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IdesLinks: Shoey Cobbles Up a Gem

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14 days to Opening Day...

California Angels v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Ken Levine/Getty Images

The results on the scoreboard are not entertaining, but there are pretty good things shaping up with the individual players, which portend nice things for the season. I just hope that my patience with Trout, Pujols and Ohtani pays off. None of those guys should be looking up at Cozart.

Look very closely into these Shakespearean-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Better. Much better. Matt Shoemaker went 5 full innings and gave up only 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 7. And those strikeouts where coming against the front line of a Cleveland team that goes deep into Octobers. That third inning was the most fun. After surrendering a leadoff homer to Tyler Naquin, Shoey then K’Od Lindor, Kipnis and Ramirez in succession.........

Every Spring we get projections for the Angels. Every year we bark at them. But this one? This one from Craig Calcaterra, though, reads pretty fair and balanced. It’s almost as if we write it. Or that Craig reads HH..........

Watch for Andrelton Simmons to return to the field today. It’s always hold-your-breath time when we get health forecasts from the LAA medical info pipeline..........

Any day now, don’t be too surprised to learn that Carlos Perez is not going to be playing in Anaheim. With no options left, no magnificent break out this Spring, and three other catchers ahead of him, Perez is a good bet to be moved.............

Rene Rivera perserveres. When the talent with which you are blessed is not enough to overwhelm that of the other players vying for a job, it’s best to have tenacity on your side..........

Eric Young, Jr. is doing well in Tempe. .313/.371/..500 with an OPS of .871? I’ll take that from a depth position any day. (By the way, Kole Calhoun is up to a .478 BA with an OPS of 1.109)............Luis Valbuena must have needed to take his kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Kaleb Cowart was his late replacement.........Is Shohei Ohtani our new baserunning adventure?..........


Everywhere In Baseball

The Mets are still a much worse franchise for medical support, coverage and reporting than anything we have ever had to deal with. This latest Yeonis Cespedes sequence is just an ugly mess that destroys club credibility............

Here you go. Get yourself more edumakated than our Commissioner where all things baseball construction and performance are concerned. Keep checking in at Meredith Wills’ twitter stream for the day she announces her more full report...........

Extra attention needs to be placed on ‘juiced’ baseballs themselves, because such things have a major impact on flyball versus groundball pitchers. And it’s making forecasting for those differing types of pitchers especially tricky...........

I am the guy who wears a Fresno Tacos uniform jersey for fun. So I will not be the guy who complains at all about MiLB instituting new rules for Pace of Play, such as starting out a runner at 2B in extra innings. Who cares about MiLB stats, anyway? In fact, it’s Minor League fan-friendly fun. Let’s hold a drawing before the games to find some lucky fan who gets to suit up and participate as the extra-innings designated runner!..........But, hey, if you are going to get crazy, why not GET REAL CRAZY?!?..........

Defensive brilliance can be a killer skill, and one worthy of major highlight reels. Just think of Andrelton Simmons. When catchers do it, it can be even more dramatic. There is just something about a guy sitting nearly on his ass, the furthest away from the baserunners, but having the ability to dominate the game that can be mind-bending. That’s probably why this episode has the Internet all agog. Let me say, from my personal opinion only, that I do not agree that this was a ‘no look’ throw. I think the catchers mask allows us to believe it was ‘no look’, kind of like sunglasses can obscure where the wearer is actually pointing their eyeballs. Astudillo’s tiniest of head movement as he cocks his arm is my giveaway...........

Everybody has a theory on the current baseball market. Former MLB GM Dan O’Dowd is no exception. However, his theories are a lot more sane than most. Too bad he, as a former insider, doesn’t dive deeper into the potential solutions to tanking. It seems that there should be lots of ways to pull the levers and choke the race of so many teams to the bottom. My theory is that tanking is self-correcting once so many teams realize that the majority of them did not benefit because too many were in the same position. But why wait the 3 or 4 years for MLB franchises to learn that lesson?..............

Superteams are the new “in” thing. I do hope to high heaven that it is only temporary. Unless LAA becomes one. Then it can be permanent..........

Of all the things that the MSM should be screaming about when it comes to player pay, it’s stuff such as an Aaron Judge getting a tiny bump in salary after proving he is a monster producer. We saw the same with Mike Trout, so we know the drill: a franchise cannot reward a pre-arb player without setting themselves up for a geometric progression in pay beyond their control as soon as that player hits his arb years with any high precedent. But that is precisely when the players SHOULD be getting paid, from ages 25 through 32. The 5-year rights retainment system and the arb system are what’s broken. The FA years are merely going through a correction for that particular market. But, most certainly, a broken system for youngsters AND a market correction for oldsters leaves the franchises very happy indeed...........And, while we are at it, it’s not just the Yankees. It’s the Dodgers, too. Their star producing youngsters Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager - the last two NL RoY’s - just got their tiny bumps, as well..........Oh wait. What other team is mega-wealthy with a young pre-arb powerhouse? Oh yeah, the Cubs. With Kyle Schwarber..........

Fun times up in Seattle! The plague of injury locusts has returned. Now it’s Nelson Cruz and some kid names Andrew Romine. Must be the water.........

Matt Bush is certainly having a novel-worthy professional career. From #1 overall pick to prison to pitcher to reliever to starter conversion fail and now back to bullpen where Bartolo Colon now sits in his way.............


Hot Stove

A working theory to which I adhere is that the Free Agent class of next Winter is so strong that teams would rather put themselves into a good position to pay Scott Boras next January rather than this January. While that may be very true for position players, it may not be so true for pitchers..........

Ronald Acuna is on the verge of becoming merely the latest victim to that other anti-player franchise trick: manipulation of service time. It’s happened to Mike Trout and Kris Bryant and many others. it doesn’t get any better. But there has to be a way to deal with that initial service expectations for investing in a prospect that doesn’t include some easy way to fudge the numbers..........

Can’t a player be accused of tampering, like an owner or a GM can? Aaron Judge is pimping the pinstripes to Manny Machado (as if MLB needs to add a Machado to that lineup) when Machado is still under contract to the Orioles. It just seems strange to me, that’s all............


The Duffle Bag

His clock may be running out. Tim Tebow blew major chunks this Spring and has been demoted. Talk of him rising to any MLB level seems to have quieted for the moment.............Just Bryce Harper, being a cool guy...........I wonder if guys like Reggie Smith really had all these calculations on their minds when they were working on their batting techniques back in the 70’s?..........I’m starting to believe that this family is secretly printing lost Ty Cobb baseball cards..........Why is Arrieta being ready for Opening Day even a question? I thought that was why the MLBPA put up their Camp Jobless?..........You are the third base coach. You make the call..........Neighborhood ballparks are the best. If only the owners of the neighborhood ballparks could rid themselves of those pesky neighborhoods..........