Can you feel it? The cold of winter has finally melted away, leaving us with the warmth of spring! With the spring we receive the sunshine, the blossoming flowers, birds singing, and most important of all...Angels victories! Oh, and Halolinks:
- I'm surprised the Angels haven't been using Dane De La Rosa in higher leverage situations. The guy is lights-out! After stealing the right-handed reliever from the Tampa organization, pitching coach Mike Butcher (the magic-man of the Angels' organization) went to work on the beleaguered hurler and found value in his game. It also shows how good of a manager Mike Scioscia is when he can see the potential of a player using his strengths in certain match-ups. Yet, don't forget how timing can make or break a team's season, and Scioscia's uncanny ability to have the right player at the plate at the right time: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - April 23, 2013 - MLB.com. "It gave the Angels four wins in five games, snapped the Rangers' four-game winning streak and came two days after Mark Trumbo did the same against the Tigers. "I think just the fact that we're getting wins is the biggest thing," Kendrick said after driving in four runs and notching his second career walk-off homer. "Last year, we started off real slow. This year, we started kind of slow, but it's good to see everybody swinging the bat well. It's been a different guy every other night, and that's what we need. It lets you know that every guy is kind of locked in and we're playing well as a team. These are the type of victories we need."
- I'm glad we have Lyle Spencer around to remind us of how things work. I had forgotten how games during September count as double, while games in April don't even show up in the season standings: Lyle Spencer: Howie Kendrick provides reminder of Angels' depth - angels.com. "Pivotal games and crucial series do not arrive in April. They come later, when the temperatures rise. But there are important games in the season's cool first month, and this clearly was one for the Angels in the wake of a 7-11 start." I remember how Lyle mused about how much Howie looked like Manny Ramirez, and how I laughed. Oh my, do I look like the fool now.
- Someone needs to talk to this Trout kid about hot dogging it. I mean, how obvious is it that he slowed down so he'd have to dive to make the catch. Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels - April 23, 2013 - ESPN. "When I hit it and I saw where he was playing, I thought he had no chance to get there because it was hooking away from him. But I was wrong," Beltre said. "It's not fair to have three center fielders playing outfield here (Trout, Bourjos and Josh Hamilton). I tried right-center field the first at-bat, and Bourjos got over there. I don't know how. Then in the ninth inning, I hit what I thought was a double for sure and then that guy got there. It's not fair. I mean, where am I supposed to hit it?"
- Okay, maybe it was kind of a decent play: Angels 5, Rangers 4 - Yahoo! Sports. "It wasn't Trout's first highlight reel catch of the season, but the timing made it all the more spectacular. Playing left field, Trout made a diving catch just a few feet from the short fence near the left field foul pole, robbing Adrian Beltre of extra bases and more importantly, what would have been a go-ahead RBI. As it was, the catch was the third out of the top of the ninth inning, keeping the Angels and Rangers tied at 4."
- An interesting choice to start Wednesday's game, but I'm sure it's the right one. Roth had nine starts last season in the rookie league, and even had a start this season at Double-A. I'm sure those 5 innings of shutout ball will translate into an Angels' win: Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Angels - April 24, 2013 - MLB.com. "Opposing Darvish, the Angels will send rookie reliever Michael Roth to the mound in place of Tommy Hanson, who is on the bereavement list. "It's going to be a staff day unless Michael Roth goes and gets through six innings," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the 5-4 walk-off win that evened the series and snapped the Rangers' four-game win streak on Tuesday night. "It doesn't have to be, but I think we can back him up with some guys if we have to do. I think he's a good candidate, and it gives us more options where we can use Jerome [Williams] if we have to." Roth, 23, is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in five innings this season. He's walked one batter and struck out seven in four games but has not pitched more than two innings in an outing." Having not pitched more than 2 innings just means he's well rested for today's start.
- Thankfully the organization has the depth in the minors to absorb the loss of major league talent: Angels dealing with lots of bullpen turnover - angels.com. "At the moment, five members of the Angels' Opening Day bullpen are unavailable as relievers.
Jerome Williams is expected to start on Wednesday, with Tommy Hanson on the bereavement list. Garrett Richards is already taking the rotation spot of Jered Weaver (broken left elbow). Kevin Jepsen has been on the disabled list since April 13 because of a right shoulder strain and isn't expected to pick up a baseball for at least another week. Mark Lowe has been out since Saturday with a neck strain and won't be eligible to be activated until May 5."
- I usually will go to the source of a story when I find it on another site. For example with this post, the original source of the story is the OC Register, but since they are now behind a paywall, NBC will now get the clicks. Erick Aybar will not be ready until next week - HardballTalk. "According to beat writer Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Aybar has reported to extended spring training in Tempe, Arizona but is not yet appearing in games. So he won’t be activated this week, and probably isn’t going to be back in his normal playing shape until the middle of next week."
- You see, Mickey Hatcher was right all along: Virtue, and victory, no longer synonymous with patience at the plate - Tom Verducci - SI.com. "It isn't working. Hitters are striking out more than ever before in baseball history while runs, walks, hits and home runs have been on the decline for years. And while teams still preach the religion of driving up pitch counts to "get into the bullpen" of the other team, they may be pushing an outdated agenda. So fortified are major league bullpens these days, especially with hard throwers, that last year relievers posted an ERA more than half a run lower than starters and averaged almost one strikeout for every inning."
- Those crazy stat guys, everyone knows grit and a player's personality are the key to wins: Team-building with Billy Beane and Theo Epstein - The Providence Journal. "Having deep pockets allowed the Red Sox to pay a premium for the likes of Jonny Gomes, a clubhouse leader on three playoff teams since 2008 -- including last year's Athletics. There was room in the budget to pay for the personality traits that are intangible yet necessary to a winning team."
- It's good to read about nice things happening to nice people, and McCourt is pure class deserving of his good fortune: Frank McCourt profited $1.278 billion from Los Angeles Dodgers sale - Yahoo! Sports. "And he still has a 50 percent stake in the Dodger Stadium parking lots. " Godspeed, Frank. Godspeed.