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HumpLinks: Keel Hauled Again

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Pittsburgh pirates away another W by blowing up the Eppler pitching staff, and there’s nothing Ausmus could do about it.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Angels Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Quick stat: the LAA pitching staff is surrendering an average of 7.45 runs per game in August. I am not the expert in these kinds of things, but that sounds like it should be bad. At those kinds of rates, it probably doesn’t matter that the batting order last night had 6 guys batting below .240.

I have no idea how the brain power inside the LAA Front Office spin that as a hopeful situation. Lucky for me, I don’t have to.

It’s bad, not good, un-fun baseball. And it’s all ours. Good seats are now available.

It’s not unfamiliar to me, so I know how to deal. You will figure it out, too.

Until you get there, have some Still-Enjoy-Baseball-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

Mike Trout: the best pure hitter in baseball, now for eight straight years. So sayeth the people who know more about this kind of thing than Twitter......And, in general, Mike is pretty good at offense......(It turns out that throughout all of MLB, Yordan Alverez is the closest to being as good as Trout, but would have to be even 50% better to match Trout. Unless that is a logarithmic scale.)............

More looks at the new home of Mr. & Mrs. Trout.............

Prospect time. Jared Walsh getting some love for hitting his 30th home run on the MiLB season...........And Jeremiah Jackson getting recognized for breaking the Orem Owlz single-season home run record, with his 16th. That parks Jackson into the MLB Pipeline Top Performers report for the week..........

In this list of upcoming potential milestones over the balance of the season, there are a couple of points if interest that concern Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. But maybe the most intriguing thing would be that Christian Yelich has the chance to become the first player in MLB history to achieve 50 home runs and 30 steals in a single season. He would become the charter member of the 50-30 Club. It’s a long shot, but do-able. That is not the intriguing part. The intriguing part (to me) is that in spite of how tremendous that is, Yelich is way behind Trout in fWAR. FanGraphs don’t care too much for base stealing............

Ex-Halo Doug DeCinces avoids 99% of the potential prison time for insider trading. Clearly the sentencing judge was not around for the bottom of the 9th inning on October 12th, 1986..........


Everywhere In Baseball

I read this stuff about how the Red Sox are a giant mess, and how the Orioles are a giant mess, and how the Pirates are a giant mess, and then I see how the Halos have done against these three teams while they are in the middle of their tragic tailspin into 2019 oblivion.............

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed for a combined 23 years of service with the Phillies and Padres, respectively. 23 years. We are a combined 9 months into those contracts, but SportsIllustrated already wants to grade the results?..........

Somebody look this up. Are the Angels still sinker happy in 2019? How does their usage of that pitch compare to the rest of the AL? Because, as the Astros seem to know, sinkers are not effective any longer..........

We should be excited for baseball as a whole. The very young stars coming into the sport are historically great, which bodes well for the marketing future. How much of that will be lost to the taint of juiced baseballs is yet to be seen, and I will cringe if fixing the ball shuts all this talent down and puts on asterisk on the this back half of the decade...........But how does it compare to the elite rookie seasons of modern times? Well, Mike Trout warps things, but the class of 2012 is clearly #1. If things slow down enough, I may burn the time building a bWAR table of those classes, just for perspective..........

Today, MFY SS Gleyber Torres has one more game left with Baltimore this season. After that, he should take the season off. His production value for 2019 depends entirely upon the Orioles. Away from them, he is in the negative. Gleyber has been torching the Birds this week with another home run parade. As of this typing, he was at 13 for the season. Here they all are in one batch, which is kind of cool based on the earlier data point. It all means that his whole 2019 season is summed up in that single 2 minute and 20 second twitter clip..........

Sean Doolittle is struggle a bit lately for the Washington Nationals. After his latest outing, he is concerned about workload. Doolittle is up to 50.2 innings pitched, which is 4th-most in his career. But it’s only mid-August so those innings are compressed. And he has faced 222 batters, 3rd-most in his career. But the most telling thing is that he has thrown 902 pitches so far, and his career high is only 117 pitches above that, at 1019.....Innings management is something we have heard from the Nats before, with Stephen Strasburg.............

Dueling hyperbole from the same source: Lance Lynn, “...the best starter in the American League”........except for this guy.............

This is rich. We are encouraged to root for the Astros, because they are “...demonstrating that if a team really wants to win, they need to continue to improve and strive to put together the best team possible.” This is recognizing their 2019 Trade Deadline acquisitions in their effort to maximize the number of WS titles in whatever sized window their tanking cycle blesses them. The author DOES acknowledge that they tanked their way into their roster advantage, but fails to see the hypocrisy between striving “to put together the best team possible” and intentionally abusing their fans the first half of this decade by purposefully doing the exact opposite............

Check this out. The Astros have built one of the greatest rotations of all time. A quick bit of math shows that the #1 1998 Atlanta Braves rotation finished the season with 19.2 bWAR. The #2 1966 LA Dodger rotation finished at 19.6 bWAR. The 2019 Astros rotation is already at 17.4 bWAR. And the entire LAA pitching staff - everybody who has thrown a single pitch this season, don’t add up to anything more than 5.9 bWAR.............

Shitty teams are shitty teams. Relegation is not the answer. Nor is (see the few comments) granting the owners even more power and control with more restrictive drafts and salary caps. What is needed is a system that caps the rewards for being shitty. It’s good to give a team that is down a hand up. It’s bad to give teams more and more and more rewards as they find ways to make themselves shittier and shittier and shittier...........

Still gonna say it. Aristides Aquino is a great story for the moment. But so was Aaron Judge and so was Trevor Story and so was...well, you know them all. It’s fun to celebrate the explosion onto the scene, but baseball is a harsh mistress and baseball will adjust to Aquino. Can Aquino keep adjusting back? That is the eternal question..........

The Phillies have made a bold move. They have hired 75-year old Charlie Manuel to become their new hitting coach, expecting him to connect with the likes of 26-year old Bryce Harper............

Back to the Orioles. Rumors that they are going to move out of Camden Yards?? 27-years old. So, sure? Angel Stadium was 26-years old when Camden opened...........

I love this line: “With a thin pipeline of prospects, the Mets have built the oldest Class AAA team in baseball.” It’s what happens when a GM gets busy making trades all over the place to try and rapidly build a title contender.............

Jim Bouton’s grandson shares the story..............

I lost track of this announcement from last month. UniWatch, a part of my daily tour fetching things of baseball interest for you all, has been picked up by the new SportsIllustrated ownership after having been cast off by ESPN earlier this year. Here is Paul Lukas’ first SI column..........


The Duffle Bag

Jeff Mathis joins yet another list of, er, ‘notable’ MLB careers. It jumps out to me that 3 of those 10 have played under the Halo............The lives of the super rich just bring me to tears. ARod had nothing but stuff stolen from his rental outside of Oracle Park the other night. But that stuff has an estimated value of $500,000. I have to talk myself into leaving my $500 cellphone in my locked car for a 60-second run into the 7/11 to buy gas. Somebody is thinking less than that over enough value to buy 830,000 pounds of groceries to feed the hungry............