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MondoLinks: Halos welcome Monday blues.

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After dropping a series against the mash-up squad that is the Mariners, in come the World Series winning Royals.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

I have another brilliant idea. We have Matt Shoemaker skip every 3rd scheduled start. Because, yeah, there is a consistency problem there but within that inconsistency there is a trend. Shoe throws well for a couple of outings and then takes the mound and implodes. This trend goes back well into the 2015 season.  So we add this plan to the Start-Weaver-Only-at-Home plan, and we have a winning strategem! All we need is a bucket-load more depth in the starting rotation. How hard can that be? You're welcome, Sosh.

After going 31 at-bats with but a single hit, one that also fell on the other side of the home run wall (April 17th, in Minnesota), Albert Pujol had one fall over the fence again int eh first inning yesterday. He followed that up with a single in the 3rd, a line out in the 6th, and a ground out in the 9th. So he made some contact yesterday, and a couple of them were positive outcomes. But after going 1 for 31 and seeing how the offense as a whole is having fits, I remain in doubt that Pujols has "busted his slump".

Now here come the Royals. Do not be afraid. They have spent most of the season so far catching teams in major slumps. We can compete as long as we are not one of those teams in a major slump. If we are not in any slump, and we merely suck and this is how the entire season is going to go, we should be fine. Just fine.

Have some Whistling In The Dark Links:

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ANGELS ON DECK

The Upcoming Series:

Kansas City Royals @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
MONDAY 7:05 PM PDT Ian Kennedy (2-1, 1.35 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (0-3, 3.00 ERA) KCOP
TUESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Edison Volquez (3-0, 1.46 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (2-0, 3.12 ERA) FS-W
WEDNESDAY 7:05 PM PDT Chris Young (1-3, 6.41 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-0, 1.69 ERA) FS-W





From the official team Game Notes: "ROYALS ON DECK: Royals claimed 2015 season series 6-1 (LAA was 0-3 at home), second-fewest wins in a season series vs. KC…LAA has won 15 of last 20 season series vs. Royals…From 1976-86, either the Angels ('79, '82, '86) or Royals won 10 of 11 A.L. West titles, a significant rivalry in the division for a decade.

ROYAL PAIN: Pujols is hitting .317 (96/303) with 20 HRs and 65 RBI in 79 career games vs. Royals…Trout is batting .362(34/94) with 22 runs, 7 HRs and 15 RBI in 26 career games vs. Royals."

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Everywhere In Baseball

Genius: Proving that there can never be too much mediocrity in a minor league system to keep under-performing arms afloat in Anaheim, Billy Eppler outwitted 29 other teams and signed the illustrious Kyle Kendrick...........

Trout D: Lots of people take issue with defensive metrics. Mine are not original doubts, nor are they unique. So when it comes to the way that the various flavors of UZR and WAR take down Trout's defense I tend to blow it off as something that smart people will rectify in the future. Something that I think I have a handle on, though, is that defensive metrics love it when outfielders nab an assist on any put-out that occurs in the infield. Up until this weekend, Trout had 15 career assists. He had 4 in 2014 and 7 last year. This weekend alone we saw Mikey dish out two. On Saturday he drilled the bag at second base from the warning track on a nicely played bounce off the wall. And on Sunday he exploited a brilliant deke by Andrelton Simmons and completed a double play with a throw to first base. Add Trout going 4 for 11 with a double, home run and 2 RBI and he is starting to get his head into 2016..........

Puig: That Trout throw from deep center field to second base was brilliant. No doubt. But the fact that Trout's throw was so brilliant is what makes Yasiel Puig's throw Friday night so monumental. Sure, Puig actually knuckleheaded the catch attempt against the wall. Better eye-hand coordination would have caught the fly ball outright (it hit the screen just next to Puig's glove), but Puig's throw was about 10 - 15mph harder, travel about 130 feet further, and also pegged the target base on the fly. The funniest part of it all is that Puig's play occurred just 1 day after Alex Gordon had been crowned with the Defensive Play of the Year. That was a crown that lasted all of 24 hours. You might want to wait a little while before diving into the deep end of hyperbole there, bloggers..................

Depth: So let's stick a minute on this Mike Trout in center field thing. In that link above, Adam Lind smacks a ball that bounces off the wall and back to Trout. Trout was positioned in line with where Lind hit the ball, but the ball went over Trout's head. Trout was too shallow for that fly ball. Now, in fairness, that was practically a line drive and not some looping fly ball that Trout could run down. After all, Trout has raced back further than that very wall to snag a catch or two. But how deep or shallow Trout is positioned is a real thing. The trend for very fast outfielders is to move them in and play them shallow. But Joe Maddon and the Cubs have been looking at their data tables and they see something different. And looking at he results they are getting with Dexter Fowler, they may be on to something............

Tomorrowland: If Major League Baseball is to ever realize a woman playing competitive ball as a position player, that result is going to be an outcome of some major change among teenagers. Major. Because as difficult it is to rise through and become the cream of the crop, it all starts as a numbers game. The more who participate overall, the larger the base of the population pyramid, the more who will be produced at the very top of that pyramid. But among teenagers, those who will be the participants and fans of tomorrow, female participation remains almost non-existent. More young women bowl than play baseball...........

More Angst: Randal Grichuck may have flipped on a rare switch and learned how to drive the strike zone, drastically reducing his swing rate at pitches outside the zone. In other words, the dude is drawing walks and forcing pitchers to throw him strikes..............And over in Baltimore, Mark Trumbo is blistering hot. Sure it's early, but Trumbo is in lock step with Manny Machado. (Well, not overall. Machado already has 1.6 fWAR and Trumbo only 0.7. )..........

MFY: The Yankees just keep getting worse and worse. Nobody is working as hard as the ownership and management of the MFY to create an overtly elitist economic segregation between their top 1% and the rest of us. The latest is darkened glass to keep the riff-raff from actually seeing the Very Special Guests. This, however, results in riff-raff being unable to see the field of play from the concourses. Tough titties for you, you unworthy non-resident of the Hamptons. If you want to actually watch baseball you need to stay home where you can see it on television and not stink up the ballpark. And all I can do is think of those Very Special Guests trying very hard to wear their ratted out caps and jeans and look like "real baseball fans".............

Historic: How to lose our history in 3 million, 2 hundred and 60 thousand little ways: Discover an extremely rare original document that defines the birth of the sport of baseball as we know it today, and then auction it off to some mystery person who can stash it away from all the rest of us where we shall never see it again. Probably one of those Very Special Guests behind the darkened windows of Yankee Stadium...........

K Street: Strikeouts are becoming way too cool. No shame in them, anymore. "Strikeouts will keep rising, at least for a while, because baseball teams are mostly uninterested reversing the trend." According to Bill James, the reason is because we have more good pitchers AND more good hitters. I know. Confusing..........

Prince of Comedy: This weekend cannot pass us by without celebrating the Texas Rangers for being, well, Rangers. Bases loaded and nobody out and a fly ball to right field. Not only did nobody score on that fly ball, primarily because the guy at 3rd was the eternal clogged drain Prince Fielder choking back everybody's chance to do any base-running, but the Rangers ran themselves into a triple play...........

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The Duffle Bag

Very sneaky, Mr. Wear-bright-white-in-a-dark-room-while-using-binoculars-from-your-center-field-hiding-place San Diego Padres Man...............LOL. Your 2016 All-Star ballot is out there for you to cast your selections. What the hell took so long? These things should have been out there during Spring camps..........The Yankees lost an 18-year old prospect to a traffic accident in the Dominican Republic. IIRC, this might be the 3rd ballplayer lost to a car accident there. I think that pro sports may be bring to me the notion that driving in the DR is a really dangerous task..............Old-timers hat bat flips because old-timers are really, really bad at it...........Excuse me, folks. Dorothy passing through...........Nice one-handed catch, there, Pirates fan. Bad fatherly instincts, but nice catch...........

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