A new week, the same results. I almost took my girlfriend to Chicago Sunday to see the Angels-White Sox game. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment, 4 hour drive things that could have been really fun. I went to work instead, and I'm only a little disappointed we didn't go. Have some Halolinks:
- Don't you feel fortunate to live in historic times? Royals 11, Angels 4 - Yahoo! Sports. "Josh Hamilton and Alberto Callaspo had two hits each for the Angels, who fell to 14-24, their worst record through 38 games in 25 years. The Angels remained 10 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West". The first season I remember following the Angels was 1971, and with just a couple of exceptions, the next 30 years were horrific. And now, as I enter the twilight of my life (I hope not), I get to re-live those days of my youth. I'd rather have Alzheimer's (not really).
- Although Blanton has been historically bad this season, last night's loss didn't seem like it was all his fault. He was throwing the ball well, as evidenced by his 7 strikeouts and no walks over 4.2 innings. Sure, giving up 12 hits sucks, but it still didn't seem like that bad of a performance: Butler's five RBIs propel Royals to win over Angels - Yahoo! Sports. "Blanton (0-7) gave up seven runs and the 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Angels have lost all eight of Blanton's starts, and the right-hander has a 6.46 ERA. But Blanton chalked up Monday's loss to bad luck. "It was one of those weird games," Blanton said. "I feel I had good stuff, but every time they made contact, it was in a hole. There's nothing you can do about that." Besides, it's not like there's a bunch of worthy replacements within the organization.
- Here's something else to look at if you're looking for a silver lining, and it's something that seems to have infected the entire staff: Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels - May 13, 2013 - MLB.com. "Kansas City scored eight of its 11 runs with two outs -- a situation that has troubled Angels' pitchers all season as 48 percent of the runs the Angels have surrendered have come with two outs." This appears to be C.J. Wilson's problem too, which I think has led to his "The Nibbler" nickname.
- This reminds me of a conversation I'd have with my 7-year old daughter: Angels' Joe Blanton is battered around by Royals - latimes.com. "Josh Hamilton had two hits, then left the game after six innings. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said Hamilton was "a little lightheaded." Said Hamilton: "I was not lightheaded. I'm just sick." Hamilton said he has started taking antibiotics for what he suspected was a respiratory infection. "The equilibrium wasn't quite where it needed to be," he said." And Pujols said, "My foot isn't hurt, it's just sore." And Weaver commented, "My arm's not broke, the bone is just cracked." And Arte Moreno opined, "My money's not wasted, it's just gone." And my daughter stated, "I'm not tired, I just fell asleep."
- Who? Los Angeles Angels Recall Robert Coello, Option Scott Cousins - FFLockerRoom. "The Los Angeles Angels have recalled right-handed pitcher Robert Coello from their Triple-A Salt Lake minor league affiliate. Making room for him on the active roster, the organization has optioned outfielder Scott Cousins to the same farm club. Coello will provide bullpen depth for Los Angeles." Who?? Robert Coello Minor League Statistics & History - Baseball-Reference.com. "Bats: Right, Throws: Right Height: 6' 5", Weight: 250 lb. Born: November 23, 1984 in Bayonne, New Jersey, US (Age 28) High Schools: Lake Region HS (Eagle Lake, FL), Lake Region HS (Lake Region, FL) Schools: Northwest Florida State College (Niceville, FL), Okaloosa-Walton College (Niceville, FL) Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 46th round of the 2003 MLB June Amateur Draft from Lake Region HS (Lake Region, FL) and the Cincinnati Reds in the 20th round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft from Okaloosa-Walton College (Niceville, FL)." Who???
- Oh great, the Angels have become slump-busters to the rest of the league. Wasn't that supposed to be the Astros job? Royals-Angels Preview - FOX Sports. "Kansas City (19-16) had dropped three in a row and six of seven before opening its nine-game trip with an 11-4 victory in Anaheim on Monday."
- Good news! Rehabbing Bourjos reports improvement in hamstring - angels.com. "The center fielder strained his hamstring exactly two weeks ago and feels he is on schedule to return in another two to four weeks -- matching the initial four-to-six week timetable." And then the LA Times shows what they know: Mike Trout to play left field for Angels when Peter Bourjos returns - latimes.com. "Since Mike Trout returned to center field, he has resembled the dominant offensive force he was last year. However, when center fielder Peter Bourjos returns from the disabled list, the Angels plan to return Trout to left field. Trout began play Monday batting .354 in 12 games since Bourjos' injury, with four home runs, 13 runs batted in, and nine runs. In his first 25 games this season, Trout batted .252, with 12 RBIs and 14 runs. "Whether Mike plays center or left, it's not connected with his offensive performance," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "If we asked him to play shortstop, you might have more of an argument."
- More good news! Madson continues to inch toward return to big leagues - angels.com. "Madson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with one strikeout and recorded the save in his latest outing. It is likely Madson will pitch in another rehab game on Wednesday. In his bullpen sessions, as well as during Saturday's simulated game in Arizona, Madson's fastball has been clocked in the 91-to-92-mph range. Prior to his Tommy John surgery, Madson said he was pitching around 94 to 95 mph with highs of 97. While Madson believes the velocity will continue to climb -- and it has been throughout his rehab -- he feels he "can absolutely" get guys out at his current velocity."
- Here is something I just don't get...what changed? What got fixed? And how? Welcome Back, Scott Kazmir - FanGraphs Baseball. "Kazmir threw 73 fastballs yesterday, and they were getting progressively harder as the game wore on. The last three fastballs he threw were all 96 mph, and they were pitches 101, 102, and 103 on the day. A guy who lost his spot in Major League Baseball because his fastball was sitting at 86 ended yesterday throwing 96. Kazmir hasn’t thrown this hard since his early days with Tampa Bay, and yesterday, we saw what Scott Kazmir with a lively fastball can look like. 72 of his 103 pitches were strikes, and 13 of his 19 swinging strikes came off the fastball. The slider is his swing and miss pitch, but he has to get ahead in the count in order to get people to chase it. Yesterday’s fastball got him ahead in the count all day long, because he was able to pound the strike zone with confidence." It's not like he took time off to recover from an injury, he's been pitching ever since he was released by the Angels. And if you take a look at this GIF, it doesn't look like his mechanics have changed that much:
The shot on the left is from September 25, 2010. You can see his fastball was right around 89 mph (there were a couple that were recorded at 90 and 91). The shot on the right is from his last start. Notice the radar reading...94 mph.
- This video is the coolest thing you'll see today: Bryce Harper: A swing of beauty - Washington Post. "Interactive feature: Twenty years old, Bryce Harper has a technique for the ages."
- History! 30th anniversary: Reggie’s 2,000th K - The Hardball Times. "Jackson did it in appropriate fashion, I suppose. May 13, 1983, began with Jackson sitting on 1,997 punchouts. Twins starter Frank Viola fanned him twice to put Jackson on the cusp of history. In the bottom of the 11th, Minnesota reliever Len Whitehouse got the historic strike three for Jackson’s 2,000th strikeout."
- Segura garners NL Player of Week honors - MLB.com. "In five games last week, Segura hit an NL-best .500 over 20 at-bats while leading the league in slugging percentage (.950) and on-base percentage (.545)." And: Yankees School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - HardballTalk. "His latest evidence for this Yankees sorcery is, of course, Vernon Wells, who at this moment for the Yankees is hitting .299/.349/.526 with nine homers — he’s ninth in the American League in home runs per at-bat after a career of never once being in the Top 10 in that category. He is roughly on pace for 100 runs and 100 RBIs, something he did only once, a long time ago, when he was 24 and full of promise."
Which team has MLB's best uniforms? - ESPN. You know what's odd about this? Each of the polls have at least 180K votes except for the Angels-Twins one (at the time I wrote this). It's sitting at 78K. More than half of the people taking the polls skip over the Angel one? How weird is that?
- Oh brother. I suppose he writes this crap just to get a rise out of people, but it is pretty ridiculous: T.J. SIMERS: Arte Moreno and his Angels can't take the heat - latimes.com. "Individually, the Angels are obviously competitors; yet collectively there just doesn't seem to be much fight in them. They lost that when Moreno chose not to keep team leader Torii Hunter. They have had arguably the best talent in the American League West the past four seasons but are on the their way to missing the playoffs four straight years." Hey Simers, you know who was part of those non-playoff teams the last three years? Torii Hunter.