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MondoLinks: Halos power up

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17 days to Opening Day...

Well, I asked for it. On Friday I suggested that we needed to power up the offense. 20 runs across the 4 games, with 5 home runs, will do it.

Now we need to wait for the pitching staff to catch up , which is usual and customary for ST. Except for Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney. And JC Ramirez. Ramirez is also hot. Felix Pena ain’t doing so bad.

Have some We-Need-To-See-More-Kole-Calhoun-Spring-Training-Links:

(Because Kole is quietly killing it so far and nobody but me is noticing.)


A Little Bit of Angels News

Apparently, Spring Training counts. And so, too , do very small numbers. How else can one account for the rising wave off words calling Shohei Ohtani hapless as a hitter, and underwhelming as a pitcher after, what, 5 partial games? Jeff Miller of the LAT takes some lashes to Ohtani’s rep, but Jeff Passan at Yahoo! digs up quite the bleacher full of scouts clucking their collective tongues. And we already have “a verdict”! Really? Have not these goons been following how MLB is doing more player development AT the MLB level these days instead of keeping them in the minors until they are a finished product? And maybe we want to hold off a few months before going after a guy who is coming off an injury and rehab and a different league?...........But make no mistake, every one of the 29 other teams would like to have these kinds of complaints coming from opposing scouts...........

Mike Trout is here to remind you that he remains a monster masher of those balls for bases...........He also, beyond that home run, had a pretty good Saturday overall, warming up for Opening Day............And Justin Upton, too, wants you to know that this outfield knows where the fences are...........

And here I thought that after Buck Showalter had moved on to Baltimore, the beaning risk from Rangers pitchers were behind us. Apparently, not so. Fortunately, Mike Trout will be fine...........

Albert Pujols be having fun at least.............And someone, or some ones, is/are having fun with Shohei Ohtani, who must be spending his domestic money on nice new threads..............And Luis Valbuena is all about having fun. I would be, too, if I got to play Major League Baseball with a .199 BA............

Ian Kinsler forcing the action on the bases, which is something I adore...........

Jaime Barria was optioned back to Salt Lake, his mission in Tempe clearly accomplished. There is some MLB depth, ready to return with the first fail of Mike Scioscia’s starting rotation.............Eppler also reassigned Adam Hofacket and Branden Pindor...............


Everywhere In Baseball

Tommy John surgeries are on the decline, which is good news. Even better for the Halos, since the Angels are one of the MLB teams who have suffered the most TJ-mandating injuries..............

Outfield shifts have been around a long time. (This kind of historic pull is why I always give you links to old-time Baseball. Like below in the Duffle Bag. The game was not invented in 1990 and the legacy is rich with vitamins and minerals that a good for the soul of any baseball fan.).............

Facebook airing 25 games this season. They are mostly Weekday afternoon games, the kind you see playing in the bar when you go out or a business lunch. But if that happens this year, you will know that it’s Facebook streaming into that bar, because FB has exclusive rights to their games..........

Jorge Bonifacio really hosed his off-season PEDs regimen. He most likely needs to change his Dominican medical adviser. Busted, with an 80-game suspension. And he knows damned well he got caught............

Humidors have their own sabermetric studies. Because off course they would. Probably sponsored by Whirlpool or somebody..........

Oops. Aaron Boone, rookie manager. Making rookie mistakes...............


Hot Stove

The Phillies made the Big Splash over the weekend, signing Jake Arreita to a 3-year deal worth $75 million guaranteed. It’s a front-loaded deal, meaning that the Phillies could be getting better value as time goes on than they will in 2018. And there is a weird clause to the deal where the Phillies can erase Arrieta’s opt-out clause if they like what they see. That would extend the contract another 2 years and the whole package would end up in the $125-$135 million range. This makes the Phillies the 3rd team on the upswing from the tanking system, following in the footsteps o the Cubs, then the Astros, and they caught Arrieta on the upswing.....All they have to do now is deliver.............

The Mike Moustakas embarrassment kind off sunk in with the minds of many. SBN fell into fantasyland in order to not quite hide their fist-shaking anger at the mythical greedy Scrooge McDuck screwing Moustakas. As if franchise owners and ownership groups all sat down with their Front Office staffs and instructed them specifically to avoid the FA 3B. Writers would do well to try and catch up with MLBPA chief Tony Clark, who looks at the Miami Marlins and sees one of the real culprits.After the Marlins were sold in October to Bruce Sherman’s ownership group, the management team headed by former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter traded NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon for prospects....Clark said those decisions impacted the free agent market...” .....High Heat Stats puts some serious shade on all the hand-wringing over poor Moose...........

In the Moustakas review, a story came out that the Angels had offered him a 3-year, $5 million deal, and Moustakas and Boras rejected that. That kind of makes sense. Moustakas made it no secret that the Angels were his main target, being a SoCal kid and the Angels needing a 3B and getting to play on a team trying to win and all. It makes sense that the Angels would have reached out to him, Eppler needing a slugging 3B real, real bad. And it makes sense that the Moustakas camp would reject the offer, since it would have had to be made so early in the off-season with so much time to sit around and wait for team to get desperate, and wanting something a lot longer than 3 years anyway. But when Eppler made the Cozart move, it really screwed up things for Moustakas and things failed badly for his strategy. So what makes even more sense is that Scott Boras would deny all that obvious stuff. Bad for business.............

And there is something that just hit me. When folks pull apart the Moustakas market history, they keep bringing up the Tigers as one off the possible landing places. The Tigers were not players because they are over the luxury tax threshold. This gives people the chance to argue that the lux tax is the salary cap that is suppressing player compensation. Yeah, I can see the argument there. But are the Tigers a good target for that argument? Look at them. They have their own version of an Albert Pujols burden on their books. $184 million is still to be paid out to a Cabrera who is already 35, with another $60 million on top of that on the line if Cabrera has good seasons as a 40 and 41-year old. One could argue that Miguel Cabrera is suppressing player payroll in Detroit as much, if not more, than any tax threshold..........

I’m not sure that a do-over this Winter would do Scott Boras much good. We all know that Boras is smarter in the market than a collection of owners. But Baseball is not operating as 30 play toys any longer, and no matter how many times you do 2017-2018 over and over, Boras would still have to face the same highly educated, skilled and prepared Front Office staffs. The same staffs that the likes of Lyle Spencer and Murray Chass used to mock...........

The Twins signed Lance Lynn. They made quite a haul this off-season, although they also just shed Anabel Sanchez. It’s almost as if the Twins were sitting there and saying to themselves ‘Hey, if nobody else wants these guys we might as well give them a jingle and see if they need to stay busy.’ Because their activity is most recent, it makes them look like the won the off-season. That’s the price Billy Eppler pays for jumping on gas right away and nabbing Upton, Kinsler, Cozart and Ohtani so early...........


The Duffle Bag

Hat damn! UniWatch puts us in touch with “BaseballInColor”, and publishes some glorious colorized photos of old-timey baseball. And then they go and dogpile with this bonus shot............And they don’t stop there. They catch a photo posted by the Hall of Fame and...Frank Sinatra with a “USA Drinking Team” official patch??? This I need..........New Nats manager Dave Martinez is having his team spend time this Spring working on their walk-off celebrations. I’m gonna say it again: pitchers need a walk-off celebration after preventing an opposing walk-off celebration............