Back home Tuesday edition of Halolinks:
- This is getting crazy. Yet another showing from the anemic Halo offense results in a lose -- a lose that could have been an easy win had their hitters shown up: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - May 21, 2012 - MLB.com. "In suffering their third straight one-run loss in Monday's series opener, the Angels mustered five hits, went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and scored in only one of four innings that began with a runner on base. They're now 2-for-26 with runners in scoring position over the last three games -- totaling only five runs during that stretch" And what does Angels manager Mike Scioscia have to say about it? You guessed it, another meaningless quote: Angels continue to go nowhere - Sports - The Orange County Register. ""I don't see a lot of issues with the approach. It's execution," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of an offense that has gone 5 for 48 with runners in scoring position over the past five games. "I think guys had a good idea what to do against (A's starter Tommy) Milone. I think they had a good idea what to do against the pitchers in San Diego. You have to get in the batter's box and execute, not just with runners in scoring position." You would hope players with thousands of at-bats would know that they're supposed to hit the ball or at least get on base. Heck, my approach at the plate would be just as good...see the ball, hit the ball. My execution would be awful though, just like some other peoples'. And isn't "execution" (in this usage) the same as ability?
- Oh great, the Angels get to face a pitcher recently called up from the minors: Angels-Athletics Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The Los Angeles Angels didn't have much success at the plate during their series opener against the Oakland Athletics. An expected matchup with minor league callup Graham Godfrey might bring a different result for the Angels on Tuesday night." Different results? Yeah, right. On the other side of the field, C.J. Wilson hopes to figure out what's been going wrong for him in his last 3 starts: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics - May 22, 2012 - MLB.com. "Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson will be looking to rebound from three successive poor starts. Wilson, who was one of the Angels' big free-agent signings this winter, has given up 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings since dominating the Blue Jays on May 5. In his start Thursday against the White Sox, Wilson walked six batters in 3 2/3 innings."
- The Hardball Times has a couple articles about the recent firing of Mickey Hatcher: AL West: Oh, the storylines - The Hardball Times. "The Angels fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher last week. Hatcher had served in that role since the 2000 season. Looking back, his first year as hitting coach was the only time his team finished in the top half of the American League in walks. That organizational disdain for the base on balls, whether necessitated by personnel or by Hatcher's design, has led to below-average levels of team on-base percentage in all but four years of the former coach's reign. In three of those four good years, the team's OBP was propped up by American League-leading team batting average. Dave Schoenfield talked about this over at ESPN at the time of Hatcher's firing and pointed out that the Angels' approach at the plate mirrored Hatcher's own approach as a player." The fall of Mickey Hatcher - The Hardball Times. "Their runs-per-game tally was 4.12 (18th in the majors), their .253 batting average 15th, and their OBP of .313 was 21st. The teams' power numbers were average, with their 155 homers ranked 13th and the .402 slugging percentage at 14th. Their pitching was decent but—combined with an average offense—made them only the fringe Wild Card contender they ended up being and not the championship contender Moreno wanted."
- We've debated the actual contributions a hitting coach makes at the major league level, but here's a post that shows that the hitting coach can, and sometimes does have an impact: White Sox’ Adam Dunn Regains His Stroke - NYTimes.com. "As for his swing, it has been helped by a three-pound medicine ball the size of a bowling ball. During spring training, the White Sox’ new manager, Robin Ventura, and their new hitting coach, Jeff Manto, noticed that Dunn was lunging as he swung. He was shifting his weight forward in his stride, therefore depriving him of power. Ventura suggested a drill that he and Manto used as players — placing a medicine ball between Dunn’s legs during flip drills, while a coach kneels and tosses pitches to a hitter from a few feet away. "He took a liking to it, and it’s helped get his feet back under him," Manto said, explaining that the extra space between the legs forced a player to center his weight and stay back." Maybe someone should point this out to Pujols.
- There's always a silver lining: Vernon Wells: (Thumb) Out 8-10 Weeks - Yahoo! Sports. "Wells will miss at least eight weeks and will require surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb." The result of Wells' injury and the recent Torii Hunter family issues have created this: Outfield of the future is now - ESPN Los Angeles. "In fact, is it wrong to suggest this (the Wells injury) could actually help this team win some more games in the next few weeks? Bourjos is the best defensive outfielder in the organization, Trumbo's bat the most dangerous on the team for now and Trout perhaps a burgeoning superstar. Angels fans have been clamoring for this look since spring training and it's hard to fault them. If anything, it's the veterans who have held the Angels back, not the young players."
- Just wanted to point out a positive. Yes, the bullpen has been better, especially with the addition of Ernesto Frieri: Bullpen making strides after rough start - angels.com. However, it looks like the club is looking to sabotage the recent turn-around. "The Angels on Monday called up 26-year-old sinkerballer Bobby Cassevah, who had a 6.73 ERA and 1.92 WHIP in 12 Triple-A innings" I realize the PCL is a hitters' league, but seriously? A pitcher with a 6.73 ERA is the guy you call up?
- I predict Mark Trumbo does this during his career: Giancarlo Stanton busts Marlins Park scoreboard with tape-measure grand slam (VIDEO) - Yahoo! Sports. "Stanton's grand slam traveled an estimated 438 feet and, as was noted more than a few times, came off a pitcher who started his career in 1986, three years before the 22-year-old Stanton was even born."
- New owners, same thugs: 4 arrested after man's beating at Dodger Stadium - Wire. "The latest attack occurred Sunday, when the victim, a man in his 20s, had a collision with another driver and three other men pinned him down, police said. The other driver kicked and hit the victim in the head and face while he was on the ground, police Sgt. David Armas said. "It was just a minor fender bender that just got totally out of hand," he said." It was noted in the article that security responded quickly.