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WeekEnd HaloLinks: OUT at Home

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With the worst home record of any contender, we need to kick the Halos to the road.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Los Angeles Angels Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just one of those times. Excuse me. What with all these zeros piling up, “one” would be an improvement. Until Shohei Ohtani’s 9th inning solo home run, the Angels had gone 21 innings without scoring a run. They have gone the last 27 innings and only scored 4. If nothing else, it’s a fine way to keep the bullpen from recording blown saves.

But this kind of shit-clustering is going to happen. Everybody goes through it. I could rag on these guys all night with pointed snark but I burned through my frustration in the Houston series. Now I am just worn down. I surrender. The Halos are slumping and I accept that. mike trOUT is slumping horribly and I accept that, too. (To document the slump, trOUT has now gone 6 games without a hit, with 1 hit over the past 8 games. He has 3 singles in his last 10 games, going 3 for 30. My baseball life is less fun when trOUT is not doing Troutian things.) The bullpen is a mess and I accept even that. And I can accept that C.J Cron has learned to be a productive player just in time to punish us.

What’s hard to accept is that the only reason that Laz Diaz has a Major League job is because every umpire in the Minor Leagues is worse at the job than he is. You don’t lose 7-1 because of an umpire, but you can be held to only 1 run that way. This PITCHF/x data is not something I consider perfectly accurate, but I have to believe that any failures in the system are consistent regardless of team. So it’s disappointing to see 5 strikes that Tyler Skaggs threw that were called balls (versus 1 ball called a strike). Jim Johnson didn’t get any favors on the edges, either. But Chris Archer? He got a strike zone that was 50% larger than the rulebook. And that’s too bad.

I’m out of here. I have DIY links stage for Monday because I will be beach-bound again. I am going to come back refreshed. With luck, the Halos will be refreshed, as well. I leave these guys to all of you.

-Links:


A Little Bit of trout News

Bad timing for Sam Miller. “Mike Trout is on pace for the greatest season in MLB history” should have been written 1 week earlier, before trout’s current slump really kicked in. Mike is at 2.9 fWAR and 3.5 bWAR after 43 games played. If you assume he will play his usual high-water mark of 157-159 games, those numbers project to ~10.6 fWAR and 12.8 bWAR. And that is assuming two things: (a) that trout snaps out of his current slump immediately, and (b) that he does not experience his usual and customary August/September swoon. 12.8 bWAR would still be amazing. That would be 3rd highest ever (from 1920 forward), 2nd highest among position players. But seriously, Sam, hit your deadlines...........

The above paragraph notwithstanding, Mike trout is already a Hall of Fame player...........

Ok, so some of you might already know where this is going. Whenever I read some formal MSM article proclaiming trout’s superiority, I ALWAYS go snooping around so that I can read the fan base response. There is always some army of detractors and their complaints are a benchmark for fan sophistication. These days it’s Mookie Betts. So I went hunting. The best place to start is right there with reddit. That community does the dirty work of reading the Facebook and ESPN comments for me..........

And Part 2 in the Deadspin “How Is It That MLB Cannot Sell Mike Trout?”..........


A Little Bit of Ohtani News

Here is a good question. Suppose the Angels make the playoffs? Not a bad supposition this season, as you should know. How the heck are they going to use Shohei Ohtani? You cannot actually follow the suggested plan in that article. The ALCS, for example, is typically a Friday/Saturday + Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday + Friday/Saturday schedule. The pre/post pitching rules for Ohtani would seem to limit him to only 3 appearances in the series, at most........

Ohtani is semi-succeeding on making counter-adjustments to MLB adjustments. Last night kind of stands out, though.

If nothing else works out (although it already has), Ohtani is one great teammate..........


A Little Bit of All the Other Angels News

Welp, it’s now official. Just as I predicted, Keynan Middleton is gone for 2018 and 2019, out with UCL injury and now subject to LAA surgery. Yeah. I re-branded the procedure. After all, Tommy John only had the surgery once. When the season opens in 2020 we might have an entire pitching roster with a history of UCL injuries...........

Justin Upton, the lone good news int eh LAA offense of late. took a shot to the hand and had to leave the game last night. As of this writing the news was that x-rays show no fracture...........

We get frustrated because it does not look as though the Halos are quite on par with the elite, but they are still doing damned good. Look a the factoids that Taylor Blake Ward pulls up in this tweet and replies. LAA starting pitchers over the last 16 games = 1.94 ERA. Starters for the season = 3.77 ERA (4th in the AL). Bullpen for the season = 3.67 ERA (5th in the AL). I would add that overall ERA is 4th in the AL......But down there in the replies I read that LAA has the “fifth highest BA in MLB with RISP”. Hmmm. I see them at 13th in the AL alone. And then 26th overall. I must be missing something..........

In other team stat news, let’s point out that, for May, the Angels are 5th in MLB overall in BA.....1st overall in OBP.....3rd overall in SLG.....2nd overall in OPS.....3rd overall in Runs Scored.....5th overall in team ERA..........So how is it that the Halos are only 9-6 on the month?..........

Jaime Barria is your optimal sleeper fantasy pick..........

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t a “mid-season roster check” wait until we actually get to mid-season?...........

I’m going to be spending the weekend back on the beach. You guys can follow the upcoming Albert Pujols milestones for me..........

Jo Adell getting some Class of 2017 5-tool love..........


Everywhere In Baseball

Second Draft Pickers Alert: June is around the corner. Here is a mock draft from CBS Sports.....Here is one from TheSportingNews..........

Brandon Belt, welcome to The Doug Eddings Fan Club...........

Manny Machado is having one hell of a contract season. Too bad he doesn’t play that most valuable of all positions, shortstop..........So the Cubs want him, anyway..........

I’m reading this bit on how the glut of tanking teams will dilute the payoff for teams currently tanking. I have already linked to how Jeter and his Marlins picked a bad year to use the tanking strategy, but I suddenly realized that the Marlins just took 2 of 3 against the Dodgers, In fact, they are 4-2 against the LADs in a year where they have only won 16 games. So laugh as I might about the sucky Dodgers, they have joined the horse race at the bottom of MLB and helped make that glut down there even more crowded for the Marlins. In fact, it’s possible the Marlins don’t even get to pick in the top 5 next year, with an outside chance now of not even getting into the top 10...........

Free Agents signing late and getting to avoid camp doesn’t seem to make all that much difference. The Phoenix metro business community might not want to hear this, but maybe ST is unnecessary?..........

Put some ‘pop’ in your saber skilz..........

We are getting these injuries around MLB in waves, aren’t we? Today we report Mike Soroka of the Braves to the DL.....Carson Kelly of the Cards goes to the DL, and Adam Wainwright gets pushed over to the 60-day.....Matt Wieters of the Nats just had hamstring surgery.....Ryan Braun of the Brewers goes to the DL with back issues..........I care less about the random names than I do about the clustering of events..........

Grant Brisbee is not having a very good day at the baseball betting parlor in 2038. Me? I am already dead so my day is a hell of a lot worse. But I do know where Brisbee dropped his slip..........Speaking of sports gambling, here is some looking behind the curtains of what’s coming..........


The Duffle Bag

Ian Happ wants to Be Like Mike...........Matt Harvey, dumped by the Mets off to Cincinnati, is already rumored to get dumped by the Reds..........(h/t UniWatch) Augmented Reality ticket stubs..........Ben Zobrist is going toe-to-toe with the MLB over his shoes, and expects to win...........I have had to travel by air a lot lately. It’s amazing how bad the process have become. It’s so bad I empathize with the Yankees...........Jabari Blash could take some lessons here..........