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HumpLinks: Halos Simba-fy Their Offense

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Simmons goes yard. Twice. For a win in Houston. Twice.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Angels have rebounded well from the home stand disaster, and proclaimed that they will not be pushed around in the AL West any longer. In their first head-to-head with the reigning WS champs, the Halos have taken the series in Houston’s own back yard. And they did it with strong pitching out of their rookie slugger, a sweet home run out of the GOAT, and an amazing power showcase from the best defensive shortstop in all of Baseball.

The Angels win 8-7 (bullpens can just suck sometimes, no?) and got 5.1 fun innings out of Shohei Ohtani. Not top of the rotation stuff, but a solid mid-rotation outing. Which is just fine for 23-year old rookie with only 4 MLB starts under his belt. Focus on that 0.84 WHIP with an average pitch speed of 97.13 mph for now.

As I type this Simmons is 29th in fWAR. but their season numbers for him are only .295/.382/.385 with an OPS of .767. In actuality, he is at .317/.398/.476 and .873. That offense is pure bonus, enviable all the way back to Atlanta. Watch how fast he rises.

Let’s dance today with these Taking-Back-The-AL-West-Links:


A Little Bit of Angels News

Newsflash: Albert Pujols is old. This should not be any surprise to those paying attention. I linked to a lot of stuff last year or the year before which untangled Albert’s high school years and comments to reveal that it was inevitable that he was 2 years older than he had been claiming. I took some heat for it, too, but that’s no big deal. I wonder, though, if falsifying his age on his immigration documents might not make some bureaucrat in Washington a little miffed...........So let’s all just move along, shall we?..........After all, even at whateverage The Albert Pujols can still be dangerous with a baseball bat............

Why yes. Mike Trout is still underrated. People just cannot wrap their brains around what we have been enjoying here out of Anaheim. But World of Baseball, it’s your own damned fault for missing out. We have been shouting about Trout’s awesomeness long enough, and warning you all that he will only get even better as he goes through these prime seasons..........Here. Have the MLB-leading 10th home run for Trout, which puts him on pace for 67 HRs on the season (choosing, just for fun, to ignore his traditional August/September slumps).............

Shohei Ohtani has a $60,000 baseball card. And it’s not even out yet...........As crazy as that sounds, it might only get even crazier. But I’m OK with that, since it would mean that Ohtani is kicking ass under the Halo.............Do you think having the fastest fastball in Major League Baseball so far in 2018 might raise that crazy card price?.......In fact, from the ESPN Ohtani Tracker, Ohtani has 16 pitches of at least 100 mph. Every other MLB starting pitcher, combined, only have 9........And consider...the same guy who has the fastest pitch in MLB right now also would rank 12th in SLG in MLB, and 16th in OPS, if only he qualified.............

The Boston series notwithstanding, the Angels are off to an A+ start for 2018..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Is it already time to start thinking about throwing in the towel? For some followers of some teams, yes. The Orioles are on an historic run towards the toilet, so it follows that they might want to get a jump on the market and start looking to get something back for a Manny Machado while they still can..........And up in San Francisco, maybe the Giants could deal away Madison Bumgarner for a haul. Anybody around here have a taste in their mouth for losing a pair of top-end prospects in exchange for a second 29-year old ace in our rotation? (Warning, all he has left on his current contract is a club option for 2019).........

If anything, Bryce Harper sure picks the wrong times to hustle and the wrong times to not hustle...........

Enjoy it while it lasts BoSux fans. It’s only a matter of time before MLB pitchers start to exploit aggressive at-bats. I know, I know. It’s working for them now. But maybe Oakland revealed for us all the weakness. Which would mean that, still, the Oakland scouting system remains miles ahead of that of the Halos..........

I am deliriously giddy at the thought that the chuckleheads at the Baseball Hall of Fame might actually have an non-authentic artifact from Babe Ruth that they have been showcasing for decades..........

Neil Walker is still upset at his Free Agency experience. I get it. It’s fair to think that Walker would have expected more than a last-minute $4 million deal (never mind that he is batting only a buck 83 right now). But it’s also fair to note that Walker is a put-him-anywhere-in-the-infield kind of guy, whose 2.2 fWAR last year would have put at the middle of the pack or lower at 1B, 2B, SS or 3B - all 4 of the infield positions. And for a lot of teams the infield depth chart became settled law pretty quickly. Maybe the REAL problem comes from this line in the linked article: “The implicit agreement in baseball’s current contract system is that the players give teams six or so cheap years of play, and in return, they’ll be paid what they’re worth and more in free agency.” That’s a pretty shitty presumption to build a career out of, and it still not even completely accurate. Free Agency implies that the player give those cheap and productive years to one team, and some other team is on the hook for paying what they were worth back when they were playing for that other team before they turned 32..........In parallel news, see Cabrera, Melky. That could just as easily been you, Neil..........

In our journey to opening up decision-making opportunities for women in Baseball, my bet is that the road to our first female GM does not lead through the scouting jobs. I am betting on the analyst side, such as with Julia Prusaczyk, now a baseball development analyst for the Cardinals..........

I still that it is stupid that MLB did their Ballpark Food Fest only in New York. This should have been a much wider event, held on the same Sunday in every ballpark so that all local fans had a chance to sample items from around MLB. Ballpark food has become an important enough thing on its own to warrant such communal celebration.........

Some day in the not-too-distant future somebody is going to post a comment or article around here that will lay claim to how they were able to translate Minor League pitching results into Major League projections. When they do, they will be using the FanGraphs data from here and here. It’s a huge slog (too huge even for the usual and customary FG commentariat!) and honestly I only scanned it. Forgive me, but I have a day job..........


The Duffle Bag

Wow. Tampa Bay prospect Willy Adames had the ultimate weekend..........Accuracy counts for something, I suppose. Especially to The Counters Of the Beans. But BBR now documenting cancelled/postponed games won’t be changing anybody’s stats so whatevs............Trying to untangle all the decades of experience that built up the MLB rule book, especially by a narrow POV, is a worthless exercise that will go nowhere..........David Ortiz, Boston Hero, wanted out of Boston before the Red Sox juice kicked in and they won those WS..........

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