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Thursday Halolinks: Where will Weaver's velocity bottom out?

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Sure, he lives on location, but how slow is too slow for Jered Weaver's fastball?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks for the kind words about keeping Halolinks personal, I appreciate being part of such a great community.  On that note, today is moving day!  That means I can actually focus more (all?) of my attention on baseball!!

In the meantime, here are today's Halolinks:

  • How little is too little?  Stop it, I'm talking about Jered Weaver's velocity.  We all know Weaver gets by locating his pitches instead of blow away the hitter with "electric" stuff, and has done reasonably well, but I wonder...when does his stuff get hittable regardless of where he throws it?  If his fastball dips into the low 80's, does it matter where it's thrown?  BBTF's Newsblog Discussion :: Jered Weaver’s velocity takes a dip in Angels’ 6-5 loss to Arizona - LA Times, "Jered Weaver’s fastball averaged 86.8 mph last season, when he went 18-9 with a 3.28 earned-run average, but even by his standards, his velocity is down this spring. The right-hander ranged from 82-84 mph and hit 85 mph twice in a three-inning, two-run, five-hit effort. "How many velocity questions are we going to have?" Weaver said in response to his first velocity question of the spring. "I don’t pay attention to velocity. It’s more about getting location down and being able to get on pitches when you need to." Manager Mike Scioscia said he thinks Weaver’s velocity will increase when he irons out his mechanics. "He has a lot of moving parts and was a little out of sync, really fighting himself," Scioscia said. "We know Weav is gonna be there."  I would have linked directly to the LA Times article, but I've viewed my allotted 5 articles already this month.  If you have a subscription, or whatever, here's the link to the LA Times article.
  • I usually don't link to pay sites, but this was an interesting continuation of ESPN power rankings.  MLB - Future Power Rankings heading into the 2015 season - ESPN (Insider), "As in past renditions of the MLB Future Power Rankings, we've asked three of our top baseball analysts -- Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney -- to rank all 30 teams across five different categories in an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years."
    If the Angels are able to strengthen their minor league system, they'll obviously improve on their #12 ranking.
  • Here are a couple of today's (yesterday's) Angels.com posts:

    Good news/bad news; Wilson hurt, we get to see Newcomb: Wilson scratched after tweaking left knee, "C.J. Wilson was scratched from his scheduled Thursday start against the Cubs after tweaking his left knee during pitchers' fielding practice a couple of days ago, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday morning. Sean Newcomb, the 21-year-old left-hander who was drafted 15th overall last June, will start in his place."

    Maybe those improved mechanics will give his velocity a little bump: Weaver focused on tightening up mechanics, "Before coming out for the fourth, though, the 32-year-old right-hander noticed his throwing motion was "getting a little too long," which was messing with the timing of his delivery. So he shortened up and felt the difference in his warm-up pitches. "That last inning felt really good," Weaver said, despite the home run. "We'll try to work from there."

    Matt Joyce is looking like a very good pick-up by Jerry Dipoto: Joyce's strong spring continues against D-backs, "Joyce was the only Angels starter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored to increase his Cactus League batting average to .500. More importantly, one of those hits was off an opposing lefty, an opposite-field, line-drive single off D-backs starter Robbie Ray. Joyce platooned a lot with the Rays and wants his chance to start against lefties this year. He'll get it if he performs in spring."

    And, yesterday I was wrong when I said this Will Ferrell bit was "lame".  Apparently its for a good cause: Stay classy! Will Ferrell to suit up for Angels today, "The star comedian will come through Tempe Diablo Stadium as part of his quest to play every position on the field for 10 different teams in one afternoon. The venture is for a new HBO special from "Funny Or Die" done in partnership with Major League Baseball as a means to raise money in the fight against cancer. Ferrell will be at Mariners-A's at Hohokam Stadium (12:05 p.m. PT first pitch), then Cubs-Angels (1:10), Reds-Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields (2:10), Giants-White Sox at Camelback Ranch (4:05) and Dodgers-Padres at Peoria Stadium (6:15)."

  • Seven rookie pitchers ready to make an impact this MLB season - SI.com, "Heaney isn't a future ace, but he projects as a solid mid-rotation starter who could develop into a No. 2 with improved command of his fastball, more consistency with his slider and further development of his changeup."
  • Yester I linked to an interesting post regarding the increase in Tommy John surgeries.  This post takes a look at some actual numbers relating to the increase.  Are pitchers getting hurt more often? - ESPN, "Here's what I did, in an admittedly imperfect study. With the help of Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index and search function, I went back to 1970 and counted how many pitchers made 30-plus starts each season. You can argue with this method. In the 1970s, some teams still used four-man rotations at times, so there were fewer rotation slots overall. On the other hand, starters had the chance to start more games in a season, so could miss some time and still meet the 30-start standard. In general, however, if you made 30 starts in a season, you made it through the season in one piece, and that's what I was trying to track."
  • Well how about that, Angels' reliever Joe Smith threw the best pitcher EVER: Inside the new system that wants to revolutionize how we look at pitches - Yahoo Sports, "No. 1 of more than 5 million is the Joe Smith fastball. The pitch stretched the limits of Greiner’s model, which currently rates pitch from -10 to +10, with anything 5.00 or better considered a quality pitch. Smith’s fastball scored a 10.031, one of a few pitches with a QOP greater than 10. "It was a perfect combination of all three factors: movement, velocity and location," Greiner said. "He’s a sidearmer, so he comes from way off the map, to the outside corner. To the regular fan, it’s like, OK, [93] mph, that’s cool."
  • Parity Found: Welcome to MLB’s 2015 Projected Standings, Where Everyone (and No One) Is a Winner - Grantland, "Meanwhile, the Central and the West are projected to have new division winners — the Indians and the Mariners, respectively — but in both cases, the projected margins of victory over last year’s winners (the Tigers and Angels) are a single game. At the moment, no AL team has even a 45 percent chance of winning its division this year."
  • Just click the link and enjoy a laugh: The Screwball: Fun With Old Photos – The Hardball Times
  • What was the guy in the orange shirt thinking?  Was he trying to use his mental powers and mind control to alter the course of the ball?  And then it looks like he's blessing the woman for a quick recovery: PSA: Don't check your phone in the second row of an NBA game or else - SBNation.com, "Dear everyone, please pay attention during basketball games. There may be an instance where basketballs fly directly at your face when you are checking your phone. For like, no reason."