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Wednesday Halolinks: Regulars getting into shape for season start

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As the season opener draws nearer, the Halo starters are getting more playing time.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As was noted yesterday, the club has begun having their "regulars" getting more game time in preparation for the beginning of the season.  During yesterday's game, Aybar, Trout, Pujols, Cron, Cowgill, Rutledge, and Butera remained in the game until the last couple innings, while Freese left a bit earlier due to a slight injury he sustained on a play at third.  The only starter missing from the line-up was Kole Calhoun, as he has a minor hand injury and was given the day off from swinging a bat.

Halolinks:

  • It looks like the pitchers are also getting closer to the start of the season.  Yesterday's starter, Andrew Heaney, tossed 91 pitches before falling apart in the 5th inning.  Up until that point, Heaney's outing was going well, the best he's looked all spring, before giving up a couple home runs and getting knocked out of the game.  Pujols goes deep again, but Heaney, bullpen roughed up - angels.com, "Angels starter Andrew Heaney went 4 2/3 innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, a walk and three strikeouts. He had a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth before giving up home runs to Rosales and Elvis Andrus."
  • Anyone else worried about the second base situation?  The season starts in just a little over a week from now, and it doesn't look like any of the guys brought in to battle for the position has done anything to win it.  And tell me, if Featherstone wasn't a Rule 5 player, would he really make the team? Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston 'in a good spot' to make team - The Orange County Register, "He's done nothing to lessen our enthusiasm about his ability to hold a utility position," general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday. "He's put himself in a good spot."  FanGraphs takes a look at positional ranking at second base...2015 Positional Power Rankings: Second Base, "What this collection of players represents is the most downgraded second base unit, relative to last year’s rankings, going from eighth to 26th. The Angels traded away Howie Kendrick for Andrew Heaney, and replaced Kendrick by acquiring Josh Rutledge and Johnny Giavotella. So, really, they didn’t replace him at all." By the way, the Phillies (Chase Utley) are ranked 8th...oh, and he's projected to have a higher WAR than Kendrick).
  • Rev wrote about this a few days ago, and now the OC Register has caught up with the story:  Drew Rucinski opening eyes in Angels camp - The Orange County Register, "Drew came in as guy no one paid a whole lot of attention to, but in the last 10 days, Drew has put himself in position not only to be on our club, but I have already fielded multiple phone calls from other teams wondering if Drew Rucinski might be available," Dipoto said. "He put his best forward at the right time, and we have noticed."
  • I'm still beating this bunting against the shift drum, and here's proof it works:
  • How MLB Profits From Players with Addictions - VICE Sports, "After a single, ill-advised night in a strip club over Super Bowl weekend, Hamilton faces a suspension of up to one year. If that happens, Angels owner Arte Moreno could find himself $23 million richer than he expected. See the potential problem? As currently constructed, MLB's drug policy—whether for performance-enhancers like steroids or recreational drugs like cocaine or marijuana—places the salaries of suspended players right back in the pocketbooks of their employers."
  • Someone emailed me a link to this picture on Mike Trout's Facebook page:


    I don't know who the other guy is (apparently he's the Philadelphia Eagles coach), but Trout seemed pretty excited to meet him.  Anyway, I'm not a big Facebook user, but I poked around on Trout's page...some good stuff.  Cool pictures from inside the locker room and such, yet the best thing, and something that's been mentioned a few times before, he's such a good guy.  A family-centered young man.  As Angels' fans, we're truly luck he's part of this team.
  • Sorry, but this is just gross. Brewers to unleash the ultimate Wisconsin brat, nachos this season - Yahoo Sports, "This brat has everything: fries, gravy, cheese curds and sauerkraut are placed on the dog. That gets covered with cheese sauce, fried jalapenos, sour cream and chives. This is, truly, the ultimate Wisconsin brat. The only way this could be more Wisconsin is it they served it with a mini Fonz statue on the side."  No, what's missing is the ranch dressing.  Today must be "Wisconsin Has The Grossest Food" day, coinciding with "Clog Those Arteries" day: