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HumpLinks: UnCanny

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Griffin Canning opens his MLB career in fine fashion.

Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Uncanny. Eerie, even.

You know the Angels have a long history of facing pitchers making their MLB debut and performing like Cy Young? And you know how we always mumble that we wish we had ourselves one of those?

We. Have. Ourselves. One. Of. Those!

We finally got to see how the other side lives. After years of bad luck in the pitcher department, we experienced the promise. And it felt great. Even if young Canning is back in SLC in a month or so, last night still felt great.

Griffin Canning opened his career with a perfect 1st inning: ground out, fly out, ground out.

But let’s pause here for a moment. Canning’s first MLB opposing batter was Eric Sogard, who came into the game with a slash line of .415/.478/.732 and an OPS of 1.210 over 41 AB’s. The guy is hot. On a 2-2 pitch Sogard hits a smash to the left side of the infield. The ball flashes past Canning to his right, where Griffin can turn around and follow what would have been a base hit back at Salt Lake. But back there is Andrelton Simmons. And what Canning actually sees is Simba vacuuming up that grounder and hurling out Sogard as though he were the finest defensive player in MLB. Can you just imagine the feeling of amazing confidence that Canning absorbed in that moment? Holy shit, he must have thought to himself, this is gonna be fun!

Onward.

His second inning was also perfect: K + K + K

His third inning was also perfect: K + K + pop out. So that was 5 strikeouts in a row.

His 4th inning as when things slowly started to catch up to him. Ground out, single, single, walk. Now the bases were loaded. Wild pitch = 1 run. Ground out + another K and the inning was over.

It was the 5th inning when he ran out of gas. Home run + double + line out = done for the night, hand things over to Cam Bedrosian. The runner on base would end up scoring on a fielder’s choice, tying the game at 3-3 and taking Canning out of the decision.

Brian Goodwin would smash an 8th inning home run to put the Angels up 4-3 and Hansel Robles was trotted out in the 9th to shut things down and seal the victory.

So what next for our Griffin? Tuesday May 7th in Detroit? One of the worst offenses in MLB this year? I can’t wait!

Oh, and before we go, let’s review yet another Brain Bour moment. It’s the 3rd inning. There are 2 outs and Bour is standing on second base, Mike Trout on first base. Brian Goodwin steps to the plate and gets a base hit. If you did NOT watch the game last night, what is your current expectation? Was it this? “Brian Goodwin singles on a ground ball to second baseman Eric Sogard. Mike Trout out at 2nd, pitcher Clay Buchholz to first baseman Rowdy Tellez. Justin Bour to 3rd. 3 out.” Oh hell yeah. Goodwin hit the ball to deep 2B, which got Bour to 3B, and then threw wildly towards first base, the ball overshooting everybody. Bour stood still. Trout, though, managed to get 90 feet to 2nd base, and then 90 more feet to 2rd base, and then 90 more feet back to 2nd base, where he was finally tagged out by the first baseman covering 2B in the wild play. And it was the pitcher who had chased don the loose baseball. And it was Justin Bour standing there at 3B all that time, going nowhere.

Let’s get it on with Canning-Shows-Up-At-The-Show-HaloLinks:

[LinkMaster Note to y’all: I am wondering. Should I include a visible marker for those links that are always behind a paywall, and a different marker for those links that can be behind a paywall if you have reached their monthly limit?]


A Little Bit Of Angels News

In top news, Tim Mead, who has long been the Angels Vice President of Communications, has been named to succeed Jeff Idelson as President of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This really is a big deal and we should all be both proud and happy of his achievement. From here on out Tim will be the person who will be announcing the names of every inductee. You will probably see more of Tim Mead now than you have over all the 40 years he has worked in Anaheim. On the down side, in all those years with the Angels he witnessed a meager 13 individual players enshrined into the LAA Hall of Fame (ignoring the entire 2002 roster, and coaches & execs), and only 3 players with retired jersey numbers. Mead might be a “small hall” kinda guy..........Too bad Tim won’t be there to call out the name of Mike Trout when it’s time..........

Griffin Canning had a long journey to the Big League mound last night..........Or, instead, the video version..........

Lots of early season chatter that Mike Trout is the current AL MVP fave, but this article also points out that his Angels are an early season Biggest Disappointment............

Still with Trout, sure, he has gotten even better. Better at not swinging the bat. Better at making contact when he does swing the bat. Not better at all at hitting the ball far when he does swing the bat and he does make contact. Going into last night he had hit only 1 HR since coming back from groin ouchies, 0 triples, and only 3 doubles. Add in 9 singles and that is his grand total offensive production beside a boat load of walks. It should be no surprise that he leads MLB in walks, and the AL in IBBs...........

Sam Freeman is now in limbo............

Shohei Ohtani is NOT going to Mexico.....If he doesn’t join his teammates on this upcoming road trip, he won’t be back in uniform until at least May 17th. That would be mid-May. Kinda what has been hinted at..........

Props to the Halos, fighting illiteracy. Somewhere very handy is a joke about the South, that I choose not to share...........


Everywhere In Baseball

Ya wanna see how hard projecting baseball can be? Take a gander at this early update from FiveThirtyEight. (And that frickin’ Astros rotation, man...dammit!) This is why I let you all play the pre-season prediction game on your own............

When the next solar flare takes out our global electrical infrastructure and we are all running a backyard cottage industrial plant to cook up our own candles, only us old-timers will know how to play fantasy baseball without game controllers...........

Yesterday was the 4-year anniversary of the White Sox - Orioles game played at an empty Camden Yard, due to civic unrest as a result of the Freddie Gray shooting..........

Because of the way that modern pitcher usage is being defined, we will probably see more no-hitters pitched in MiLB than MLB quite often..........

You know the world has too many lawyers when people have the opportunity to lawyer up over t-shirt cannons............

Quick, how many times has Mike Trout won AL Player of the Month in his career? (Answer below)..........

12 of 30 MLB teams have seen a drop in attendance versus march/April of 2018. The linked article doesn’t report on the Angels, so I went to BBR and looked at the reported numbers. LAA attendance for the first 15 home dates in 2019 were down 52,567 (8.7%), from 602,162 in 2018 to 549,595 in 2019. That does not include last night’s game, the last home game of March/April..........The Marlins, though, LMFAO..........

(h/t reddit) Family of organ donor meets recipient by chance at baseball game. Tear your tears right out of your eye sockets kind of stuff.........

Back in the olden days players probably had beefs with one another all the time. We fans just never got to bear first-hand witness to those beefs, because Twitter didn’t exist............

YouTube is picking up some of the MLB streaming slack that Facebook left on the table, with YouTube giving us 13 games in 2019. Of course, this being the marketing geniuses of MLB, they can’t give us a schedule of which 13 games at the time they tell us about the 13 games.........

Anonymous MLB Front Office person hosts an AMA on reddit. Some interesting stuff there. Best response: “Rosenthal is probably best national guy. Heyman is a clown.”.........Second best response: “I coached little league and won 1st place in my fantasy league 3 years ago...I can start next Monday.”...”Sounds like you’re qualified to be a pro scout.”..........

Also within that AMA, the mystery exec states that the biggest obstacle for signing a Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel is the draft pick associated with their rejected QO’s. So Keuchel activity might pick up after June. Seems kinda odd, though. We have new CBA rules. Now, the penalties are much much lower for everybody but the Red Sox, who exceeded the tax threshold last year. Most commonly, a second round pick and the loss of $500K in bonus pool money. Or, for revenue-sharing teams, even less of a penalty. That seems like a far trade-off for a proven MLB star player..........

You know how a team regresses to a mean? They do it in terms of pitching, or in terms of hitting. But when it comes to ability to field baseball with gloves, there is no regression to anything. A team that sucks on defense for one month, sucks for all of them...........

TIL: After following Major League Baseball for about 55 years, I just now learned that there exists the term ‘red ass’..........

Buckle up: the 2019-2020 Free Agent class is already being measured. And every one of those guys will be another year older. And for many of them, another year further into their decline.........

If bullpens are getting overused even though the starting pitcher might have been good for another inning or two, relievers are going to wear down and starters are going to look better by way of comparison..........


The Duffle Bag

No SoCal HH’ers can just move along: The Mighty690 shut down while on the air (streaming), and is gone forever. Problems with the lease on their broadcast tower, which is located in Mexico...........ESPN shuts down it’s magazine, and barber shops & doctor’s offices across America are weeping at the loss of coffee table coverage in their waiting areas..........Sean Doolittle got to help design his own bobblehead..........Oh, Astros. MiLB drug suspensions?..........Bats in the Mets’ belfry. No, not baseball bats. The OTHER kind of bat..........Dammit. We need to be playing against the Orioles NOW. They have already propped up the Yankees, the A’s, the Twins, and the White Sox.........Yasiel Puig...um...no..........Some baseball accomplishments might not be worth their associated post-game ritual..........

[ANSWER: Mike Trout has won AL Player of the Month 4 times. June 2014, July 2015, April 2017 and September 2018.)