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HumpLinks: Mike Trout still upstream

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22 days to Opening Day...

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Oh dang. It’s not like we have anything to worry about with the fact that Mike Trout is 0 for 10. He was down to a .214 Batting Average by March 16th last Spring, and we all know how ungodly his regular season had started out prior to getting injured.

But still, baseball is a lot more fun when Mike is Trouting. Let’s start having more of that fun.

Take a sip of Jefry-Marte-Is-Batting-.615-Spring-Training-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Today’s Public Service Announcement: Andrelton Simmons is still a god among defensive infielders, making most others look like hacks............

Simmons is probably the one guy who could be forgiven or ignoring David Eckstein coaching infield defense. There are a lot off you too young to have born witness to this in person, and/or too new to HH to read my preaching this in the past, but it was always brilliant to observe how Eckstein could start moving to where the ball was to be hit near his position, well before the pitch reached the batter but too late to tip off the batter as to what was coming. It was one off the many small things he did to overcome his deficiencies...........

Meh, it’s only projections. And defensive projections are the worst. We, as Halo Fans, have a long history of finger-wagging at the sordid outcomes of pre-season projections. So we know at least as well as any how valuable it is to ignore them. OH HELL NO IGNORE ALL THAT AND JUMP RIGHT OVER AND OBSERVE HOW OBVIOUS IT IS THAT THE ANGELS HAVE THE BEST DEFENSE IN ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL!!!! Suck it, Dodger fans...........

Mike Trout is not having as much fun as the rest of us. With an 0 for 10 start to his 2018, he must have had one hell off a nice bender over the Winter..........He should take some advice from Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Brent Celek. Tight Ends know how to hit..........

Billy Eppler picked up another ex-Braves international prospect, one lost due to penalties. RHP Juan Contreras of The Dominican Republic was obtained with a minor league deal..........

Take what the pitchers give you, Chris Carter. I like the results so far..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Sorry, Yu, but I’m sticking with the ‘tipping pitches’ explanation............The slick ball theory just got blown up by the way you mowed down the Dodgers yesterday..........

Tony Clark, head of the MLB Players Association, is pretty much let with one thing to do: run around the country banging the “teams don’t play by the old rules” drum. It’s a gig, and it keeps him out of trouble for the most part. Not completely. Only for the most part. There is that consequence of newbie union member writers ignoring all the other information and latching on to Clark’s tom-tom. And I’m looking at you, SBN MLB and BeyondTheBoxScore, where 8 of their most recent 15 articles have been whining against MLB franchises...........

Launch angles now have their own batting tees? That didn’t take long..........

If somebody really wants to go back and re-fight the PEDs wars of 20 years ago, it might be best to first find the way to figure out ALL of the players of that era to have actually been on the juice. And then they need to find a way to remove the impact of each off those players, and re-assign the potential results of all the players they competed against had they had the chance to compete against their non-juiced personas. In other words, why bother? It would be easier to figure out lasting peace in the Middle East.............

Adam Wainwright, Baseball Hero..........


Hot Stove

Hmmm, let’s see. Lance Lynn had TJ surgery in 2016, had a decent 2017 of 124 ERA+ and 3.1 bWAR in his 33 game appearances his first year back, and when he was offered a 33% raise (from $7.5MM per year to $10MM per year via an offer from the Twins), Lynn rejected the deal. Chalk this up as yet another reason for the MLBPA to sue the Tampa Bay Rays............

That’s not so far off from the Tommy Pham story. After a great 2017 season in centerfield, the Cards offered Pham a 2-year contract. Pham rejected the offer. The Cards, still having Pham’s pre-arb years, assigned him $570K. But in this case, Pham has a point. Fist off, he’s only 1 year away from arbitration, and he reckons to to a pretty big bump. Second, although I don’t know what the 2-year offer was, I do know that the Cards underpaid Pujols by multiple tens of millions of dollars, so they kind of have this track record to think about..........

The Rangers got their Juan Pablo Martinez uber-prospect, signing him for 2.8 million reasons that Jerry Dipoto ailed to hang onto..........

Neil Walker was once a pretty decent option for Billy Eppler to pick up as a 2B future in Anaheim. But this year was a tough round off cards dealt to 2B’s, and it really required that one play his cards perfectly. Walker did not. He’s still on the outside, looking in, and probably needs an major injury to make his phone ring...........

Greg Holland could be an Angel. It’s still possible. He will end up being a something. But reading the article my mind hangs up on “the wrinkle”. The one that shows to us we have zero frickin’ clue what Scott Boras is demanding for Holland’s services. That speaks directly to my longest-standing bitch about the Free Agent ‘market’. It’s a ‘free’ market, but only inasmuch as it remains free from retribution should one or all teams refuse to participate. And even at that, it’s not a ‘perfect market’. In a perfect market, all sides have access to all information. That is not true in MLB markets. Only the players and their agents know what is actually being offered by any/all teams. Teams don’t know what other teams are offering. Scribes only know what they are being fed. And we fans don’t know jack-diddly squat. So how the hell are we to take sides concerning any player remaining unemployed?..........

This is the kind off trend that has already whacked this winter, when Arte extended Mike Trout and kept him off this 2017-2018 market. Two days ago the Cards went extremely early to extend Paul DeJong. And here we are already hearing about the Twins thinking about doing the same with Byron Buxton..........


The Duffle Bag

It’s only March 7th, and we have a candidate for Bat-Flip Of The Year. And, since it’s a foul ball, we also have our first candidate for Dumb-Assed Bat-Flip Of The Year...........Bullpen carts are making a comeback! Starting with Arizona. So here is my challenge to all of you: give us your design for the LAA bullpen carts..........Guess the MLB star as a baby..........Mike Piazza is having problems now that he sits on the business side of a sports business. He should talk to Derek Jeter...........Now this is a contest I can get behind. 4 tix to LAA Opening Day, an autographed baseball (Danny Espinosa, anyone?), and one year of MLB TV!..........