t terrible offensive numbers from a shortstop, but they came during his expected peak years and put him in the same category as guys like Jimmy Rollins, Stephen Drew, Jhonny Peralta, J.J. Hardy, and Cliff Pennington. There’s nothing wrong with any of these guys, but this class of ballplayer has traditionally not struck it rich in free agency." Interesting article, but HH contributor Turks Teeth made an interesting commment: "I think you can look to an even earlier Angels SS precedent here to guide the contours of this contract. The Angels signed Orlando Cabrera for 4 years/$32M (2005-2008). Cabrera delivered $42.7M in value the first three years of his contract, at which point the Angels traded him for a one year of Jon Garland. Those were Cabrera’s 30-33 seasons, the deal worked out fine for the Angels, and I think it’s reasonable to say that Cabrera’s bat and glove fall well into Aybar’s range. As an Angels fan, I still think this is a bit of an overpay — the Angels have alternatives on the farm and in Maicer Izturis. But looking at it in the context of Cabrera, this makes enough sense, and I think two years into Aybar’s contract, he’ll be plenty tradeable if the Angels need to trade him."
- Transaction Analysis: Jerry Dipoto Makes it Rain - Baseball Prospectus. "It’s hard to place a number on how good Aybar is; not because of his intangibles, but because his numbers are all over the place. His offensive and defensive metrics vacillate between good and bad on an annual basis. Presumably, Aybar will nestle into the medium of those extremes—that at least seems like a safer assumption than fingering him as the most consistently streaky player in the league." This is true, it's hard to figure out what type of player Aybar is since he's so...Aybarish.
- Someone is sweet on Victor: Colon Blanks the Angels, Cespedes and Gomes Provide the Fireworks - Athletics Nation. "In a year when Texas looks like the best team in baseball (they won their 10th tonight), it's quite refreshing to see the Angels struggle out of the gate. They made one major improvement in the last couple of years, though, and I'm not talking about Pujols. Victor Rojas, who was part of the broadcast team that replaced Rex Hudler, is absolutely fantastic. This is my third straight night listening to him, and he's one of the best I've heard. He knows baseball; he knows the A's, he isn't a blatant homer, and I don't have to watch every pitch to know what's happening in the game." It is true, Victor Rojas is pretty great.
- Just to rub it in on a night when the Halos are getting clubbed by a second-division team: Texas Rangers defeat Boston Red Sox for sixth straight win - FOX Sports. "Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs, Derek Holland pitched seven solid innings and the red-hot Rangers completed a two-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night." It was Napoli's 4th home run in three games. Dick.
- Wait, didn't they just trade for Jeff Mathis? Blue Jays Would Like To Add Impact Bat - MLBTradeRumors.com. "The Blue Jays dabbled in the Prince Fielder market this past offseason, and today GM Alex Anthopoulos told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that he would still like to add an impact bat." Or how about Vernon Wells? Bobby Abreu? Ah, nevermind.
- A good 'ole pitcher's duel: Giants 1, Phillies 0(11) - Baseball- NBC Sports. "Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 on Wednesday night, ending a thrilling pitchers' duel that seemed as if it might go on all night. Lee tossed 10 scoreless innings for the Phillies and Cain went nine for the Giants - and each has only a no-decision to show for it Lee pitched a career-high 10 innings, becoming the first Phillies starter to go beyond nine innings since Terry Mulholland on May 8, 1993, against St. Louis. Lee allowed seven hits, struck out seven, didn't walk a batter and threw 81 of his 102 pitches for strikes. And Lee didn't throw his 100th pitch until strike one to Nate Schierholtz with two outs in the 10th." What's really amazing is the game lasted just 2 hours and 27 minutes. This game was a throwback to earlier days of baseball when this type of thing happened... Koufax and the Coliseum: An end and a beginning - The Hardball Times. "In closing down the Coliseum, Koufax pitched a complete game of 13 innings and struck out 15—a remarkable sum for most pitchers, but business as usual for Koufax. He had thrown 205 pitches—a total guaranteed to dislocate the jaw of any contemporary pitching coach. Another statistic of note is that the game was completed in three hours and 12 minutes, a time span insufficient for many nine-inning games today."
- After humping the cameraman's leg, the rat when out and played second base:The rat that changed TV: Behind the scenes during Carlton Fisk’s iconic homer - Sporting News. "It is the walkoff home run of live action sports shots. Carlton Fisk is waving the ball fair. He’s perfectly in focus, perfectly framed slightly to the right as he drifts left toward first base. As the ball hits the fair pole, he jumps, Fred Lynn in the on-deck circle behind him jumps, and the dozens of fans in the shot behind him jump. It is one of the most famous and enduring images in American sports history. More important than that, it forever changed the way television covers baseball. And it almost never happened. "With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, ‘Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.’ I said, ‘Harry, I can’t, I’ve got a rat on my leg that’s as big as a cat. It’s staring me in the face. I’m blocked by a piece of metal on my right.’ So he said, ‘What are we going to do?’ I said, ‘How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?’" Oh wait, Pedroia wasn't on the team back then.