Tuesday Halolinks: Slumpbusting Angels go international, my new favorite Angel

Hannah Foslien

Making other teams feel better about themselves is just one of the nice things this team does. The other? Giving me someone new to root for.

I think I may have a new favorite Angel, and what's surprising is he kind of came out of nowhere.  In 39 games this season, my new favorite Angel has hit .287/.364/.448 in 145 at-bats, but over the last 2-weeks he's hit a blistering .375 while hitting a couple homers and riving in eleven.  Making a rare start against a lefty, my guy went 3-for-4, possibly opening up the opportunity to get even more at-bats.  Oh, and he also made a pretty cool catch this past weekend.  Yep, Kole Calhoun is pretty neat.

  • The Angels continued their goodwill tour of the American league last night when they stopped in Minneapolis to play a one-game makeup game against the Twins.  The slumpbusting Angels managed to make their hosts feel good by ending a losing streak:Twins halt home losing streak - Yahoo! Sports.  "In a see-saw game, the Twins finally went ahead in the seventh inning when the Angels' bullpen struggled, and they held on for a 6-3 win to snap their team-record 10-game home losing streak. "  The club is building up that karma account.
  • Green is getting that much needed experience so he'll know what he's seeing when he's sitting on the bench next season in favor of Robinson Cano: Los Angeles Angels at Minnesota Twins - September 9, 2013 - MLB.com.  "Indeed, it was the error -- Green's fourth of the year but only the second in 30 games with the Angels -- that set up the Twins' rally. But in Scioscia's mind, it also was an understandable miscue. "It's his first full year of playing second base," Scioscia said. "He's been working out hard and getting a lot of instruction from [coach] Alfredo [Griffin], but he has to experience the plays and use that experience to get better. It's part of the learning curve."
  • One could have easily predicted (and many did) that these two teams would be facing each other in the playoffs: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays - September 10, 2013 - MLB.com.  "The Blue Jays have won nine of their last 12 and four consecutive series, including a weekend sweep of the Twins at Target Field, while the Angels have won 12 of their last 17 games.The Angels will send Jerome Williams to the mound Tuesday. Williams has made three straight quality starts, and he has a 2.91 ERA over his last four appearances, which includes one scoreless relief outing.  Last time Williams was on the mound, he held the Rays to two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, and he struck out seven.  "Felt good," Williams said. "Just wanted to do the normal things, just put up zeros and keep the guys in the hunt for a win."  The Blue Jays will counter with equally hot Mark BuehrleAngels-Blue Jays Preview - Yahoo! Sports.  "Buehrle (11-7, 3.88 ERA) is 6-0 with a 2.02 ERA over his last nine starts, winning all four at home with a 1.27 ERA."  The Angels expect Howie Kendrick to return from an injured knee at some point during the Toronto series.
  • Does this hurt his trade value? Bourjos to have surgery, miss rest of season - angels.com.  "The center fielder fractured his wrist when he was hit by a pitch June 29, missed seven weeks and returned to the Angels' lineup after an eight-game rehab assignment. However, he was not the same. Bourjos hit .109 in 15 games and has started only two of the last 10."
  • With pre-determined slot figures and limits on international players, these types of free agent signings are one of the few advantages richer clubs have.  It's too bad the Halos don't use that advantage more often: Dodgers close to $32M deal with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero - MLB Daily Dish.  "In Cuba, Guerrero played a lot of shortstop, but is expected to play second base in the majors. He is considered by many as one of the top all-around players in Cuba."
  • What?!?  Pierzynski isn't liked?  NO WAY!  A.J. Pierzynski of Texas Rangers at DH for Yu Darvish's start after flare-up - ESPN Dallas.  "Darvish and Soto have had success as a pairing -- the pitcher has a 3.07 ERA for the right-hander's starts. But Pierzynski has been behind the plate when Darvish came within an out of a perfect game in Houston in the second game of the season, and two more times when Darvish took no-hitters into the seventh and eighth innings against Minnesota and Houston."
  • Interesting look at relievers.  This is one of the areas I find interesting because of how much their usage has changed.  You older guys (like me) might remember Mike Marshall with the Dodgers...remember how valuable he was coming out of the pen almost every game?  What happened to that type of usage?  10 greatest reliever seasons ever - The Hardball Times.  "Take the number of earned runs a pitcher allowed in his actual innings pitched and compare that to how many runs a pitcher with a league-average ERA would allow. Take the difference, adjust for park and league, and there are your answers. These are the best relief seasons ever."
  • Which Pitchers are Getting a Qualifying Offer this Offseason? - FanGraphs Baseball.  "The Angels have the financial resources to pay a premium to avoid long term risk, and one year of Vargas at $14 million isn’t such a drastic overpay that it’s not worth considering. In the end, though, I think they can probably get him for less than what the QO would tie them to, especially given his DL stint this year. He’s the kind of pitcher that gets something like 2/16 or 3/21, and making the QO takes those kinds of offers off the table. At those kinds of prices, there isn’t a ton of long term risk, and if they think there’s a chance he signs for something in that range, then they should pass on the QO."  Here's another Fangraphs post regarding how those qualifying offers work: The Qualifying Offer and You
  • Here's another Fangraphs thingy: FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron Analyzes All Mike Trout
  • I don't know, but she's probably going to find it tough going with only $131,000,000.00 and a few nice houses to live off of: Judge denies request to throw out McCourt divorce settlement - ESPN Los Angeles.  "As part of the agreement, Jamie McCourt received $131 million tax-free and several luxurious homes."  By the way, I do think she got shafted.
  • One of the mailing lists I'm attached to asked its members to name their favorite non-baseball websites.  A couple mentioned io9.com.  I'd never heard of it until then, but now I'm hooked: It was the biggest Burning Man ever, and this is what I saw there.  "Early last week, I returned to the Toronto area after attending my second Burning Man — an annual countercultural festival set in Nevada's remote Black Rock Desert. Here’s the story of my remarkable trip -- in photos."
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