Thursday Halolinks: Angels Hold On In Oakland, Has Scioscia Changed?

USA TODAY Sports

The month of April is over, which means the Angels can start playing the type of baseball everyone expected them to play...winning.

Yes, the April Angels have left us, so now we can all sit back and enjoy watching a winning team for the rest of the season...right? Oh, well, here's your Halolinks:

  • Has Manager Mike learned something new by using his best relief pitcher in higher leverage situations, or was he just desperate? Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - May 1, 2013 - MLB.com. "On Wednesday morning -- knowing the Angels' bullpen has four relievers on the disabled list and has hardly caught a break all year -- Frieri walked into Mike Scioscia's office with a clear message. I've got two innings if you need it. "We said, 'No, that's ridiculous,'" Scioscia recalled, "so we had him go 1 2/3 innings." Haha, you funny like clown. Anyway, if using Frieri in more than just the 9th inning is going to be Scioscia's mantra from here on out, color me happy.
  • Angels 5, Athletics 4 - Yahoo! Sports. "Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson improved to 3-0, and he worked exceptionally hard for this victory. Wilson threw 36 pitches in the first inning alone and 123 for his outing, holding the A's to two runs over 6 1/3 innings. Wilson allowed six hits, while striking out five and walking five. Wilson escaped bases-loaded jams unscathed in the first inning and the sixth. Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics - May 01, 2013 - ESPN. "It was just frustrating because I feel like I made some really good pitches," Wilson said. "Give credit where it's due. Those guys, if they got to two strikes, they foul a lot of pitches off or they took some close pitches. That's a good baseball team. I'm just trying to stay on top of my game and not give in."
  • Orioles-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels, despite their struggles, have won six of their last eight in Anaheim. Continuing that run, and the staff's 22-inning scoreless streak at home against Baltimore, could be difficult with Joe Blanton (0-4, 7.09) taking the ball on Thursday. Los Angeles hasn't won any of his five starts after he surrendered all of the runs in Saturday's 3-2 loss at Seattle. "Everything is just a little off right now,'' said Blanton." Um, no shit, Joe? Was your first clue the fact you've allowed so many base-runners? In his 26.2 innings this season, Blanton had not had a 1-2-3 inning. Basically, the only time Blanton pitches from a wind-up is against the first and/or second batter of the inning. Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels - May 2, 2013 - MLB.com
    "The Angels' 4.91 ERA for the month ranked 29th in the Majors, ahead of only Houston. And they'll need to improve on that figure to have any hopes of contending in the American League West, and that falls on Blanton as much as anyone. Blanton has gone winless with a 7.09 ERA in five starts to begin the season, although he did finally contribute a quality start his last time out in Seattle. Even then, however, he left with a bad taste in his mouth. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits and four walks over six-plus innings."
  • Mark Trumbo is so much fun to watch, and is becoming one of my favorite players: The seven most mammoth home runs of April - Yahoo! Sports. "Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs and Mark Trumbo of the Los Angeles Angels share the crown as mashers of the month. 475 feet — a tie between Anthony Rizzo (April 18) and Mark Trumbo (April 29). Former Angels Torii Hunter and Mike Napoli are also on the list." Mark Trumbo Knows, Improves Himself - FanGraphs Baseball. "I’m always trying to improve my walk rate," Trumbo admitted, "It’s never been something I’ve been great at, but it is something I do work at." Since 2011, his 5.4% walk rate is 20th-worst in baseball, and his 4.4% walk rate in 2011 was tenth-worst in baseball among qualified hitters, so once again Trumbo knows what’s up."
  • Downs' status uncertain after leaving with rib pain - angels.com. "Downs was involved in a similar situation in Colorado last year, when a comebacker on June 10 prompted him to go eight days without an appearance. The 37-year-old said the current ailment is "not to the extent" of the one he suffered in 2012, calling it "one of those fluke, freak things that always seem to find me." The Angels' bullpen can ill-afford another loss, with Kevin Jepsen (strained lat), Mark Lowe (left neck strain) and Sean Burnett (left forearm tightness) already on the DL, Ryan Madson still recovering from Tommy John surgery and 18 pitchers -- the most in one month since 2000 -- being used in April." The number of pitchers used this season will likely increase now that the club has brought up another arm from the minors. The Halos promoted Ryan Braiser after demoting Nick Moronde back to Double-A.
  • C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton Star in Awful Commercial - Bugs & Cranks. "Have you caught the Head & Shoulders commercial featuring Los Angeles Angels C.J. Wilson and Josh Hamilton? It’s pretty horrible." I haven't had the pleasure of witnessing this train wreck.
  • UPDATE: Yankee’s DL’d payroll nearing $100M - It's About The Money. "Following up on my post from right before the season started, the annual payroll of the players on the DL is approaching $100M, which now ranks them ahead of the Mets for 15th overall.
    Budgetchart_medium
  • Presenting your April All-Stars - Baseball Nation. "RF - Vernon Wells Okay, so this is cheating a little bit, as Wells has actually played left field for the Yankees this season. But how he's played it! After batting .222/.258/.409 over the last two seasons with the Angels -- resulting in the Angels eating a great chunk of money -- Wells has rediscovered himself as a Yankee, now batting .300 on the nose with six homers in 24 games. The list of reasons for the Yankees' bizarrely good record is long, but Vernon Wells is near the top." I don't know what to make of this. Was Wells dogging it while in Anaheim, or is it a coincidence his performance has improved after arriving in New York?
  • Cubs chairman threatens to move team from Wrigley - Yahoo! Sports. "''The fact is that if we don't have the ability to generate revenue in our own outfield, we'll have to take a look at moving - no question,'' Ricketts told reporters after outlining renovation plans to Chicago business leaders." Sure, you're going to leave behind your greatest asset. The Cubs without Wrigley is like Disney without Mickey Mouse.
  • Could it be your former team mates don't miss you much? A.J. Pierzynski hit by pitch in first at-bat against Chicago White Sox - Yahoo! Sports. "After getting ahead with strike one, White Sox closer Addison Reed plunked Pierzynski on his heavily padded elbow. Pierzynski took his base, but seemed to be spitting fire on the way over there, giving Reed the A.J. Death Stare the entire way."
  • Murray Chass On Baseball " BLOT OUT THIS BLOGGER. "That’s where the Internet and blogs come in. They give Nash a free hand to do and say what he wants about whom he wants with no way of being stopped. Nash has a Web site, "Hauls of Shame," which he uses to defame people. The Internet gives him that opportunity. Anybody can use the Internet for whatever purpose he wants. You don’t need a license. Just pay a few bucks a month, put a name on the site and you’re off and writing. The blogger has no and needs no accountability. There’s no one to say, hey, you can’t say that about somebody. Some criticism is valid, but much of it isn’t; yet the blogger is free to write whatever he wants and the object of his viciousness has no recourse." Oh, where to start? First, isn't ironic that a blogger (Chass) comments on how bloggers don't need a license and are free to write what they want? If Murray's not a blogger, what license does he have? And doesn't he pay a few buck a month, have his name on a site, and post his thoughts on the internet? Second, a blogger is under the same laws as a print writer. If I write something that's not true, it's called "libel" and the subject of my viciousness has the recourse to sue me. I do have freedom of speech...as long as it is clearly stated to be just my opinion, or what I've written is true.

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