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Thursday Halolinks: Is Jered Weaver a bust or a sleeper?

Some fantasy writers think Weaver's production is going to fall off this season, but velocity doesn't tell the whole story.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, I've got to mention it...I'll be in Arizona next week (and then SoCal the following weekend).  If you're going to any games, let me know, and we'll try to meet up.  Until then, I'll begin thawing out and posting Halolinks:

  • I was catching up on some fantasy baseball stuff last night and noticed the team in my league who had had Jered Weaver on their roster last season decided not to protect him.  Our league protects 14 players, so I really thought this was odd...that is, until I started reading some rankings and sleeper/bust projections.  Most all included Weaver as a potential to have a disappointing season.  Most referenced his declining velocity and strikeout rates as a sure sign he'll no longer be a top starter this year.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about: Adam Jones, Jered Weaver among potential AL fantasy busts -  "Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels -- Pick a red flag, any red flag. No matter which is your preference, it will portend of Weaver disappointing his fantasy owners for the second straight season. Maybe strikeout rate is your go-to stat. Well, you'll see that Weaver posted a career-worst 18.5-percent rate last season. Oh, you're a FIP man? I like that stat, too. No better way to compare pitchers then to measure just what they can control. Weaver's FIP jumped to 3.82 last year, the third consecutive season in which it increased. Maybe you put a premium on pitchers who get ahead in the count. Weaver failed to throw strike one on the first pitch last year to more than 60 percent of batters for the first time since his rookie season. I'm a velocity man, though. And that's where the most biggest, boldest red flag shows up for Weaver. His average fastball fell again last year, all the way to 86.5 mph."  Hopefully Weaver's career morphs into a Greg Maddux-type situation as he ages.  Maddux didn't have the fastest of fastballs, and he strikeout rates are almost identical to Weaver's.  Two things I'm looking forward to this season; 1) drafting Weaver for my fantasy team (if he lasts), and, 2)  Watching Weaver lead my team and the Angels to a championship. Angels' Jered Weaver goes four innings in loss to Giants -  ""It went all right," Weaver said of his outing. "I felt good coming out of it. Probably left a couple pitches up, a little excited, but other than that, I felt pretty good out there."
  • I hate to mention it, but the other name that showed up on the "busts" list was Albert Pujols.  It's pretty easy to add Pujols to those lists, especially since he was already one of the biggest bust last season.  Healthy Pujols looking sharp on defense -  "That's what we're used to seeing out of him," Weaver said after giving up two runs (one earned) in four innings during his second Cactus League start. "You can tell he feels good, feels healthy. He's a Gold Glove first baseman when he's feeling good, feeling healthy, and obviously we saw it on that play."
  • Hey look, I can access OC Register articles online.  Did they give up on charging people for their web content? Relocating Angels could cost up to $700 million, consultant says - The Orange County Register.  "The estimate comes just weeks after Angels team owner Arte Moreno said that he felt ongoing negotiations were "going backward" in striking up a new stadium lease with Anaheim city officials. Moreno has since met with Tustin city officials to discuss the possibility of moving the team."
  • Maybe the Angels front office knows a little more about their players than we do: Cardinals' Peter Bourjos being held out of games with 'leg tightness' -  "They're testing him out," said manager Mike Matheny. "He has good strength, which is always the sign that we're not looking at anything major. But it was a little tender. We're just staying away from pushing him."
  • Very classy move by these two organizations.  I haven't heard anything the Angels might have planned to honor Fregosi, but I'd be very surprised if they didn't do something: Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves pay tribute to Jim Fregosi with pregame ceremony - ESPN.  "I loved him," Schuerholz said. "I loved being around him. I loved his personality. I loved how he loved life. I loved how he loved what we do. I loved that he was a major league player when he was 18, and an All-Star and a manager, and a scout of great reliability, with great passion for his work. I loved all that about him. And I loved being his friend."
  • Dodgers are favorites to win the World Series, according to oddsmaker - Yahoo Sports
    Odds to win the 2014 AL West
    Texas Rangers — 7/4
    Oakland Athletics —  2/1
    Los Angeles Angels —  9/4
    Seattle Mariners — 7/1
    Houston Astros —  50/1
    The Angels are a 20/1 shot to win the World Series.
  • StubHub penalizing brokers who relisted Derek Jeter tickets - ESPN New York.  "StubHub allows sellers to cancel sales, but not in the quantity that happened after Jeter announced his retirement on Feb 13. In the hour after Jeter's announcement, the cheapest ticket to the Yankees' final game of the 2014 season against the Red Sox at Fenway rose from $26 to more than $200, while the listing on all tickets rose by more than 250 percent."
  • I had no idea Sam Miller knew Ladybug!  But what I want to know is, what was she doing up Scioscia's nose??  Pebble Hunting: The Best GIFs of the 2014 Baseball Season - Baseball Prospectus.  "Angels bug.gif September 28, 7th inning vs. Seattle Mariners. Frames 1 to 9: Scoreboard shows out-of-town scoreboard; Oakland defeats Texas, clinching division. Frames 10 to 220: Scioscia Face, identical to millions of other extended Scioscia faces: Exasperation directed at outside force that once again thwarts his perfect plan for success. Brow contracts. Eyes tighten. Mouth, caught between protest and pout. He’ll probably get fired, this time for sure, not because his team wasn’t successful, didn’t outperform local expectations, didn’t improve by 10 games, didn’t finish ahead of Texas, didn’t win nine of 12 down the stretch (including this game against Seattle, in the bag but academic now) but because Oakland won 12 of 12 down the stretch. Going to get fired because a bunch of nobodies in Oakland got hot like always. So unfair. Frames 221 to 232: A ladybug crawls out of his nose and into his ear.
  • This is odd; I've always thought Chelsea Handler was disgusting and gross.  Chelsea Handler Rips Yankees’ A-Rod, Calls Him ‘Disgusting’ & ‘Gross’ - CBS New York.  "She also called the 2009 World Series champion "a buffoon" and revealed that his assistant emailed her assistant on Tuesday, writing "Alex Rodriguez would really like to meet you in person." Handler told Stern that she declined the invitation. "That will just make him email me again, because guys like that love to be rejected," Handler told Stern. "He’s gonna act like, ‘Oh come on, you’re so funny. You’re so funny.’ No, I’m not being funny. I really don’t want to ever see you."