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TuesdoLinks: Angels Offense Still Breathing Ether

Sure it might not mean much, but ALL teams get to face bad pitching in Spring and ALL teams get to rotate rosters and ALL teams get to see how prepped they are for Opening Day. Halos have been among the very best.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

From the Department of Don't You Wish It Means Something, comes this rolling update on the LA Angels Spring Training Offense throughout all of MLB:

#2 in Batting Average

#1 in On Base Percentage (tied with Arizona)

#3 in Slugging Percentage

#2 in OPS

#6 in Stolen Bases (Ok, this might actually mean something. It might mean we really ARE going to be more aggressive on the base paths.)

#2 in Caught Stealing (Which might also mean something. It might mean we are being too aggressive on the base paths for our talent levels.)

#28 in Strikeouts (as in, 3rd fewest)

#6 in walks

#3 in Runs Scored, which is why we are also #5 in RBIs. Which, when applied with being #18 in Home Runs, must infer that we are getting a lot of "small ball" out of the guys not named Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

It helps that we are #2 in Doubles and #2 in hits even though we are only #6 in Plate Appearances and #7 in At-Bats.

#3 in Extra Base Hits

#5 in Total Bases

Then there are things to work on, such as being being #1 in sacrifice bunts (which means doing the most of those), and #1 in Grounding into Double Plays (that will get old, fast).

All in all, have thyself some Found-Some-Christmas-Presents-We-Forgot-To-Wrap-And-Still-In-The-Closet Links:



Things to watch out for with Mike Trout in 2016

Ok, to be fair, the franchise history of the Angels is not one of those that are replete with Hall of Fame careers. So the All-Time Career Leader lists for LAA are kind of a low bar. This, however, is what makes having a Mike Trout all that much more fun.

Right now, among position players, Trout already ranks 3rd all-time in bWAR with 37.9. Ahead of him are Tim Salmon at 40.5 and Jim Fregosi at 45.9. If you include pitchers, Nolan Ryan is just ahead at 40.2 and Chuck Finley holds the all-player franchise lead at 52.2.

Before 2016 is out, Mike Trout will already own the LAA Franchise Career bWAR Title for positional players with only 5 full seasons under his belt. And he will be behind only Chuck Finley for All Angels, All-Time, All Positions. That last crown he will claim in 2017.


Everywhere In Baseball

Tropo-Pause: On his way into the stratosphere of his career, Nick Tropeano hit the 2016 Spring Training wall. after a very nice first appearance, pitching 2 shut-down innings against the Royals, Trop went three more outings getting a wee bit worse with each outing. And that was enough to cost Trop his chance to steal a spot in the rotation away from Matt Shoemaker. Shoe stays and Trop is optioned back to SLC...........

White ball in far pocket: Mike Trout took batting practice yesterday and launched a moon shot over the left field fence. And it landed within the 2 1/2 foot diameter circle that is a common trash can...............

Pujols: Albert made his first appearance at first base yesterday, which is a big step toward having him fully ready for the regular season. As with all things Pujols, this makes him even more committed to being on the field come Opening Day..........

Theme Park Baseball: A new trend is among us. There is a move afoot, mostly just marketing hype so far, to integrate outdoor sports into the sporting stadium experience. And we are talking about things way beyond hot tubs. The Redskins opened up the box for Pandora with their ideas about rollerblading, surfing, rappelling and bathing suit Tindering to football. Ok, I thought, it's a one-off idea that some intern got everybody excited about so some artist was hired to work up a concept and send it out to the world as a flyer and gauge response. No big deal. But now we are hearing that the Braves are thinking about getting into this idea with their new ballpark, adding a zip line. That might come in handy for revenuers searching the Georgia backwoods for pot stills cooking up moonshine..............
Flame(out) Throwers: Are young pitchers in high school throwing too hard for their own good? It's pretty easy to follow the spiral of cut-throat athletic competition and the pressures for grabbing opportunities when they are placed in front of kids with talent. But how the hell do you regulate that? Put a radar gun out there and call a ball if any kid throws something faster than 80mph??..........

Crotchety: Joey Votto is one weird dude...........

Even More Crotchety: Although I wonder about the ongoing forecast that baseball is dying buried between the lines of this article, I love the major theme of the piece that drives home how baseball's old guard is an anchor on the butt of our sport. Take, for instance, the title: "All Fun & Games Until The Old Timers Complain". So frickin' true. And further down is this nugget: "As the viewers get older, the legends of the game seemingly feel they are getting phased out. MLB’s adherence to its "unwritten rules of days past" is the source of the problem as the majority of on-field celebrations continue to be strictly discouraged." That's the whole conflict right there in a nutshell. Nobody seems to like their view from the porch, nor the fact that after all the glory days of being important, ending up on the porch is a condition that cannot be solved with a little blue pill............

Fandom: Feel good. Angels fans rank as pretty even keeled and faithful. Clearly superior to those notoriously fair-weather fans of Houston and Kansas City..........

Calculate This!: I love this shit. Don't just put a number on a player jersey. Make fans work for it. Like the Romanian soccer team. It reminds me of this famous restaurant tip line on the receipt..........

Baseball Biz: The TWC offer to discount the Dodgers broadcast package is not such a huge discount, after all. And TWC is still far from being desperate...........

Sports Biz: New estimates are indicating that Cord Cutting projections might be too aggressive, but Cord "Shaving" is on the rise. In other words, consumers are holding onto their cable subscriptions at rates higher than expected, but they are dropping back towards basic packages faster than than anticipated. And that includes carriers offering Skinny Bundles, allowing consumers to flee from those bundles that contain the most egregious billable content channels..........Also in Sports Biz, brace yourselves. Turner is doubling down and pouring another $100 million into the expansion of Bleacher Report...........