Spring is officially over. Summer has sprung. The heat is on. And Mike trout is ice cold. It's no secret that this team is mostly Mike Trout, pitching, and some spare parts. With the pitching decimated we need Mike to be Trout and hope for the spare parts to break through. Last night they did. But decimated pitching buried the team right out of the gate and only makes a slumping Mike Trout more apparent. Trout is batting only .208 over the past 7 games and .250 over the past 15. That is not the way to explain the Rangers playing at a clip that would net them a 128 win season. that is not why the AL West is already out of reach. But it sure would make whatever is to happen this season far more interesting to follow.
Back to that decimated pitching. Over HIS last 7 games, Jhoulys Chacin has pitched 36.2 innings and surrendered 23 earned runs. That's an ERA of 5.65? Keep in mind this includes the May 30th outing when Chacin went 9 full innings and gave up only 1 earned run. Take that away and he is closer to a 7+ ERA. I know who I want to have taking the pine when Nick Tropeano returns, and it ain't Jered Weaver.
Have some Leaky Boat Links:
Everywhere In Baseball
Big Name Punting: I'll start this clip with the factoid that June/July are the months that Mike trout typically smokes Major League Baseball. And yet, here we are. Trout is off to a miserable run through his sweet spot this season. But Trout is not alone. There are some other major talents out there underperforming (relatively) at the moment. Not that such a thing makes it any better for the Angels, which depends on Trout more than all those other teams...............
Math is Just Too Hard: My brain hurts today. How is this possible? Last season the Angels reaped 1.8 bWAR for Garrett Richards, 1.7 bWAR for Andrew Heaney, 1.2 bWAR for C.J. Wilson, .5 bWAR from Joe Smith. Hell, even .1 bWAR from Nick Tropeano. That's over 5 bWAR total last season. So, even though we are at a partial point in the season (we didn't get a full season out of Wilson last year, either), how is it that the current estimate that the Angels have lost to date from injuries is a total of only 1.21 WAR, mostly due to those players? (Yeah. A cool new website to link to. This requires registration to read, but you can read the data I refer to for the free registration.)
Prospecting: The Cubs' top catching prospect Willson Contreras made his MLB debut on Sunday, cranking the very first pitch he saw over the wall for an intro home run (making one Cubs fan slightly happier than all other Cubs fans (for at least one day). I had thought about posting something yesterday about Theo Epstein versus Jerry Dipoto using that event as my hook, but we already had enough stuff to enjoy. But let's go back and use that homer for something else. When you are a Big League pitcher and some kid comes up to bat for the first time at the Show, wouldn't you just expect the pitcher to blaze his best fastball past the kid and welcome him tot he real world? A.J Schugel threw him his change-up, floating the ball up there at a mere 81.6mph. That pitch must have looked like a beach ball to Contreras. Then it occurred to me: on that same day, Jered Weaver's average Major League fastball was only 84.3mph. While Weaver was delivering a "Maddux", Schugel was throwing to Contreras a "Weaver"...........
More Prospecting: Talent forecasting is a dangerous game and full of risks. But at least with the draft, the teams have the huge upper hand. For example, this year the Angels had a total of just under $6 million to spend on signing bonuses to be split among the first 10 rounds. The Red Sox paid Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, all by himself, $5.4 million. They then signed Castillo to a long-term deal worth $72.5 million. No way any domestic draft-controlled player makes that amount of pluck that fast. And it was highly unqualified. Castillo is failing miserably. He was just sent through waivers, where all the teams ignored him, and is now winging his way to AAA Pawtucket. Castillo could purchase Pawtucket...........
CWS: Yesterday, through the various rain delays in the consolation bracket of the College World Series, UC Santa Barbara dumped tourney seed #3 U of Miami 5-3, mostly with a 4-run 6th inning that saw back-to-back run-scoring squeeze bunts. That's the #3 seed! Pretty damned cool, but it doesn't get UCSB out of the losers bracket. They remain in a one-and-done situation with (now) 6 teams remaining. Joining Miami on the flight home is Arizona, who lost by a razor's edge 0-1 to Oklahoma State. The entire game was the top of the 4th, when OSU started the inning with a leadoff double and then a run-scoring single. Only 6 other hits were yielded throughout the entire game. Nobody Wildcat even made it as far as second base. So now the West is down to just the Gauchos............
The Duffle Bag
Cubs fans, get thee to a nunnery............Poor Papi. All this attention with his retirement parade is just too much for him to bear. I guess we should pity the overachieving underdog now. With standing ovations for stealing bases un-contested, even.................So THIS is why you bring backpacks to ballgames. And here I thought it was just to hold up the lines at the gates...........Here is the kind of thing that should piss off anybody. Taking a puppy to a ballgame and locking that puppy in a car with no food or water?? Fine that asshat. I don't care that the story is actually worse............This is what it looks like when a baseball player cares. Good on you, Angel Pagan. Of course, next time, this is how it's done. Even more good on you, Pittsburgh Pirates ballgirl............History tidbit that I missed yesterday: minor league team had to postpone game because they were too tired to play............Just a friendly reminder about how it is for a player to have a great season once they reach the age of 40. And the list is dominated by HoF players. Just sayin', Papi............
(Yesterday's chart was MLB Team Fielding Percentage so far this season. Number 21 are the Angels. Today, another easy one...)