Tuesday Halolinks: Jered Weaver Continues Spring Success, Scott Kazmir Making An Impression

USA TODAY Sports

Angel ace Jered Weaver held Cleveland scoreless in his most recent spring training game, while Scott Kazmir shutout his former team mates in his continuing comeback attempt.

Whatever he's doing, all we ask is to please keep doing it: Weaver tosses four shutout innings vs. Tribe - angels.com. "I didn't want to keep getting banged around," Weaver said, "so I wanted to mix in some offspeed pitches and was able to keep them off-balance. It's coming along. Arm slot and mechanics are becoming more consistent, like you would expect in your third, fourth and fifth start."

The big story is the return of former Angels' starting pitcher Scott Kazmir. Whatever he's doing, I'm sure the Indians would like for him to keep doing it: Angels 0, Indians 0 - FOX Sports. "Prior to the game, Francona told reporters: ''(Kazmir) came in ready. He knew he had to come in and compete and he's been a pleasure to watch. The ball has been coming out of his hand from day one.'' Kazmir's chances of sticking with the Indians appear better with each start, but he would not comment on his status. ''I'm just focused on what I need to and to get better,'' Kazmir said. ''(From his time with the Angels) it's a night-and-day difference. I'm a completely different pitcher. The velocity is different, from about 10 mph." That's an interesting comment, mainly because it makes me wonder, and not in a good way, where else the ball might be coming from. Here's a little more on Kazmir's comeback: Scott Kazmir Strikes Out Josh Hamilton - FanGraphs Baseball. "It being so early in camp, still, some mechanical inconsistency is to be expected. But Kazmir pitched over the winter and he’s fighting for a job, so he should be approaching 100%. The pitcher who faced the Angels on Monday looked like he could be effective in the big leagues, but he didn’t exactly look like a rejuvenated ace."

Although the headlines suggests this link is another story about Kazmir, the reason I included this post is the mention of Brad Mills: Facing ex-Halos mates, Kazmir impresses - angels.com. "Prior to Monday's game against the Indians, the Angels played a "B" game in the back fields of the Indians' complex in Goodyear, Ariz., losing 3-0. Starter Barry Enright gave up one run on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings, and Brad Mills was charged with two unearned runs in four frames. Tommy Field (shortstop), J.B. Shuck (left field), Luis Jimenez (first base), Scott Cousins (center field), Trent Oeltjen (designated hitter), Luke Carlin (catcher), Kaleb Cowart (third base), Taylor Lindsey (second base) and Randal Grichuk (right field) made up the starting lineup." Mills, acquired from Toronto for Jeff Mathis, is out of options. This means he either makes the 25-man roster out of spring training or he must clear waivers to be sent back to Salt Lake City. With the shortage of major league ready starters in the Angels system, Mills still has value to the Halos, but I doubt he makes the team. He'll probably get claimed if he hits the waiver wire, but the 28-year old left-hander has already served his purpose for the club by being the guy who was traded for Mathis.

Trout? Yeah, whatever. The crowds were there to see Vernon Wells: Fellow fans mob Trout at World Baseball Classic - The Orange County Register. "Vernon Wells went to a World Baseball Classic game with Mike Trout on Saturday night. Hundreds of fans followed. The two Angels outfielders were bombarded with autograph and picture requests as they attempted to watch Team USA play Italy at Chase Field." Trout was just tagging along. Anyway, for those of you concerned with Trout's contract and if he's going to be able to make ends meet: Demand for Mike Trout off the field a balancing act - angels.com. "The fame brings a lot of good, of course. Endorsement deals with BodyArmor, J&J Snack Foods, Nike and Subway -- which put him in its Super Bowl ad -- have netted Trout an estimated endorsement portfolio of about $1.5 million in 2013."

This guy was REALLY good before he had a couple of minor injuries: The cynics' perception of Tommy Hanson is that he's like your high school's prom king -- he peaked too early. - angels.com. "Hanson was rated the fourth-best prospect in the game heading into his first season according to Baseball America, and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2009. He went 31-19 with a 2.99 ERA in his first two and a half seasons, establishing himself as one of the best young pitchers in the game. Then back issues flared up, his shoulder started to hurt and his velocity dropped. In his last 36 starts leading up to his arrival in Anaheim, he posted a 4.96 ERA, making one wonder whether his best days are behind him. But, then again, Hanson is only 26." If Hanson is able to return to his earlier level of success, the Angels cold once again have one of the best rotations in baseball.

Angels' Madson making progress, throws 20 pitches - The Orange County Register. "He threw 20 pitches, all "smooth" fastballs, at what he said was about "50 percent" strength. "The ball was coming out of his hand very well," said John Hester, who caught the session. "He hit the target time after time." Do you think he'd hit the target if the ball were coming out of someplace different?

SABR news: SABR Analytics Conference: Day 1 Recap - Beyond the Box Score. "Pepperdine, after a fantastic analysis and presentation, decided that they would offer Trout a 7-year, $126 million contract. They came to this conclusion based on the performance of other players who were elite before the age of 21, as well as by evaluating the risk of injury, market values, and financial security for Trout." And here's the Godfather himself: Bill James: Baseball research is a planet, and we're crusty. - Baseball Nation

Here'sa really interesting story about former Angel DH and current Oakland hitting coach Chili Davis: No crying in baseball, but wining is just fine - PressDemocrat.com. "As Davis narrated how he fell in love with wine, he drew out his syllables. The "long" in "long finish" came out "looooong," as if Davis was tasting that initial cabernet all over again. He was 25 when he had that bottle at Chez Krukow. It's fitting that Krukow, the older man who had mentored Davis as a player on the Giants, also mentored him in this. Traditions get passed down in many ways."

FanGraphs Top 100 prospects includes just one Angel minor leaguer. Kaleb Cowart was ranked #75. Seems the Angel farm system is full of oysters, just lacking any pearls. Although that wasn't always the case: FanGraphs Top 100 Prospects - FanGraphs Baseball. "7. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, Arizona (2013 LVL: AAA/MLB, ETA: 2013): The Diamondbacks received a solid contribution from a rookie left-hander in Wade Miley in 2012 and Skaggs could be the next to impact the big league level — and the latter pitcher’s ceiling is significantly higher."

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