Three weeks until opening day:
- If he's not worried, I'm not worried...much: Rivera, Dodgers tag Weaver, beat Angels 9-1 - Yahoo! Sports. "I’m really not worried about results, to be honest with you," Weaver said. "I wasn’t really hitting my spots early on." "He was pitching from behind on the count," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But it’s early in the spring." What's interesting is the things that players notice that fans seldom pick up on. For example, here's a tidbit from Weaver about what he took away from yesterday's start: Weaver starts to break in all of his pitches - angels.com. "Weaver noted that the Dodgers hit a lot of foul balls, which is an indication to him that they weren't squaring up on a lot of his pitches, Andre Ethier's first-inning double to left being an exception." I've always thought that when a batter is fouling off pitches it's because the pitcher isn't able to get the hitter to swing and miss (duh), this being a weakness for the pitcher and not the hitter as Weaver suggests.
- Remember a couple of years ago many of us were saying the improved hitting approach was a result of adding Bobby Abreu to the lineup? I know I was one who thought Abreu's approach was rubbing off on the other batters. Now we get to read about Pujols' impact on his teammates: Will Pujols’ patience rub off on Angels’ hitters? - The Orange County Register. "During Guerrero's first six seasons with the team, the Angels ranked 28th, 25th, 22nd, 27th, 27th and 29th in the majors in total pitches seen. They jumped up to ninth in 2009 when a declining Guerrero played only 100 games and Kendrys Morales became the most important hitter in the lineup." The jump in 2009 also was impacted by the addition of Abreu. If you believe a player can make a positive impact on his teammates by having a good approach at the plate, it brings up the question; If a good hitter can have a positive impact on his teammates, does a player having a bad year (I'm looking at you Mr. Wells) have a negative impact?
- UPDATE: Deal of the Day. Google Play has "Moneyball" for your Android phone or tablet on sale today for just a quarter (25 cents). Here's the link: Books on Google Play
- MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...
23. Los Angeles Angels
System At a Glance: Without Mike Trout, this would be a nightmare, and he won't qualify anymore after his first big league game of the season.