Thursday Halolinks: As Mike Trout Flies, The Angels Continue To Soar

June 27, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) makes a leaping catch of a ball hit by Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (not shown) in the first inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

There will be no Halolinks today. Today's linkfest has been renamed "Troutalicious Linkage To Greatness":

  • June 27, 2012 will be one of those dates you'll remember. You'll remember what you were doing that day because that was the day you saw something AMAZING: Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles - June 27, 2012 - MLB.com. "Trout darted back on what seemed to be a no-doubter by O's shortstop J.J. Hardy, leaping high enough to put his left arm well over the Southwest.com sign in right-center field and coming back with a snow-cone catch that might be the best play of the year so far. "Just watching him go up and make that catch, I got chills," Hunter said. "I was fired up and I was high-fiving, we elbowed each other, we did everything. I felt like I caught the ball, because I just remember myself doing that. To see Trout do that, a guy that comes and talks to me about a lot of different things, it's awesome. It's awesome. Tears almost came down my face. But I'm a man -- I don't cry." In case you've missed it, here's video of The Catch:
  • The OC Register's Bill Plunkett compares Trout to Superman. The Angels outfield now has another superhero to join Torii Hunter's Spiderman: Trout's catch of the day steals show - The Orange County Register. "The indelible memory from Wednesday's game, though, was a remarkable catch by dynamic rookie outfielder Mike Trout. Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall outfield walls in a single bound – and reduce nine-time Gold Glove winners to teary-eyed cheerleaders – Trout went well above the wall in center field to rob J.J. Hardy of a certain home run in the bottom of the first inning."
  • I think this is one of the best parts of The Catch, the fact that over 1000 people were at the game with the main purpose of watching Trout: Homer-saving catch shows Trout isn't all about offense - Yahoo! Sports. "It's always special when you have your friends and family here watching, and then if you do something special like that, it's a great feeling," Mike Trout said. "They came here to see stuff. Sometimes you try to do some little stuff extra and you get lucky." And how proud must his parents be. His dad points out that not only was the leap spectacular, but the part leading up to it was just as amazing: That's my boy: Mike Trout robs homer in front of family - angels.com. "You know what's more impressive than the catch?" Jeff asked. "The fact that he even got to it."
  • Trout's catch of the day helps Angels thrash Orioles - Yahoo! Sports. "We're hitting on all cylinders," said outfielder Torii Hunter, who finished 3-for-5 with a home run. "(Trout's) catch gave me goose bumps, I was that excited for him. It reminded me of when I was that young guy." Angels' broadcaster Victor Rojas mentioned Torii Hunter's catch of a sure Barry Bonds home run made during the 2002 All-Star game. Here it is:
  • I haven't linked to one of these yet this season, and it's probably a good thing as the Angels started the year near the bottom. However, that has changed: Power Rankings: With Giants, D-Backs surging, Dodgers can hear footsteps - CBSSports.com. The Angels rank #3. "Mike Trout an MVP candidate? Voters of sabermetric camps and those who despise sabermetrics both have to be impressed. Trout is top three in AL wins above replacement while also having a high batting average with a power-speed combo. And the cherry on top? The Angels are 33-19 with him, 8-14 without. That has to equal "value" to everyone, right?"
  • Obviously, Trout isn't the only reason for the Angels success: Inside Mark Trumbo's process - ESPN Los Angeles. "Yet the most remarkable part of Trumbo's improvement has been a spike in his patience. Last season, he batted .254 and had a .291 on-base percentage, a spread of just .037 points. This season, he's batting .320 and has a .373 on-base percentage, a spread of .053. Less than halfway through the season, he's only six walks off last year's total." I don't want to be the wet blanket on Trumbo's recent success, but an 80 point increase in on-base percentage is huge, so huge I'm worried about this being a small sample size spike before returning to last season's trends.
  • Haren focused on his control, not velocity - angels.com. "In his last start against the Dodgers -- when he gave up five runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings -- Haren threw only six of his 102 pitches at 90 mph, and none faster. For Haren, though, location is priority No. 1. "I think the last thing that any pitcher should do is try to add velocity, because location is a lot more important than velocity," he said. "Look at Scott Downs, he throws 88, 90 mph and he's [allowed] one run this year. He makes quality pitches down in the zone, and that's what it's all about at this level." Okay Dan, please start hitting your spots. Also within this link is news on Chris Iannetta's recovery from wrist surgery, or should I write, slow recovery from wrist surgery. Here's more info from Plunkett: Iannetta recovery stuck on slow track - The Orange County Register. "Iannetta has been limited to light throwing the past couple days and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he should be able to resume his throwing program later this week. Iannetta will have to progress through various stages, stretching out in long toss to over 200 feet before he starts throwing to bases during defensive drills. A rehab assignment before the All-Star break now looks unlikely.
  • What the Contenders Need - Baseball Prospectus. "Biggest positional needs There's an awful lot of green in the Angels row of our visual depth charts, with the weakest offensive position on the team being shortstop, where Erick Aybar has managed just a .237 True Average. PECOTA figures Aybar will pick that up to a .249 mark (which is also essentially his career average), though that still isn't a stick anyone would write home about." I'm not sure if this is behind B-Pro's paywall, if not click away.
  • In one of the links above, Torii Hunter mentions how the Angels are hitting on all cylinders. I would say that is a true statement: Angels-Blue Jays Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "Coming off their highest-scoring game of the season, the surging Angels look to move a season-best 10 games over .500 in Thursday night's opener against Cecil and the Blue Jays. Los Angeles (42-33) arrives in Toronto for four games having won six of seven, plating 51 runs in those victories. In a two-game stop in Baltimore, the Angels pounded out a season-best 17 hits in a 7-3 win Tuesday followed by a 13-1 victory the next night."
  • Here's a follow-up on yesterday's story about the blown call at Yankee Stadium: Yankees and Dewayne Wise benefit from blown call by umpire Mike DiMuro as fans hide ball in stands - NY Daily News. "(DiMuro) said, ‘Out,’ right away," Wise said. "So what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field?" Such honesty would have been considered traitorous folly. As for the baseball itself, that elusive, deceitful sphere had bounced off Wise’s glove, onto the floor. There a fan, Vinnie Pellegrino, plucked it from the cement and handed it to his buddy, Sal Azzariti. Azzariti, loyal Yankee fan, said he tried to stick the ball back into Wise’s glove before the left fielder lifted himself back onto the field. The transfer never was completed." I'm not too sure Pellegrino and Azzariti's account of the events are quite true, (cool New Yorker names though). If you watched the video, these two guys aren't close enough to attempt to place the ball in Wise's glove. But it makes a good story.
  • For all of you sick bastards: Umpire Brian Gorman bloodied by Carlos Pena’s deflected ground ball - Yahoo! Sports. "And even though Hosmer was positioned perfectly, he was still unable to handle the hot smash cleanly and really only managed to change its direction. Instead it was Gorman's face that ultimately knocked the ball down, leaving a small cut above his upper lip but thankfully sparing his teeth and nose." Wait! Here's more: Pitching Prospect Stops Line Drive With Face. "Scary moment last night for Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall choice in last year's MLB draft." You guys disgust me.
  • Dave Cameron nerds out on the All-Star game: Stat Nerd AL All-Star Roster - FanGraphs Baseball. "One quick note – I’m a guy who believes that the All-Star Game is more of a reward for the players than a spectacle for the fans, though it is obviously both at the same time. As such, I place more importance on first half performance than some others who feel that the game should always just be filled with the best players of their time, regardless of how they did in the first three months of the season."
  • Phineas And Ferb Had 18 Times As Many Viewers As The NHL Draft. Last Week's TV Ratings, In Context. And, there might not be as many New Yorker fans as ESPN thought: June 24:
    Good Luck Charlie (Disney): 7.4 million viewers
    Sunday Night Baseball, New York Yankees vs. New York Mets (ESPN): 2.9 million viewers
  • Unfortunate placement of advertising graphic (must click): Well, This Explains the Strained Groin - Bugs & Cranks
  • All of our thoughts and prayer to his friends and family: Twins minor leaguer Paul Bargas dies of cancer - HardballTalk. "This is truly awful: Twins minor league pitcher Paul Bargas has died of brain cancer. He was only 23."
  • Why do I hear Cleveland from "Family Guy" when I read this? "No, no, no, no, no..."
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