Andrelton Simmons is currently going through the best slash line of his career for any full season. He sits at .286 / .325 / .696. Only his abbreviated first cup of coffee of 49 games in 2012 is better. So Eppler traded for his galactic defense and we watched his offense rise to become the whipped cream on this ice cream sundae. But with 2 home runs on 9/11 Sunday, might we be getting a glimpse of his power returning, too? The cherry on top? Simmons hit 17 homers in 2013, 7 in 2014 and then only 4 last year. Right now he has 3. That might not seem like anything anomalous or unusual considering his recent years, but know that his offense in general just keeps getting better. Wouldn't it be great to see Simmons sustain his slash line now, and then find his power groove to boot?
Jered Weaver gave his impending demise another death stare yesterday. He has 3 to 4 more starts left this season and on his contract, and who knows what happens next? But whatever that is to be, it wasn't going to get to Weaver yesterday. 6 2/3 innings of 4-hit ball and only 2 earned runs against one of the most prolific offenses in baseball is a showcase for riding the Weaver arm slot against the daytime rock pile.
Five runs scored in the entire game, every one of them a solo home run shot. Adrian Beltre put up two for the Rangers, while Yunel Escobar posted one and then Andrelton Simmons connected for a pair himself. Angels win 3-2. Those homers from Escobar and Simmons were timely, considering that Mike Trout and Albert Pujols went 0 for 7 with 4 strikeouts between them. That's not how you keep your name in front of the voters, Mike. (Although, the way that Jose Altuve has been tanking lately, and the way that Josh Donaldson has been tanking lately, might help Mike's cause without headline games.)
Well, as predicted, the Angels were eliminated from contention for the AL West title over the weekend. I'm sure you all saw that coming way back in May. It finally arrived. The elimination number for the playoffs altogether is down to 6. We have all these home games left and nothing to play for.
Have some Dog Day Links:
ANGELS ON DECK
The Upcoming Series:
Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels - Angel Stadium, Very South Los Angeles, CA.
|7:05 PM PDT
|Ariel Miranda (3-1, 4.28 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (1-5, 4.30 ERA)
|7:05 PM PDT
|Taijuan Walker (5-10, 4.64 ERA) vs. Alex Meyer (0-1, 2.70 ERA)
|7:05 PM PDT
|Hisashi Iwakuma (15-11, 3.96 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (3-3, 4.13 ERA)
From the official Game Notes: "RAM-DOM FACT On Monday night, the Angels and Rams will play same-day regular season contests representing Los Angeles for the first time since October 4, 1964. On that day, the LA Rams fell at Baltimore by a score of 35-20 while the LA Angels posted a 3-0 shutout win at Minnesota on the last day of the season (time of game was 1:25)."
Everywhere In Baseball
Shoe Horn: Matt Shoemaker, back in SoCal, had a follow-up MRI to monitor swelling on his brain. That MRI was inconclusive, so he was admitted back into the hospital as a precaution. He was held overnight, and released. Everything is currently fine.............
Nitro: Nick Tropeano is out of the hospital and back home following TJ surgery. I suppose that we should expect to hear from him again come February of 2018...........Also in that link is the news that Garrett Richards will be throwing off a mound again very soon.............
Sosh: Mike Scioscia may think the team record kinda sucks, but that doesn't mean he isn't hopeful. 2017 is just around the corner!............And, by all accounts, 2017 will see Arte keeping Sosh in control of the dugout..........
Imperfection: Over the weekend, Rich Hill was in control as the starting pitcher for the Dodgers, having completed 7 innings, using only 89 pitches, and a perfect game within his grasp. And then he lost it. Not because any of the Marlins batters snuck a base hit through the infield.. Nope. Because his own manager, Dave Roberts, pulled Hill because of the risk of Hill recreating the blister on his throwing hand. Tough call. It puts the potential needs of the team against the very real historic opportunity of the player. I say potential, because the blister had yet to develop, and had it developed it was unknown whether it would still be an issue in the race for a playoff spot, and if the Dodgers hold on to a playoff spot would any blister have healed by then? Hill is the #2 pitcher in the LAD rotation, so he would be one of the key guys to be used through the playoffs. It's a big deal. One that I am glad I am not tasked to make because either way I would have decided I still would have had people barking up my grill at the old folks home 20 years from now..........I wonder how Sosh would react if he was in that spot? Oh, no need to wonder after all..........
K-Town: Nolan Ryan gave a chat on the 50th anniversary of his first pro strikeout. In it his puts forth his personal opinion that striking out is the worst thing a batter can do. Fair enough. It's his opinion. And, considering his success and legacy are built on the notion of batters striking out, it shouldn't come as too much surprise that he holds a high opinion of his particular skill. And, knowing Ryan's competitive demeanor, it also shouldn't come as too great of a surprise that he would want to mock his victims as the ultimate failures......He also takes a potshot at those who have taken the time to figure such things out and know that batters hitting into a double play or a triple play, for example, are actually worse than merely striking out. He calls those that curious as "computer guys". It's fun to see frustrated geezers watching the world pass them by and blaming stereotypes for the realization that they were wrong about something important all their life................
K Rations: Speaking of striking out, you may have noticed a lot of Mike Trout at bats where he watches a called strike across his chest? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, MLB umpires have been moving the strike zone yet again. This has been an ongoing research project and this time the author is making a correlation with the umpiring and the increase in home runs. In super short terms, umpires are drastically reducing the number of times they call the low strike, forcing pitchers to raise their zone...right into the sweet spot for hitters. From this we get the higher exit velocities. And from that we get more home runs...........
Tebow: A wee bit of backlash about that NYM signing of Tim Tebow. One of the Mets' real pro ballplayers, outfielder Jay Bruce, is non-plussed, while existing Minor League players are kinda pissed............It's now reported that Tebow chose the Mets as much as the Mets chose Tebow, specifically because the Mets agreed to allow Tebow to keep his day job as a broadcaster. Ten total teams made him an offer, but only the Mets agreed to let him be part-time.........Frank Thomas wants to cast his bet in favor of Tebow becoming a Big League ballplayer. Thomas should open up a gofundme or something where I can register my 20 bucks against..........
The Duffle Bag
The Oakland A's gave up on their Big Splash into the Free Agent market just a couple of years ago. They have cut Billy Butler, still owing $10 million. (That would be a WalMart price for us, but it's a Nordstrom's price for the A's)..........The Republican party in Texas is putting their boot down on the idea of Arlington taxpayers being forced to subsidize the Rangers building of a new stadium to replace their new stadium...........Taxpayers in Cobb County, Georgia can sleep comfortably tonight knowing that the redirection of their community parks money over to pay for a new baseball stadium for the Braves has allowed the Braves ownership, Liberty Media, to have all kinds of spare change to purchase ALL of Formula One racing. The entire thing..............Raffle Guy is Ball Hawk Guy?............You try to put a guy on base intentionally and screw that up. The guy reaches out and hits the ball 400 feet. Lucky for you, that guy screwed up even worse, hitting the ball 400 feet into the glove of the centerfielder for an out. Unlucky for you, his worse screw up wins the day, plating a run on a sac fly that you were trying to avoid by walking him in the first place...........Yasiel Puig is doing his darndest to redeem his career. And I mean, like, Puig is working hard in ALL directions!............Speaking of Puig, we almost saw a Puig trade to the Brewers, for Ryan Braun!!!.............I wonder. How often did Dan Haren pitch for the Angels on a Sunday late in the season?...........There was a golden minute yesterday, during which it was extremely beneficial throughout MLB to swing the bat real hard with the bases loaded............Staten Island Bridge Trolls? Pizza Rats? Looks like I'm going to have to start saving up for another minor league jersey..........
Updated tracker. Now with only September results and now also with the projected team pool totals, assuming an arbitrary 3% increase over 2016 values.
The 2016 slot and pool monies were found here.
The Michael Jimenez Study is found here.
The HBT 2014 Study is found here.
The HBT 2012 Study is found here.
The Sky Andrecheck 2009 Study is found here.