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WeekEnd HaloLinks: Halos ground into an Aybar

The Angels visit Detroit and meet up with their own Erick Aybar, who is failing UP and now the starting SS for the playoff-contending Tigers. Dos the Admiral have any Napoli blood in his veins?

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Leon Halip/Getty Images

Wow. I remained honestly surprised and happy to see that the Angels and Blue Jays were playing a throw-back series up there in Canada, recreating the (fairly recent) years when the Angels were a machine and the Blue Jays were almost pretty good.

Jered Weaver was solid for 5 innings. Mike Scioscia was solid in his game management and pulled Weaver before he totally blew up in the 6th. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols were solid with their bats. The rest of the lineup was solid in getting on base for Trout and Pujols. And even the bullpen was solid in keeping the Blue Jays from getting back into the game. Seemed like old times. Sweet.

Josh did his wrap up by claiming that Trout and bases loaded go together like PB&J. Oh, how true that is....

Mike Trout has 66 Plate Appearances with the bases loaded, 51 At-Bats. His slash line is .412 / .424 / ,765 with an OPS of 1.189 and 70 RBI's. I am unsure how accurate BBR is with game data from long, long ago, but that is better than what they have for Babe Ruth. It's better than Barry Bonds and it's better than Willie Mays (but Bonds and Mays have a LOT more PA's so it's not totally fair). And the great thing is that, with the bases loaded, when Mike Trout comes to bat there is not a goddamned thing any pitcher can do about it.

Have some Northern Lights Links:



The Upcoming Series:

Los Angeles Angels @ Detroit Tigers - Comerica Park, Detroit, MI.

Day Game Time Probable Pitchers TV
FRIDAY 4:10 PM PDT Ricky Nolasco (0-3, 5.70 ERA)  vs. Justin Verlander (13-7, 3.38 ERA) FS-W
SATURDAY 4:10 PM PDT Jhoulys Chacin (3-6, 5.68 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (10-4, 2.58 ERA) FS-1
SUNDAY 10:10 AM PDT Tyler Skaggs (1-3, 5.70 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (7-12, 5.83 ERA) FS-W

From the official Game Notes: "TIGERS ON DECK: Halos are 21-5 in last 26 meetings with Detroit (have won six of last nine at Comerica)…Angels won two of three games with Tigers earlier this season (May 30-June 1 at Angel Stadium)…4 of 7 hits vs. Tigers last season were home runs for Albert Pujols…His .360 batting average vs. Detroit since 2001 is tops in Majors (min. 150 PA)."


Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Porn: A couple of tidbits come our way from BBR. First up is a stat extract showing a still very young Mike Trout to be an OPS+ god already..........And, while tweeting with a BBR consumer who notices that all of MLB is slashing .150/.158/.222 when the count is 0-2 (Trout is .267/.267/.500 and called a "mutant" by the author), BBR jokingly re-brands themselves "Mike Trout Reference"..........And, then, FanGraphs reviews for us that freaky mash of Mike's in the opening frame on Wednesday night. I have watched that replay a dozen times and still cannot pick out the ball he hit out because the pitch was so low. But there it is: "But nobody’s ever bothered by a reminder that even against the best, Mike Trout is better. Any reason to watch Trout be great is reason enough."..........Sports Illustrated is handicapping the AL MVP Award and posts Trout back into the lead over Jose Altuve due to Trout's recent resurgence. "Having closed the gap at the plate over the last two weeks, Trout moves back in front this week on the strength of his superior fielding and base running." They then post nothing but offensive numbers and it looks nothing like Trout should be in the discussion. To be fair, IMHO Trout needs a LOT more resurgence to make up for his shitty July/August..........Dan Szymborski over at ESPN gives Trout only a 4.8% chance of winning the MVP, which is about 1/3 the odds for David Ortiz and 1/5 the odds for Jose Altuve..........

Last Trout: FanGraphs looks at Max Schrock and his chances of garnering an MVP.  Schrock is a minor league prospect recently traded from the Nationals to the A's. Before they can tee up all their background and data, they make mention of hard it is to win an MVP in the AL. "There were, of course, a number of reasons to suppose that Max Schrock would not win an MVP award in the major leagues. There remain a number of reasons. Chief among them is probably this: the best player of the current era — and possibly any one’s era ever — has received only one MVP award during his first four seasons in the majors and faces a non-negligible chance of extending that record to one in five years. If Mike Trout is capable of just a 20% conversion rate on MVP awards, everyone else’s chances are dramatically lower." I would counter that this is actually why Schrock has an excellent chance.  Mike Trout is so good that writers love to favor the enchantment of whomever is Flavor of the Year..............

Cowartly: I really want Kaleb Cowart to work out. I have been pulling for a solid 3B out of our farm system for years and years now. I feel so impatient, as though we should be over Cowart by now. But then I go in and review his career data and see that he only has 74 Plate Appearances in only 41 games over two seasons in the Bigs. I need to calm down. So I will. But before I go, why was I do impatient? Oh, yeah. Cowart is 24 years old. He is just months younger than Trout. And there are people who think that Trout is already consuming his prime years...........

Bits & Pieces: Just a collection of news bits: Garrett Richards continues to make progress...Yunel Escobar will not return until mid/late next week, at the earliest...Cory Rasmus has started throwing off a mound...And the Angels signed a kid from Latin America. Let me write that last sentence again. The Angels signed a kid from Latin America!!! Thank you Billy Eppler............

Vin: Matt Moore came within one out of a no-hitter last night. With a huge pitch count that ended up at 133 and Bruce Bochy agonizing over whether to pull Moore or not, the drama was tangible.  But it was against the Dodgers and being played in Los Angeles so Vin Scully was calling the game. And that made all the difference..............

Happy Points: Once again we find that, unless you are Arte Moreno, money does buy happiness. FanGraphs didn't want to believe it, but as they keep looking at the relationship between wins and money it becomes more certain every year now. Now all they have to do is what I did years ago, and that is weight playoff wins higher than regular season wins and they can watch their correlation coefficient climb dramatically............

Wheeling & Dealing: Hmmmm. The Phillies sent a an old catcher (Carlos Ruiz) who is hitting pretty well...AND the Dodgers in exchange for a slightly less old catcher (A.J. Ellis) who is hitting like shit and is a free agent in 2 a minor league pitcher plus PTBNL. Clayton Kershaw is in tears. So the Phillies got worse for the time being as, essentially, they are purchasing pieces of their rebuilding effort from the Dodgers. Interesting. But don't be trading draft picks or anything. Oh hell no.....Also, it must suck to be Ellis............

Oh Hell No: The Angels are working furiously towards earning a top 3 pick in next year's Entry Draft. But guess what? Next year's class is flooded with solid catching prospects..........


The Duffle Bag

After giving fair warning yesterday about the incoming name/pun grenades as a result of the White Sox selling out for Guaranteed Rate Field, I'm gonna post every thing I ever find that tickles my fancy on this issue. For starters, let's review/rank ALL the ballpark names...........Here we go, the Carlos Gomez experiment in Arlington officially begins. And I am watching closely because we need an OF far worse than Texas did............The down side to playing hard and running into walls and such is that such behavior tends to accelerate your introduction on the DL..........Picture proof that baseball is boring to the younger generation...........But that puppy would wake the hell up if he knew there was a cat hiding out nearby..........Ex MLB closer David Aardsma would sign Tim Tebow after pitching to him..........I like this guy, who looks at luck in playoffs. I especially like his conclusion: "The only real way to root out the randomness you would need to play hundreds of games, and somehow I don’t think that is feasible" because, surprisingly, that is how baseball used to be, before we had playoffs............It turns out that Bruce Bochy now holds the record for highest per annum paid manager in baseball.............Dang. This was a great play..............No, THIS was a great play.............Jason Kipnis puts shit on Rougned Odor.................