Wednesday Halolinks: How long will Raul Ibanez be an Angel?

This photo has nothing to do with today's article, but it was too awesome to pass on. - Jason Miller

He may be a great team mate, but come on, is he really the club's best option?

Let's see...

  1. Plenty of runs scored -- CHECK
  2. Great game pitched by starter -- CHECK
  3. No potential situation where the manager needs to do "something" -- CHECK
  4. ????
  5. PROFIT!!

Nothing to bitch about so I'll just move on to today's Halolinks:

  • Found this on the Angels' pressbox site: "Mike Trout is the first player in MLB history w/ at least 300 runs, 75 HR, and 75 steals in his first 400 games."  Amazing.  Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians - June 17, 2014 - MLB.com.  "Indians reliever Mark Lowe's 92-mph fastball to Mike Trout in the seventh inning ran low and in, near his ankles and a couple inches inside of home plate, so the Angels center fielder kept his hands in, dropped the bat head fast as lightning and scorched it over the tall fence near center field for his second home run, his third hit and his fourth RBI in the Halos' 9-3 win over the Indians on Tuesday night."  It was just yesterday that I linked to Dave Cameron's post on FanGraphs about pitching Trout down-and-in.  Trout made Cameron look like a genius when he smashed Lowe's pitch for his second home run of the night.
  • Red-hot Trout made it look easy in Angels' victory - The Orange County Register.  ""You knew it was just a matter of time for him to come around and have his numbers where they’re at," Conger said. Back on May 20, Trout woke up with a .263 average and he was leading the league in strikeouts. Since then, he’s hit .415 with eight homers, and struck out half as frequently as he had before. He’s lifted his average to .311. His first multihomer game since Aug. 30, 2011 – during Trout’s first cup of coffee in the majors – has increased his total to 16 homers. With the season 11 games from the midpoint, he’s on pace to surpass his career high of 30."
  • There were a couple of other guys who had a good game Tuesday: Trout's two homers pace Angels' win - Yahoo Sports.  "Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun had a home run and four hits and right-hander Matt Shoemaker pitched eight strong innings as the Angels snapped Cleveland's three-game winning streak. The win by the Angels also snapped Cleveland's 10-game home winning streak. It was Indians' first loss at Progressive Field since May 18. Shoemaker (4-1) pitched eight innings, striking out 10, with one walk and five hits."
  • Oh no, look at this -- the Angels might have too many starters!  Shoemaker makes case to stay with Angels - The Orange County Register.  "With Tyler Skaggs due to come off the disabled list sometime next week, one of the Angels current starters is going to have to go. Shoemaker made his case by tossing eight innings and striking out 10 – both career highs – while allowing just two runs in the Angels’ 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday. Shoemaker, who has now started seven games, lowered his ERA to 3.83."
  • Or not: Skaggs not able to throw simulated game yet - angels.com.  "Skaggs, on the disabled list since June 10 because of a strained right hamstring, didn't throw his scheduled simulated game at Progressive Field on Tuesday. Instead, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, the 22-year-old will "probably throw a bullpen in the next couple days." Scioscia said Skaggs didn't suffer a setback; the Angels are just "going on his pace." "He's feeling good," Scioscia added, "but not quite enough to do what you need him to do in a sim game."
  • Perception is a strange thing.  If someone had asked me how the club had been doing overall, but specifically on the road, I would have answered, "Very good, and they're even winning away from Anaheim."  And I would have been wrong: Angels-Indians Preview - Yahoo Sports.  "The Angels look for a second straight road victory for the first time in more than a month Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians. Los Angeles (38-32) had scored just 10 runs in its losses during a 1-4 stretch before breaking out for 15 hits in a 9-3 win Tuesday. The Angels haven't won two straight on the road since victories at Philadelphia from May 13-14."
  • Okay, I found something to bitch about...

    I'm a fan first, a Halolinks gatherer second.  Since my fandom sometimes requires me to have a certain amount of blind following when the team makes, or doesn't make player moves, I assume it's because they know more than I do.  Obviously, right?  They get to talk to the players, they have all this advanced scouting data, they've spent a ton of cash on magic Tarot cards, and they're smarter than me.  However, there are times when I scratch my head and wonder WTF are you doing??  If you're such a smart organization, why does Raul Ibanez have a roster spot and other teams are cutting loose players who are performing better than Scioscia's favorite toy?  In the last few days, Minnesota and Boston have released two players (Jason Kubel and Grady Sizemore) who are younger, better fielders, and better hitters than the 42 year-old DH and sometimes left field occupier.  Why is he still on the team??  Red Sox designate Grady Sizemore for assignment, call up prospect Garin Cecchini - HardballTalk.  "Sizemore got off to an impressive start after missing all of 2012 and 2013 with injuries, but then hit just .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS over a 43-game stretch from April 15 to June 15. Overall he hit .216 with two homers and a 41/19 K/BB ratio in 52 games, producing a measly .612 OPS that ranks 83rd out of 93 outfielders with at least 150 plate appearances."  Who is the worst hitter (based on OPS...minimum 150 AB) so far this season?  Take a look: Major League Leaderboards " 2014 " Outfielders " Advanced Statistics - FanGraphs Baseball.  Scan down and notice who are #8 and #10 (also #9 if you want to be sad).  Both of those players are now available.  They suck, but are available.
  • At this point, I think Scioscia is just trolling us: NL play, string of righties keeps Cron on bench - angels.com.  "Cron posted a .305/.329/.524 slash line in his first 26 games, but he has three hits and seven strikeouts in his last 20 at-bats and Scioscia prefers using Ibanez against righties, even though the 42-year-old is batting .150/.255/.256 so far."  Here's a note from the Angels (so they're aware of this): Last start came June 11 vs. Oakland…Has only appeared once since then (June 14 as PH).  Batting .321 (17/53) with two strikes this season…Has posted a .394 clip (13/33) with RISP."
    Troll_scioscia_medium
  • No One Can Find Raul Ibanez's Foul Ball.  "Raul Ibanez hit a foul ball in today's Angels-Indians game. That's not odd. The odd part is that no one found it."  It probably got sucked into some crazy alternate universe...you know, the one where Ibanez is good.
  • Did you hear, Troy Tulowitzki is more valuable than Mike Trout: Already the best, Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki wants to be better - Los Angeles Times.  "Tulowitzki is currently hurting baseballs all over the country. He went into Tuesday's game against the Dodgers leading the NL in batting average (.355), runs (55), slugging (.662) and on-base (.447) percentages, and is second in home runs (18) and third in runs batted in (45)."
  • Look who is in first place: Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers - Recap - June 17, 2014 - ESPN.  "It's been over a decade since the Kansas City Royals were in first place this late in the season, and try as he might, manager Ned Yost couldn't totally downplay the achievement. He just wants it kept in perspective. "It's nice. We've got a lot of games to play. We don't get all geeked up," Yost said. "It's better than the alternative, trust me."
  • Here's an interesting historic article you might find worth a reading: Walk Like a Sabermetrician: 1882 AA.  "The AA allowed twenty five cent admission, Sunday baseball, and alcohol sales. Critics of the league and NL snobs derided it as the "beer and whiskey league", because in addition to allowing sales, most of the teams were in some way backed by beer money."

Wednesdays are usually the day I have the most time to put together these posts.  That means I have the time to make some GIFs and look through more feeds for interesting stories, but this morning we're having some crazy weather in my area (western Wisconsin) and I've had my power cut out three times since I've started this post.  Everyone in my home is safe, but this SoCal guy isn't used to this crap.  Your regular Wednesday GIF-fest may return next week...dependent on the weather.

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