Vernon Wells is optimistic about his first season with the Angels - angels.com
"Whenever you look around the Major Leagues, and for me, it was obviously more American League than National League, you think: 'What would it be like to play there?'" Wells said Wednesday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. "When you play in Anaheim, the weather's always beautiful, the stands are always packed, the team is always good. It's one of those few places where I thought it would be neat to play there."
And the women are pretty neat too. Although this is basically a "puff piece" about how Wells will miss his former team and how he's looking forward to winning with the Angels, I did think this tidbit was interesting: "Wells, a three-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, is the American League's all-time leader in fielding percentage (.993) among outfielders who have played at least 1,000 games." Okay, I get that fielding percentage isn't really an accurate stat in judging a player's defense, but still, that's kind of neat.
Angels lose to Colorado, 8-1 - latimes.com
AT THE PLATE: Bobby Wilson continued his sensational spring, going two for three to raise his average to .429. He also drove in the Angels' only run, beating out an infield hit to score Mark Trumbo. ON THE MOUND: Scott Kazmir had an eventful 65-pitch outing in which he gave up everything but an earned run, allowed five hits and four walks, committed an error and made a wild pitch. Relievers Kevin Jepsen, Jordan Walden and Jason Bulger followed, combining for three scoreless innings in which they gave up two hits. Walden has not given up a run this spring.
Bobby Wilson! Any day now, Mike Scioscia's going to name Wilson his starting catcher. Alright, maybe not. More on Kazmir in the following link...
MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
Rockies 8, Angels 1 - FOX Sports on MSN
Angels starter Scott Kazmir made his third spring start and pitched out of several jams. He went three innings, allowing an unearned run, and five hits, four walks and a strikeout. The Angels are trying to get Kazmir to simplify his delivery in the hopes of returning him to his All-Star form with Tampa Bay a few seasons ago. ''I really feel like I'm this close to making the transfer from the bullpen (throwing sessions prior to the game) to the game,'' Kazmir said. ''It's almost like I want to put a little more on it when the batter's in there.''
Anyone else think Kazmir is the luckiest mo-fo in baseball? At least so far this spring? In three innings he gave up five hits, four walks and ONE UNEARNED run? How in the hell do you do that?
Former Angels reliever Troy Percival says their bullpen is better than people think - latimes.com
In Percival's mind, though, giving relievers a role is important and Rodney's role is closing out games. "It's definitely better to have roles," Percival said. "Guys take pride in 'that's my inning. I handled my inning.' It doesn't always work that way. You've got to mix and match here and there. But I think just having guys that know where their role is, it's always helpful."
This is an interesting take about roles by Percival. I'm one to criticize Scioscia's use of his relievers because he sticks so vehemently to roles, while I think they should be used based on match-up. However, Percival makes a good point as far as a pitcher claiming ownership to their assigned tasks and using that towards success. Humm...perhaps Scioscia knows more about baseball than I do?
DiSarcina rejoins Angels to climb ladder back to majors - The Orange County Register
The Massachusetts native spent the previous four years working in a variety of roles for the Boston Red Sox. But he jumped at the chance to return to his "baseball home" when the Angels offered him a job as a special assistant to GM Tony Reagins this past off-season.
Oh great, the Angels signed another slap-hitting middle infielder. Actually, I think it's pretty neat that some players are able to come back and help their former team. Now if the Angels could just get Darin Erstad back to teach this team some "grit".
Agent charged with stealing from Angels player - Yahoo! Sports
Authorities say Fernandez was working for Hendricks Sports Management between 2008 and 2009 when he conducted numerous financial transactions from Morales’ business account. Coral Springs police began an investigation after the ballplayer’s attorney contacted them and told them that Fernandez didn’t have permission to remove money from the account.
Apparently this d-bag took $305,000 from Morales' bank account. Allegedly. Maybe he was trying to buy back Kendrys' missing "S".
Lefty newcomers pay off for Angels in 'pen - angels.com
The Angels' winter shopping spree on left-handed relief is looking like a wise investment, in light of early returns. Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi, veterans acquired to provide balance to a bullpen that was tilting heavily to the right, have been in fine early grooves. Downs, one of the game's premier setup artists in Toronto, is 1-0 and has yielded two hits and no runs in three innings, striking out one hitter. Opponents are batting .182 against him. Takahashi (1-0) also has worked three innings, giving up three hits and hitting one batter while striking out two. Hitters are batting .214 against the former Yomiuri Giants star who excelled last year for the Mets in his debut Major League season.
Here's my regularly scheduled Lyle Spencer bashing...
I understand Spencer has to fill space, but how about something interesting besides printing such pointless stats that are based on a microscopic sample size? Really? Downs is only allowing a .182 batting average against him after facing a whopping 14 batters! Whew. No, but really, if he's going to write about the two new guys in the bullpen, how about asking Downs if he's been told what his role is in the Angels pen, and if Takahashi has any opinions on why he did so much better as a reliever than as a starter for the Mets last season. You know, something interesting. Something neat.
Royals' Smith making quick impression - Wichita Eagle
It's different this time around for left-handed pitcher Will Smith. A year ago, in camp with the Los Angeles Angels, he often found himself in awe of his surroundings. Not surprising, really. The Angels were a veteran club coming off a fifth division title in six years, while Smith had spent the previous season in Low A-ball at Cedar Rapids. Smith, 21, is part of a collection of young arms seeking to make an impression with the Royals after arriving last July with pitcher Sean O'Sullivan in the trade that sent third baseman Alberto Callaspo to the Angels. And now? Smith has been, quite simply, the best pitcher in camp, retiring all nine hitters over three innings in two relief appearances. His next test figures to be sterner: A starting assignment today when the Royals send a split squad to Phoenix to play Oakland.
Small sample size. But still kind of interesting.
Braves' manager recovering after accident - Atlanta Business Chronicle
Salazar, 54, who recently moved to the Braves’ organization as Class A Advanced Lynchburg’s manager, suffered multiple facial fractures when the ball hit the left side of his face near his eye. More tests will be conducted to determine the extent of damage, mlb.com reported. Doctors said on Wednesday they've determined there is no brain damage.
Geez. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery (thanks to Mr. Neyer for the link: Braves' Luis Salazar Recovering In Hospital - SBNation.com)
Fan hit in eye by hot dog loses case - FOX Sports on MSN
A jury ruled Wednesday that the Kansas City Royals will not have to pay damages to a fan who claimed a hot dog launched into the crowd by their mascot — a lion named "Sluggerrr" — caused him a serious eye injury, Chicago Breaking Sports reported. The attorney for the plaintiff, John Coomer of Overland Park, Kan., said the wayward wiener detached his client's retina and required three surgeries to fix. The Royals argued Coomer, who was seeking $25,000 in damages, should have taken more responsibility for his own protection at the game in September 2009.
Oh, this is just TOO easy, but I'd be stupid to pass up the opportunity. Remember kids, take the responsibility of using protection seriously when the possibility of a wiener hitting you in the eye exists. Especially by a guy named "Sluggerrr". "Wayward wiener" FTW!
Greinke's not the only dumb MLB injury - FOXSports.com
Jim Lonborg never got to spring training in 1968. Coming off a 22-9 season in which he struck out an AL-high 246 batters and was a key to the Boston Red Sox advancing to the World Series, Lonborg spent the 1967 holidays at Lake Tahoe with actress Jill St. John. On his final run down the slopes on Christmas Eve, Lonborg had a wreck, which resulted in tearing the ligaments in his left knee. The injury prompted teams to create what became known as the "Jim Lonborg Clause" in contracts, in which players are forbbiden from partaking in various activities deemed dangerous.
I have one question, why was he skiing when he had soon to be Bond-girl Jill St. John there?
Raul Gonzalez will be Miguel Cabrera's sober companion - FOX Sports on MSN
Raul Gonzalez, a former major league outfielder, has been named as the companion for Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera in the program established by Major League Baseball and the players’ union to treat his alcohol addiction issues, FOXSports.com learned Wednesday.Gonzalez, 37, is the sole companion for Cabrera under the program and will be with him "all year long," Dombrowski said. Gonzalez can’t be in uniform during games but will assist the team with on-field pregame workouts.
I wonder who's paying for Cabrera's daycare service? Actually though, this is a smart move by the Tigers. When you're spending $20M for a player, the amount you're paying his babysitter is going to be money well spent if he stays out of trouble.
Made You Miss: Best Whiff Rates of 2010 - Beyond the Box Score
This post will be dedicated entirely to the whiff, as I will present the pitches that garnered the highest whiff rates (misses per swing) in 2010.
Interesting article, but what I found even more interesting is Jered Weaver's not on the list. I may be wrong, but what I took away from that was Weaver, while leading the league in strike outs, doesn't rely on just one pitch to get his K's, but is able to get swing-and-misses with his entire arsenal. (Note: he does show up in the comment section of this post)
Developing Plate Discipline - Beyond the Box Score
I don't think it's an uncommon experience for a fan to wonder about a certain player on their favorite team, "man, that guy has a lot of tools... if only he'd develop some plate discipline!" I know I've had it (*cough* Adam Jones *cough*). How often do those young guys actually improve though? Off to Baseball-Reference's trusty play index for a quick look!There are 49 players who had a strike-out to walk ratio of at least 4 over the course of their first five seasons (with a minimum of 1,000 plate appearances). Adam Jones is included, as are a number of other current players including youngsters Delmon Young, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Howie Kendrick, as well as guys on the down swings of their careers like Alfonso Soriano, Jose Guillen, and Pedro Feliz.
Another interesting, I mean neat article from Beyond the Box Score.
Oft-injured Eric Chavez adjusting well to East Coast transplant - USATODAY.com
Chavez, who has played in only 154 of a possible 648 games over the last four seasons because of a litany of back, shoulder and neck injuries, is 9-for-19 (.474) in Grapefruit League games so far. "If it were just me, in a room by myself and I had to decide, it probably would have been L.A.'' said Chavez, 33. "But now my wife has a pretty big say in everything and I value her opinion. With the organization, the situation, obviously they're in the postseason every single year, and then my wife's desire to do it, when you add it all up, it made sense.''
I'm curious to know if the Angels had considered Chavez to fill a bench role with the club considering their needs at first and third? Chavez is going to be one of the players I kind of follow this season just because I've always liked him, and I like rooting for players who stick with it and continue to work.
Teams Inquiring On Alex Gordon: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
Other teams have asked the Royals about Alex Gordon, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter). And although the hype around Gordon has faded and shifted to a new group of Royals prospects, the team is still invested in him and its asking price remains high. Kansas City wants a "prime prospect" in exchange for Gordon, according to Olney.
Another "first and third" guy I'm curious about.
2011 MLB Draft Q&A: Phillip Evans - Scout.com
Kevin Levine-Flandrup: When you get up to the plate, what is your main objective?
Phillip Evans: I take every at-bat as a new season, clear my mind, and have a quality at-bat every time. I’m usually hitting at the top of the order, so I’m just trying to get on base and help my team win. Whether it’s by walking or driving a ball when I get a good pitch to hit, I don’t try to do too much – just get on base. The homers will come, you know? I just worry about getting a good pitch and putting a good swing on it so it will carry.
This is the "Dumb Interview Question of the Day". Although the question is really stupid, Evans' answer is really good. Does that make the question good?
March 10 - BR Bullpen
Events, births and deaths that occurred on March 10.
1857 - The National Association of Base Ball Players is formed at a meeting in New York City. Twenty two teams are represented, and William Van Cott of the Gothams is elected president.
1904 - New York Giants players leave Mobile, AL ahead of the law after a local judge issues a warrant for their arrest for beating a local umpire unconscious during an exhibition game. The players were goaded by manager John McGraw
2009 - Cuba beats Australia 5 - 4, on a pinch-hit 2-run homer from Yosvani Peraza off Rich Thompson, clinching a slot in round two.
1980 - Justin Hancock, minor league infielder He's got a funny name.