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TuesdoLinks: Angels have a Minor Problem

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Halos calmed by Mike Minor again. But still they played hard-ass baseball.

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Ok, so there was that Mike Minor thing again. Angels lose 5-2 but there was good baseball in there. Jaime Barria’s scoreless inning streak ended in a bug way when he gave up a 4-run 2nd inning and that was pretty much ballgame. Oh well. At least Barria got a centerpiece from The Athletic, showcasing a new StatCast tool for pitchers.

The Halos, though, played the Rangers hard the other 17 frames.

We had things like Mike Trout busting his ass up the first base line to beat out an infield single.....Shohei Ohtani stealing third base.....Andrelton Simmons doing Andrelton Simmons.....Ohtani busting out his speed to stretch a deep outfield hit into a double.....Trout busting ass in the outfield to chase down a deep fly ball over his head.....Trout busting his ass in that same outfield racing IN to make a diving catch. (Both times robbing Adrian Beltre.).....Jose Briceno goes all out to save a late run.

The Trout —> Ohtani pairing is pretty. Together they were 4 for 9 with 1 run scored (Trout) and 1 RBI (Ohtani driving in Trout). I suspect that there might be some magic to be mined there. Sprinkle in some David Fletcher and the resurgent Calhoun and wait for the blossoming of Adell/Marsh/Thaiss/Jones, and we gots ourselves something fierce.

Plow through these I-Smell-Smoke-With-An-Elimination-Number-Of-3-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Shohei Ohtani News

Ladies and Gentlemen, Shohei Ohtani, your AL Player Of The Week. As I hinted yesterday, Ohtani had almost as good of a week as trout, but Ohtani hit more dingers. And Trout’s career history proves that dingers are what matters to MLB choosers of this award............

SportsIllustrated is doing a daily tweet, pimping the Ohtani for RoY article that they wrote last week..........

Brace yourselves. Mike Scioscia is on record pulling for his guy for RoY, too...........

A Little Bit Of Mike Trout News

At the moment, Trout has an OBP of .465. That leads all of MLB. It’s all because of the large number of walks he has drawn, and it fuels his MLB-leading OPS of 1.087. Pretty amazing, right? Well, consider the run that Ted Williams had from 1941 through 1946...........

But, all in, Mike Trout is very, very good. We have been witnessing history, up close and personal..........

I was thinking when I went into the weekend that I was going to demote Mike again. I had even gone and bookmarked some BBR data about his performance since July. And then he had the weekend he had, and shut all that down immediately. I was happy to delete the browser tabs. Kind of like the guy who writes the weekly Mike Trout Monday column..........

A Little Bit Of Angels News

Darin Erstad, Hall of Famer............

Father time, undefeated, is clawing at Albert Pujols. A couple of weeks ago Albert underwent the knife on his knee, ending his 2018 season. Pujols must have found one of those Big Box hospitals, where you buy everything in bulk. While he is recuperating from surgery #1, he will undergo surgery #2, this time for elbow bone spurs. There is a message in there, Albert.

For his part, Pujols is committed to playing 1B more in 2019. If that means Ohtani gets more DH At-Bats, I’m all for it. But then I still believe in Santa Clause. No, really, I do...........


Everywhere In Baseball

The Phillies grounds crew forgot to roll out the tarps while the team was on the road, and recent eastern storms obliterated their field. How to fix that in time for last night’s home game? Flame throwers. Didn’t help. The game was postponed anyway as the rain came roaring back...........

Now we have real weather problems. besides the Phillies game (above), the Mets/Marlins game was rained out. This one could mess up Jacob deGrom’s run at the NL CYA..........And don’t forget, as I mentioned yesterday Hurricane Florence is fast approaching. That should have multiple impacts on these closing weeks of the season.........And Florence is only the first (but certainly intensifying). Mother Nature is lining up to drive Rob Manfred batshit crazy. If the playoffs were to start right now, 4 of the 10 teams that would be playing are those at risk of hurricane weather (Boston, Houston, Yew Nork, and Atlanta). Philadelphia is still an outside shot, but Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Miami, the other Yew Nork all have important games coming that might be impacted........

Baseball evolves. When it evolves to the period where fewer and fewer pitchers are throwing complete games, you are going to get fewer and fewer complete game anything. Including complete game shutouts. But I am not one of those brainiac saber heads they got over there at BeyondTheBoxScore, so what do I know?..........

Watch out. Mookie Betts and JD Martinez may split the east coast MVP votes...........

Josh Donaldson will probably get to play in the post-season. He has only played 36 games to date, and all of those for a team that’s more than 30 games out of 1st place. He’ll be lucky to get 50 total games in before October, and he might still be a little shaky. This should be some kind of crime...........On the other hand, Kenley Jansen might also play in the playoffs, and just days later will undergo heart surgery. Yikes!..........

That blown call late in the Astros-Red Sox game, the one that Instant Replay got wrong as well, is going to cause MLB to review their process. At least, that’s what they are promising Houston skipper A.J. Hinch. Well, yeah, any review that takes 4 minutes is an indication of a bad process. That needs to be fixed. But the phantom umpire behind the curtain getting the call wrong is not a process thing. It’s an eyeball thing. If they don’t get better eyeballs into the system, process means nothing..........

Here is reminder #1269, using Oakland as the example, that a GM guessing right in winter and building the right bullpen that will have the most hot hands, all peaking at the same year, is the one who win baseball..........

The TJ trend is not about pitchers throwing harder. It’s about pitchers throwing hard more often. This should mean that the crafty junk-ball pitcher could be the next market advantage. They may not throw too many 98 mph pitches, but if they can still get batters out at the same rate AND stay healthy year over year, they win..........

MLB is sending an All-Star team to tour Japan after the season. Players are starting to be named. So far, only 1 American League player..........

When one of the leading voices arguing against publicly financed sports venues scam goes to the dark side, what do you get? You get a shiny new, very expensive, publicly-financed, Minor League Baseball stadium..........

This 2020 CBA idea has trouble written all over it. To fix the MLBPA challenges of money moving away from union members with seniority, and franchises capable of pocketing an extra season of cheap labor at the younger end, too, how about making every player a free agent when they finish their age-28 season? That would mean that Mike Trout would hit the open market after next season regardless of how much Arte might want to offer him now. No more lifetime contracts, i suppose, and lots of small-market teams panicking during some player’s age-26 season trying to move him while there is still value...........

MLB Network ratings declined. I blame Mike Trout on the DL..........

The Women’s baseball World Cup just concluded, with Japan defeating Chinese Tapei for the title. A review of the tourney shows that there is enough talent among women baseball athletes to stop forcing younger athletes over to softball. There is enough skill to play baseball straight up. beside, they have a much cooler trophy than MLB...........Which reminds me. Part II of the Old-Time Beisbol in Mexico photo essay includes pictures of women playing hardball way back then, also..........

Just to keep you informed and alert, your 2018 playoff schedule again..........


The Duffle Bag

Have a run down quiz..........It occurs to me that the next time that Oakland does their Hispanic Night and re-brand themselves as the Athleticos, they should do it when the Angels are in town and can wear the throwbacks from 1961. The ones that say “Los Angeles” on the front. Or, as you know, “The Angels”. We can finally cash in uniquely on the name game, doing Hispanic night AND a throwback game all in one.............I was going to get excited about suggesting that Matt Davidson share his two-way player exercise routine with Shohei Ohtani. Then I looked it up. Davidson has pitched 3 total innings in his entire career. Only MLB marketeers call that a two-way player..........MLB has the Big News! Aaron Judge took batting practice, and in practice he hit a baseball over the outfield wall!!..........Tim Mead never shouts out birthday wishes for me. And I write more words per day on behalf of his team than anybody he has on staff. I need to lick more boots..........