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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Angels try to restock for Trout

Billy Eppler's crew is in the middle of their first chance to rebuild the devastation that is the LAA farm system. Will they pull it off in time for trout's best seasons?

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Well, now you know what I meant when yesterday I wrote ""...laughter makes for the best medicine". The Angels spent their #16 pick taking a catcher. Of course. Matt Thaiss. That is Thaiss, as in "Bryce".

But wait! Thankfully it gets better. This catcher is so ineffective at catching that we shouldn't have any worries that the Angels try and make him actually catch. No, we should expect that they will play this catcher at some place else, such as first base. Or maybe left field. Or third base. The hunger for Thaiss' bat is so strong that we might all be failing to inquire as to whether anyone has actually seen him play a field position? Maybe MLB-level defense is easier to master than we fans think.

Oh, and we also drafted High School OF prospect Brandon Marsh.

Baseball America ranked Thaiss at #34 and we took him at #16. But they also ranked Marsh at #40 and we got him all the way down at #60.  So we are even. A good day. Nothing to scream from the rooftops, but nothing to gnash and cry about, either. ALL these guys are prospects and EVERY team just missed on some great star who will be tearing it up 5 years from now. It happens. At least we got something more interesting than what Eppler has been picking off the bone pile lately.

Oh. And there was baseball yesterday. Something with the Yankees. Doesn't look like we actually showed up, however. Yankee fans everywhere thank the Angels for showing up and giving them a nice 4-game winning streak to make them feel good going into their weekend.

The Indians have come to town. 7 and 3 over their last 10 games, including a 4-game sweep of the Royals. Should be fun. Have some Think-About-The-Future Links:



The Upcoming Series:

Cleveland Indians @ Los Angeles Angels - Angels Stadium, Anaheim, CA.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 7:05 PM PDT Cory Kluber (5-6, 3.84 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (3-3, 5.07 ERA) FS-W
SATURDAY 7:05 PM PDT Tervor Bauer (4-2, 3.88 ERA) vs. Matt Shoemaker (3-7, 5.40) FS-1
SUNDAY 12:35 PM PDT Danny Salazar (6-3, 2.24 ERA) vs. Mystery Meat FS-W

From the official team Game Notes:  "INDIANS ON DECK: Indians claimed 2015 series 4-2…LAA has won five of last six meetings at Angel Stadium…Club will meet at Progressive Field for a four-game series Aug. 11-14…The clubs have split the last 38 overall meetings (19-19)."


Everywhere In Baseball

Explorers: This I find interesting. Japan is leading the way is reaching out to the African continent to promote theAmerican-born sport of baseball. And they have been doing it for years. "...the Japanese government paid for new fields in Ghana and Uganda. African coaches and top players visit Japan for training. A few Africans have earned spots on teams in Japan’s independent leagues......Volunteers are sent around the world by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, which runs a program similar to the Peace Corps. They say baseball, which is one of Japan’s most-loved sports, is rewarding beyond the field."..........

Back to the Shoe: Once again, in another review, we see that Matt Shoemaker is kicking up his effectiveness by throwing more splitters...........

Close but no Cigar: Here is a nice long form (but easily read) piece on ballplayers who almost made it to The Show. The focal point of the article is with pitchers and arm maintenance: how to push themselves to compete and move up without blowing out their health?...........

Street Smarts: Huston Street spends a great deal of time contending with statistical information. He is smart enough to absorb it and ponder it, even if he is not trained well enough to have a complete mastery. Somebody should fix that. I would like to see what an actual MLB player who is impactful on the game in his career would do with this discussion should he also be a proper student of sabremetrics research..........

E-R-no wAy: This reddit user was trying to make a point when he noted that Bartolo Colon has a lower ERA than any LAA starter. They didn't go nearly far enough. Of all qualified pitchers, Jhoulys Chacin has the lowest ERA among LAA starters at 4.83. Ahead of that mark are Ervin Santana, Scott Kazmir, Zack Grienke and John Lackey............

Astro-nomical: Oh, Astro fans. 18% of you are officially bandwagon fans with zero understanding of that which you are using as a backdrop to your cellphone usage..........

Outside Perspective: Here is a take on the MLB draft from our parallel sports universe in SB Nation, football land. It compares the MLB and NFL draft and development system, noting how capable pro sports athletes are ready right out of high school without needing college education to ply their trade............As a juxtaposition, you then go over to Hardball Times and learn that the top baseball players drafted out of college trend towards having more productive careers than do the top high school players. That might be more of an age bias than how much a pro ballplayer benefits from Intro to Biology..........

CWS: The College World Series resumes today with 4 Super Regional games. Of interest to the Far West would be Arizona at Mississippi State at 3PM PDT on ESPN 2. Tomorrow we have a full slate or 8 games. UC Santa Barbara opens against Louisville at 9AM PDT on ESPN 2 and Arizona is teed up for their game #2 against Mississippi St. at 3PM PDT (no broadcast). The Super Regionals conclude on Sunday and UCSB plays their game #2 against Louisville at 9AM PDT, again with another no broadcast (actually, only 5 of the 16 games are being broadcast at all over the entire weekend). There are a few of the top MLB prospects who should go high in the Thursday draft but still be in the dugouts this weekend. Guys like A.J. Puk, Logan Shore, Dane Dunning, Peter Alonso and Buddy Reed of Florida. Corey Ray and Zack Burdy and Kyle Funkhouser of Louisville, Zack Collins of Miami, and Dakota Hudson of Mississippi State...........


The Duffle Bag

Draft special treat: woulda-coulda-shoulda for every team. Of course, we could not afforded to keep a Tom Glavine for his whole career so that's kinda B.S...........Chicks dig the long ball, even more than they love their cellphone............Manny Machado got a 4-game suspension for clocking Yordano Ventura. And Yordano Ventura got a 9-game suspension for being an asshat. Keep in mind that 9 games for a pitcher can be as small as a single start or, at most, 3 starts So Orioles lost the suspension derby..........Note how the young DBacks fan humiliates himself. Note how the older LAA fan mocks him mercilessly..........Draftee reaction shots. Kids having fun while the fun is still there to be had. Enjoy those bus rides and those grilled cheese and pringles dinners, boys..............This is the same guy who robbed me of a home run in center field back in my Little League days..........The Rockies managed to double up on stupidity.............The Lion of Dodgertown needs to be put to rest. He has served his time well. Let's not force this image upon us again...........


Mystery Graph

(Yesterday was career bWAR for the Top 25 draft picks of the 2009 MLB entry draft. OTC is owning you people and until somebody topples him - red floyd anybody? - I am keeping these things ORANGE! The first clue that everybody should be assuming by now is that these ALWAYS have something to do with the Angels. I am never going to do something like fielding percentage of all the infields of the Colorado Rockies. Never anything that obscure...)