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Thursday Halolinks: Hank Conger sent to Houston for pitching

The Angels front office has started fixing the problems with pitching depth by sending Conger to Houston.

See ya, Hank.
See ya, Hank.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not a very good writer.  If I were, the things I write would be paying my rent each month rather than filling my gas tank one out of every 4 weeks.  This isn't a complaint by any means, I feel lucky that I can do this since obviously I like it, it's just as obvious that I've reached my ceiling...creative-wise.  It's when I run across the two articles below I get mixed feelings.  The first is exceptional, making me jealous of the author's talent.  And then I read the second post, and well, I wonder, "How the fuck is this idiot getting paid to write this pile of crap?"  I suppose being mediocre has its advantages.

Middle of the road Halolinks:

  • Read this.  Now.  10 Things I Believe About Baseball Without Evidence - Ken Arneson, "Belief Without Evidence #9: A lineup without holes scores runs exponentially, not linearly This is probably the easiest of my hypotheses to disprove. But I have the gut feeling that one guy who is an automatic out in the middle of a lineup can take a rally that might score five runs and drop that rally down to 0 or 1 runs."
  • And then read this shit.  Geeks inherit the Earth, or at least the Dodgers front office - LA Times, "They run things now. They’re making the decisions and signing the paychecks. All those years spent cozying up to the jocks and the popular kids just wasted."
  • Dan Haren - Defender of the defenseless: Adam LaRoche kills giant elk and Dan Haren is possibly sad about it | Big League Stew - Yahoo Sports, "With that in mind though, not everyone believes in or supports LaRoche's offseason activity. Among them might be his Nationals' teammate from 2013, pitcher Dan Haren, which could have made things awkward if true. Here's Haren's response to LaRoche's picture on Twitter."
  • Here's a little more on yesterday's trade with Houston: Los Angeles Angels pick up Nick Tropeano, Carlos Perez for Hank Conger - News, "Tropeano was the Astros' No. 13 prospect and is the prize return for L.A. He's a right-handed hurler with a fastball and changeup that both receive above-average grades. The 24-year-old was one of the Pacific Coast League's best starters in 2014, posting a 3.03 ERA with 120 strikeouts and 33 walks in 124 2/3 innings. ... Tropeano was especially good early in 2014, with his ERA dropping to 2.09 by mid-June. He battled through forearm soreness in late June and ended up missing about a month to rest the injury. His fastball command was lacking upon his return, but he finished off the season allowing just three earned runs over his final 23 innings."
  • Should we start calling Dipoto "Ninja"?  Nah. Angels move quickly to address pitching shortcomings - The Orange County Register, ""Lo and behold, when no one was looking, we have come up with some starting pitching depth," General Manager Jerry Dipoto said."
  • I'm going to miss Hank.  Regardless of his skills, he was fun to watch. Hank Conger's suspect framing numbers - Beyond the Box Score, "So what should we think about Conger? Maybe, as Jeff Sullivan wondered last year, he's actually improved his defense; rebuttals in the comment section of that post suggest otherwise. In my opinion, this smells of a fluke, or at the very least an unreliable sample. With the rush to scrutinize every little transaction of the offseason, my fellow sabermetricians shouldn't blow this out of proportion. We know better — or at least, we should."
  • Johnson named Angels' roving infield coordinator -, "Johnson -- a former infielder who played his only six Major League games with the Angels in 2000 -- will work alongside longtime second baseman Bobby Knoop in a role once held by 11-time Gold Glove Award winner Omar Vizquel, now the Tigers' first-base coach"
  • Would you trade Mike Trout in order to get Pujols' contract off the books?  Is his contract that bad?  Mike Trout and the Angels’ Bad Contracts: A Hypothetical - FanGraphs Baseball, "Last March, Dave Cameron referred to Mike Trout as the king of trade value, now and forever. During the summer, Dave asserted that Albert Pujols has the lowest trade value in the majors. This is why Trout and Pujols have been selected: They represent the very best and the very worst of something. Let’s proceed so we can never have to talk about this again — for a week or two."