July 5th, 1776..."now what?" July 5th, 2012..."Time to kick some ass!":
- Bill Plunkett tells it like it is: Santana awful again as Indians rout Angels - The Orange County Register. "Santana was dreadful, retiring just four of the 13 batters he faced in one of the worst starts of his career. The Cleveland Indians scored nine times in the first two innings on their way to a 12-3 rout of the Angels.The loss dropped Santana’s record to 4-9 and puffed his ERA up to 5.75. Over his past eight starts, he has allowed 38 earned runs in 43 2/3 innings (7.83 ERA). Unlike Haren, Santana has offered little in the way of explanation for his poor results. "I’ve been doing the same things I’ve been doing all year and it’s been an up-and-down year," Santana said." Being inconsistent has become Santana's consistency. Los Angeles Angels at Cleveland Indians - July 4, 2012 - MLB.com. "In Santana's first four starts this season, he pitched poorly (0-4, 7.23 ERA). In his next five, he was strong (2.25 ERA). In four starts after that, he struggled (10.18 ERA). Two starts later, he was on track (two earned runs in 17 innings). And in his last two, he's been hit hard (13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings)." What is so strange about Santana, besides his beard, is how he's either really good or really awful. I'd be happy if he were just okay most of the time...and he'd shave.
- Is being inconsistent an organizational thing? Orioles-Angels Preview - Yahoo! Sports. "The Angels have won all three home starts by right-hander Garrett Richards (2-1, 2.81), who is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in those contests. Richards was far from effective last Saturday in an 11-2 defeat at Toronto, surrendering 10 runs over 4 1-3 innings."
- Ailing Haren makes Halos vulnerable with depth - angels.com. "With Haren likely missing his scheduled Sunday start (perhaps more), Jerome Williams still working his way through a rehab assignment, Ervin Santana going through a roller-coaster season and the farm system not having much Major League-ready pitching, the Angels look like a club that could use more in that department. But don't expect them to be active in talks for Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels, or any other premium starter before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. General manager Jerry Dipoto wouldn't comment specifically on those players, but sources have said the Angels are unlikely to make major moves before July 31. They don't see many feasible upgrades becoming available, their payroll isn't very flexible, and the shrinking compensation in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement makes it hard to justify picking up a rental player like Greinke or Hamels."
- With the possibility of having two starters on the disabled list and one on the doing terrible list, the Halos might not have any other choice than to go out and acquiring another pitcher: Baltimore Orioles at Los Angeles Angels - July 5, 2012 - MLB.com. ""We're thin," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the organization's pitching. "Right now we're fortunate that we had some guys like Garrett Richards, who's ready." The Angels are in desperate need of a long start after their bullpen threw 10 1/3 innings in the past two games. Five different relievers saw action, with Hisanori Takahashi and LaTroy Hawkins appearing in both games."
- If the Angels don't have what it takes to acquire a front-line starter like Hamels or Greinke, the type of pitcher they may end up getting is someone like this: Rockies Rumors: Jeremy Guthrie Drawing Interest - MLB Daily Dish. "Guthrie, 33, is having the worst season of his career and holds a 6.56 ERA for 2012, up from his career ERA of 4.34. A closer look shows that his strikeouts have contracted to 4.5 per nine innings, down from a career 5.5 K/9. To make matters worse, his walk rate is up to 3.3 per nine from his career 2.7 BB/9 mark. On top of both a decreased strikeout rate and an increased walk rate, Guthrie is giving up nearly twice as many home runs every nine innings than he has for his career." Yikes.
Power Rankings: Halfway checkup reveals many valuable ... things? - CBSSports.com. "MVP: Mike. Freaking. Trout. LVP: Whoever was behind the decision to fire hitting coach Mickey Hatcher. He became the scapegoat to a slow start that was sure to turn around. And it did, pretty quickly right after he was fired. To those who don't think that's a coincidence, you're going to have to explain how Hatcher was causing Albert Pujols to hit poorly." Kind of an odd take and weirdly timed commenting on the Hatcher firing. Sure, it might be a coincidence that the Angel hitters started hitting after he was let go, but wasn't that the reason? Coincidence or not, the team was able to turn itself around, and that was the point. By the way, the Angels are currently ranked #4 in the linked rankings.
The 10 Best Rookie Starts in 2012 - Yahoo! Sports. "There's little doubt Trout's immediate impact is a major reason for the turnaround, and his continued development into a superstar will make them a dangerous foe come October." Gotta get to October first.
- I'm trying to picture some sort of natural disaster looming on the horizon to compare the return of Vernon Wells to, but am having a hard time finding anything destructive enough: What to do with Wells looms on horizon - The Orange County Register. "Wells said he has a target in mind to start a minor-league injury-rehabilitation assignment "shortly after the All-Star break" which arrives next week. Wells is on the 60-day DL and can't be activated until July 20 at the earliest." I got it...an huge asteroid hurtling towards earth that will cause the end of civilization, but only after causing the atmosphere to burst into flames for the entire Christmas season, before killing everyone with acid rain. Accompanied by a soundtrack created by Nickelback.
- 2012 Home Run Derby contestants and their numbers - The Hardball Times. "Trumbo is a total wild card for me. While possessing good pop (.223 ISO last year, .300 ISO this year), he does not possess the best contact skills (74.6 percent this year against an 80-plus percent major league average). Trumbo tends to swing and miss a lot (12.3 percent career whiff rate versus a 8.5-9 percent annual league rate), and a lot of his success in the derby will likely hinge on whether he properly squares up the ball. I guess that can be said about any derby participant, but the peripherals make it seem even more true for Trumbo." There are a few charts with this post, and one of the more interesting was the average distance each hitter's home runs traveled. Trumbo's homers traveled an average of 420 feet, furthest of any of the other participants. And speaking of home runs, the Hardball Times also has an interesting historical post about a team with short fences: Lessons from Lakefront Park,1884