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Tuesday Halolinks: The return of Josh Hamilton

Angles' slugger Josh Hamilton makes his return from the disabled list Tuesday as the club heads to Houston.

Bob Levey

Well, that was a disappointing weekend.  The Angels went from 1.5 games behind Oakland to 4.5 by being swept by the division leaders.  Here are some month of May tidbits from the Angels press notes:

The Halos finished the month of May with a 16-12 record after a 14-13 showing in April…The 16 wins were tied for third in the A.L. and tied fourth in the Majors…The Halo staff held opposing hitters to a .233 clip in the month, good for third in the Majors…Angel relievers surrendered just 62 hits in May, the fewest in the Majors while their .225 average against ranked third in the A.L.…As a team, the Angels hit .267 (65/243) with RISP in May after posting a .227 clip in April

Let's hope June ends better than it began.  On to Halolinks:

  • And on to Houston, where the Halos start a 3-game series before heading home: Angels-Astros Preview - Yahoo Sports.  "Things didn't go quite as well over the weekend in Oakland as Los Angeles (30-26) suffered its second sweep of the season, surrendering 26 runs over three games. "We're looking at the big picture," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're a good team and our pitchers are a big part of that." The Angels turn to C.J. Wilson as they look to avoid their first four-game losing streak this year. Wilson (6-4, 3.05 ERA) has gone 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA over his last three starts, yielding three runs in 7 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 3-1 loss in Seattle."
  • Now that Josh Hamilton is all better and will make his return Tuesday, who gets the boot? Hamilton's return for Angels will be bad news for someone - OC Register.  "And then there is the elephant in the room. Raul Ibañez, who celebrated his 42nd birthday Monday, is hitting .147 with a .532 OPS. Even though he’s been relegated to starting only against right-handed pitchers, his numbers haven’t improved lately."  Although it should be Ibanez, my guess is Green gets sent down.
  • If Trout gets the most votes, does that mean he's the MVP? Mike Trout remains on top in latest AL All-Star Game voting update -  "The Angels star has received the most votes among all AL players at the first two ballot tallies of the season, but Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is closing in. It was Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who had the second-most votes at the first count last week. Trout, with 1,361,649 votes, leads all outfielders, but Bautista (1,351,896) is just behind."  Here are the rest of the leaders by position: Cano, Cruz, Melky take over starting spots in latest All-Star voting update -  "Major League Baseball released the second update of the American League All-Star Game fan voting on Monday"

  • This is pretty neat, look who hit the second longest home run of May: The five longest homers of May, as Paul Goldschmidt reigns supreme (Videos)  - Yahoo Sports.  "2. C.J. CRON — 468 FEET (MAY 10) This was the first career homer for the Los Angels Angels rookie. It was a big one."
  • Okay, I didn't read the entire post, but I heard it was good.  Hey, VIN SCULLY! 'We’ve been friends long enough you’ll understand': Vin Scully, baseball's longest-tenured and most eloquent broadcaster, is still looking to make a connection -  "On a typical night at Dodger Stadium, Vin Scully sits in the booth that's named after him, perched on the chair he calls home for approximately 81 games a season. He has two media guides, home and away. Both are stuffed with index cards on which Scully has written notes on the stories he's researched, stories of greater depth, insight, and humor than the ones that come pre-printed in the team-authored books. His scorebook sits front and center in a custom-leather binder. He has another book off to the side containing key stats and more index cards, all of which are also prepared by Scully himself."
  • He wouldn't be the worst acquisition, and hardly the most expensive: MLB trade deadline: San Diego Padres preview - MLB Daily Dish.  "Ian Kennedy 73⅔ IP, 3.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.78 FIP, 2.92 xFIP Kennedy will be a free agent after the year and the chance that'd he'd accept a qualifying offer is far too high for the Padres to extend the offer. It'd be nice to get a draft pick in return for Kennedy's strong performance this year, but they seem better served to trade him while they can. Kennedy might appreciate that as well, since being traded would remove the qualifying offer from his list of things to worry about. He might not be a prime candidate for it considering his inconsistent performance in the past, so the Padres could look to secure a return on the trade market in July."
  • Be sure to check back here on HH for all-day Thursday  for Angels' draft coverage: Angels' Draft focus on stockpiling high-end arms -  "The First-Year Player Draft starts Thursday, and the Angels will finally have a first-round pick. They were without one the last two years, a result of the Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton signings in back-to-back Decembers. But they made it a point to stay away from signing any free agents tied to compensation this past offseason -- partly because none were all that intriguing, partly because they need high-ceiling prospects -- and they will have the 15th overall selection in the 2014 Draft."
  • Ah, so that's how you do it: To crack the MLB draft, I had to learn to stretch the truth. - : Dirk Hayhurst Article.  "I started throwing pitches I'd never thrown before in my life. When the right counts and situations presented themselves, I reached back, gripped the ball funny, and made sure scouts could write down more than "fastball/curveball." I even threw a fastball about 10 feet up the backstop just to see if I could really light up the radar gun. I only had to hit 95 mph once to have scouts write down, "has the potential to throw 95!"
  • UC Irvine Gives Anteaters 'Superfan' the Boot - WSJ.  "Mr. Franklin, 49, came to fandom late in life. He didn't attend UC Irvine, but grew up in the nearby city of Santa Ana. A self-described former drug addict, he has served time in prison on drug possession and burglary charges. But by the mid-1990s, he says, he'd cleaned up his act and threw himself "into my work and into baseball." He now works moving furniture and is taking night classes for a certification in welding."