I received an email from Rev yesterday, and he writes, "I have to say that FanGraphs item predicting the Angels would be the third best AL team has gotten me the most excited I have been." I agree, this team is actually shaping up to be pretty good. As long as they stay healthy, this is going to be a fun season to watch. Which means fun Halolinks:
Mike Trout, Angels rev up offense in win over White Sox - angels.com. "We're going to have a lot more opportunities this year with Albert healthy and Josh [Hamilton] healthy," Trout said. "We just have to stay healthy. I think that's the big thing." Also on the Angels' MLB page is this bit about Hamilton returning making it possible for the Angels to use their project opening day lineup. This batting order looks REALLY good: Angels finally get to debut everyday lineup - angels.com. "Mike Scioscia was finally able to debut what's expected to be his everyday lineup at Camelback Ranch on Wednesday…"
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols 1B
David Freese 3B
Raul Ibanez DH
Howie Kendrick 2B
Chris Iannetta C
Erick Aybar, SS
- Also on the Angels mothership site are these two post about the Halo minor leagues: Los Angeles Angels working to rebuild farm system - angels.com. "When MLBPipeline.com released its Top 100 Prospects list in January, the Angels were the only organization that wasn't represented. The relative strength of the system is its upper-level position players, led by third baseman Kaleb Cowart, second baseman Taylor Lindsey and first baseman C.J. Cron. But the talent drops off after that, and there's just one starting pitcher who has reached Double-A (Mark Sappington) on MLBPipeline.com's Angels Top 20 Prospects list. Bernie Pleskoff: How do Angels' prospects fit Los Angeles' needs? - angels.com. "Projecting the Angels' 2016 lineup based on players currently in their system.
C Chris Iannetta
1B Albert Pujols
2B Howard Kendrick
3B David Freese
SS Erick Aybar
LF Josh Hamilton
CF Mike Trout
RF Kole Calhoun
SP Jered Weaver
SP C.J. Wilson
SP Tyler Skaggs
SP Garrett Richards
SP Mark Sappington
CL Ernesto Frieri
- Get used to used to the guys you're seeing today, because it looks like they're going to be around for a couple more years.
- Oops: Angels pitcher Luis Pena suspended 50 games - Yahoo Sports. "The commissioner's office said Wednesday the 18-year-old right-hander tested positive for metabolites of Boldenone. He signed in October and is on the roster of the Angels' Dominican Summer League team."
- This is because Sean Burnett is still not ready to pitch: Maronde gets shot to fill lefty slot in Angels bullpen - The Orange County Register. "Maronde and Rule 5 pick Brian Moran are the only healthy left-handed relievers still in camp. Rather than start the season with an all right-handed bullpen, the Angels are likely to keep Maronde, Moran or both."
- Is anyone surprised by this? Despite Angels' star presence, season-ticket sales are down - latimes.com. "...the Angels' season-ticket sales are down — by more than 20% since 2012, by about 40% since a record high in 2006. As it turns out, star power does not attract fans if the team is not winning." Remember when Rangers' fans gave Josh Hamilton a bunch of crap for saying Dallas isn't a baseball town? Is SoCal really not a sports town?.... "Everybody has the same challenge — basketball, hockey and baseball," said Robert Alvarado, the Angels' vice president of marketing and ticket sales. "We operate our business in an event town. It's not a sports town. Although there is a rabid following for the local teams, the following tends to follow performance. It's always been like that in Southern California."
- See what happens when you diss the great Sammy Sosa...Sammy will get you: Aroldis Chapman pokes fun at Sammy Sosa on Instagram (Photo) - Yahoo Sports. "Chapman was getting a haircut Tuesday and had what looks like shaving cream covering his face. He posted the photo on Instagram with the caption, "I am not Sammy Sosa lol." While Chapman's intention probably wasn't to make some sort of cultural statement here, it's worth noting that "whiteface" is a thing." It starts by making fun of Sammy's skin color and the next thing you know, you're face down with your blood on the ground: Aroldis Chapman of Cincinnati Reds hit in face by line drive, carted off - ESPN. "The hard-throwing left-hander was struck by Salvador Perez's hit with two outs in the sixth inning. The pitcher crumbled to the ground, face down and flailing his legs. The ball caromed into the third base dugout." Aroldis Chapman struck in face by line drive, suffers fractures above left eye and nose - Yahoo Sports. "Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is conscious and talking to medical personnel after being struck in the face by a Salvador Perez line drive during Wednesday night's Cactus League game against the Kansas City Royals. The early word from the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans is Chapman never lost consciousness on the field and was to have suffered a laceration and a contusion above his left eye. The Reds later reported x-rays taken at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center revealed fractures above his eye and nose. He'll undergo further testing overnight." Watch it if you must:
- Yes please: Javy Guerra Drawing Trade Interest - MLBTradeRumors.com. "Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra is drawing trade interest from several teams, a source tells MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo"
- These fans were obviously pissed about the Dodgers getting rid of Guerra: Dodgers fans fight with security during Hanley Ramirez autograph session (Video) - Yahoo Sports. "What you'll see is a skirmish already underway involving security and a male fan decked out in Dodger blue. Females described as family members of the fan attempt to pull security away and begin swinging and connecting with a few slaps to the guards . Eventually, one of the females takes a hard tumble to the ground after being shaken off by a guard." Silly Dodger fans.
- MLB system discourages teams like Astros from promoting top young talent - FOX Sports on MSN. "Outfielder George Springer, the Astros' top prospect, has yet to play an inning in the major leagues. He almost certainly will not make the team's Opening Day roster. Yet last September, the Astros offered him a seven-year, $23 million contract, according to major league sources. Springer, 24, rejected the offer, sources said, declining to give up three years of arbitration and one year of free agency. The obvious question: If Springer was good enough to be offered $23 million, why isn't he good enough to crack the 25-man roster of a team that has finished with the worst record in the majors in each of the past three seasons?"
Tech-savvy Pirates testing a new secret weapon this spring - TribLIVE. "Martin typically wears the device during his program workouts — which can includes sprints, weight lifting and batting practice — and then during a game. "The most calories I've burned is 3,600 calories, which was over a six-hour period," Martin said. "But like Pedro (Alvarez) has burned 6,600. Depending on your conditioning level, (weight), all those things factor in. His heart rate is at a higher rate. He takes a ton of swings. He works a lot." The Pirates still are in the exploratory stage with the technology, investigating its benefits. Like with any new technology or data, there will be potential benefits that are not immediately apparent."