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TuesdoLinks: Time To Build Some Momentum

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The Angels are overdue for a long winning streak, and are leaning into one of those choice windows of their schedule against weak teams. It's a good time to get hot.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are with 3 games in Cleveland. Although the Indians ARE the defending AL champs, and they ARE the AL Central leaders, at 51 wins they are only 2 in front of the Angels. I bring this up because we are entering one of those windows where the Halos could do something missing so far this season: rip off a long winning streak.

So far, their longest winning streak of 2017 has been 5 games. At no time this decade have they not had a W streak of at least 6. More commonly, their long winning streaks are from 7 to 9 games. Between this moment and August 25th, when they face Houston, the Angels will play 28 games and only 5 of those are against teams currently with a winning record. 3 are with those very similar Indians, and 2 are with the same nationals team that the Halos just split with last week.

I know the pieces are still in a jumble all over the card table, but a little bit of cluster luck right now and the Angels could make a run and put together enough of the picture to make a WC spot very possible. This is one of those times to do it, and they are overdue.

Have a mouthful of Something-To-Look-Forward-To Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

Tonight the Angels face off against some dude named Mike Clevinger. The kid has an ERA of 2.73 across 66 innings pitched in 13 games. Looks pretty good now, and looks like another bonehead move on the part of Jerry Dipoto to have traded him away in 2014 for some 21 innings worth of a sack of warm meat known as Vinnie Pestano. There was this whole Tommy John thing right in there, too, but that is par for the course with this franchise so why the rush to lose him? Clevinger has already faced LAA once. August 3rd of last year. 6 innings. 5-1 win. And he carries a .056 BA against with the Halos. Oddly, he has yet to face Seattle. Nice..........

As the Trade Deadline nears (it's just a week away), should the Angels be active on the market/ Can they be? Should they be buyers or sellers? Grant Brisbee thinks they should sell. The Oracles of MLB CUT4 think they should be sellers, but that selling for them is too tough. But they do have a fun haiku for it all. And I think about the temptation of tanking, which certainly worked out well for the Astros. Isn't tanking like playing 5-card draw using somebody else's money, in a game where you get to replace all 5 cards at every deal, until you finally get a great hand that you get to keep for every deal the rest of the night?.............

Here comes Kaleb Cowart. Now, I know y'all gonna be pretty excited about this. Cowart just roared through 3 games with Salt Lake going 9 for 12 with a walk and 16 total bases, scoring 7 runs and driving in 6 while striking out only once. Pretty gaudy stuff. But in the 7 games before that, he was 5 for 28 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI against 5 K's. So let's just temper our enthusiasm a little bit. Let Cowart get some solid playing time and be no worse than what we got with Franklin/Pennington now, letting him have these small windows of major pop when they come. There's a chance he will be an improvement. There's a chance he gives Eppler some roster flexibility. There's no chance he will be any worse. Personal expectation: Scioscia only pencils him in against right-handed pitchers, claiming "matchups" even though he consistently bats 40 points higher against lefties..........


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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

Trout is reminding the media-sters that he didn't go anywhere. "Maybe you know about how hand injuries are reputed to sap a hitter’s power, and you figured Trout would probably remain really awesome for the rest of the season but fail to demonstrate the extra thump that distinguished the first two months of his 2017 from all his spectacular seasons before it.  And then, friend, Mike Trout made a sucker out of you."..............

Sometime during the next homestand, Mike should collect his 1000th hit as a Major Leaguer. He is also 13 home runs shy of 200, something else he should realize this season. And he already has more than 150 Stolen Bases (155). Willie Mays didn't do that until he was 27 (but lost a year to military service). Mickey Mantle, due to broken wheels, only got 153 SB's for his entire career. Ty Cobb only hit 117 HR's in his career. Babe Ruth only stole 123 bases. My BBR Play Index searches are broken, but so far I can only find Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez at Mike's age doing this............

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Everywhere In Baseball

It's just not possible to call up a top prospect without somebody, somehow, making a comp to Mike Trout. Here is Rafael Devers and FanGraphs. Boston MSM will be all over this for a while. See? They have already started...........

Billy Beane in an interview with a European media outlet, so they spend a lot of time comparing baseball to football soccer. Beane, who is VERY familiar with Euro soccer, claims that had Mike Trout come up in Germany his athleticism would have placed him on the German National team. That would mean that Beane has seen Trout's sixth tool. The best part is how there is a discussion within the context of soccer, and the topic of baseball pace of play comes up. Like, really??...........

This is misery. In putting up a list of the best baseball players to come out of every state, for California Barry Bonds gets the nod over a Ted Williams, even as the author acknowledges that it was PEDs induced. As good as natural Bonds was, there is no effing way non-PEDs Bonds was anything like Ted Williams.............

Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper are breaking StatCast. Except that StatCast does not break..........

It looks like the Yankees are in the market for a guy who can slug home runs in the second half this season..........

The ways to manipulate the roster movement mechanisms in baseball sure can be complex. Good thing a guy like Arte hires a guy like Eppler to keep on top of it all, because I sure don't have time. Take, for example, this piece by Dave Cameron explaining why the Trade Deadline really doesn't mean much this year. One trick is to not make a trade now, expect your under-contract tasty morsel to clear waivers because of his contract size, then work out another trade later where you still have some leverage and the remaining buyers are more desperate. I guess..........

With Clayton Kershaw out 4 - 6 weeks, it sure does look like another MVP season for Bryce Harper. Except, though, Harper might not even end up being the most valuable player on his own team. Or the second. Look it up. Max Scherzer and Anthony Rendon are putting in pretty great seasons, too..........

ESPN has spoken: home runs are no longer the be-all, end-all for baseball highlights..........This new status will remain in effect until such time as Judge reverts back to hitting home runs...........

Ok, this is just stupid, I don't like head first slides, but asking MLB to make them illegal? That's just such a poorly thought out idea. The author barely touches upon the most salient issue: "...much of baserunning comes down to instincts in the moment", and then he explains that away as some problem inherited from Little League.........

The Rangers are pulling Yu Darvich off the table. I doubt that it's because they just won a few games. My guess is that it's because they don't like the offers, and there is still a week for teams to get more desperate.............

The Athletic is betting against the video flips of sites such as FOX and VICE, hiring their writers. Gotta love that attitude (although there is nothing there for us LAA fans)...........

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The Duffle Bag

Dear Evan Longoria, since you have not figured it out by now, let me help you along. In Game of Thrones, the plot is simple. Everybody dies...............Nice job, Vlad. Have a Bud..........Hey, Greatest Baseball Fans On Earth: Is this what is meant by "The Cardinal Way"?..........Rougned Odor is so bad, he's in Vernon Wells territory..........MLB updated their Top 100 Prospects. Nobody in the LAA farm system. What's funny is that if you toggle to just the LAA Top 30, you see Parker Bridwell there at #13. That's the same Bridwell who, at 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and having jut busted Rick Porcello and the Red Sox, might be considered by some to be rather more productive than anybody on that MLB Top 100...........Is it just me, or are guys behind the plate getting clocked by bats a lot lately?...........The Phillies may suck, but their fans still know how to party.............

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Jordan Serena Destiny Watch

Jordan Serena DNP last night, yet again. I get it that the 66ers now have Jahmai Jones in CF, and Brennon Lund is holding down another outfield spot. And Jordan Zimmerman is doing great (.351/.400/.595) at 3B (Serena's natural position) since moving up to IE. But losing time to Kyle Survance? Survance is batting .179 over the last 10 games, compared to Serena at .250. That .250 might not seem explosive, but it has taken Jordan since June 28 to get in those 10 games. Survance has his 10 games in the past 11 calendar days. Somebody needs to explain this to me............

Survance went 0 for 4 last night as the 66ers lost to Lake Elsinore 3-1. But Jahmai Jones was 2 for 5 and is batting .450 with an OPS of 1.042...........

Nothing going on in the AZL or AA yesterday..........But Carlos Perez, behind the plate for the Bees, was shredding the Isotopes trying to run the bases last night, where a third-world power surge blew out the lights and delayed the game 1/2 hour as the lights had to reset. But that didn't stop the fans from practicing their Angel Stadium Rally Lights.........

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