The December 22nd, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels still looking at less expensive relief options, evaluating the kind of protection Pujols can really provide, wondering if the Angels and Rangers are really in a spending war and much more...
The Monkey Says: This is mostly a speculative piece, but it does seem to rule out Francisco Cordero and even Luis Ayala and Dan Wheeler. Honestly, there just aren't a lot of great options on the free agent market right now, so the Angels might be better off pursuing help via trade.
The Monkey Says: I know it is only one year of stats, but it is interesting that the walk rates are the same and the power is less. I would have totally expected the opposite. It makes me want to do even more research to see what the trend is over several years. Almost. I'm just too lazy to do it right now.
The Monkey Says: The suggestion at the end of the article is that this is going to be an annual spending battle between the two teams, but that feels like an overstatement. Each team has pockets that are getting deeper, but they aren't bottomless like the Yankees and Red Sox. In fact, both teams will be spending a lot of money in the next few years just trying to keep their homegrown talent from leaving.
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I don't know why, but I love makeshift bullpens full of veterans. I remember when Angel bullpens consisted featured Chuck Crim, Scott Bailes, Mark Eichorn, Lee Smith, Mitch Williams, Greg Cadaret, Trevor Wilson, Mike Magnante, it seemed endless. There are only a few decent options on the FA market, so I agree they will probably go for a trade.
The difference with many of the hitters that were in front of Pujols in 2011, is that there is no one on that team who can fly and get to 3B with the snap of a finger like Bourjos, and most of those those #2 hitters don't really have the potential that Kendrick has. Howie could turn into a 25 HR 100 RBI by accident, by having Bourjos flying to 3B almost every time he gets on base, and seeing a lot more fastballs because of both that and having the best player in the game lurking behind him. This scenario reminds me of the way the 2009 offense was set up.
I honestly don't see the Rangers competing with the Angels very much as far as money. Sure, the Rangers can tap into the bigger market that the Dallas Cowboys are swimming in, but it still doesn't compare with Southern California. The Angels will dominate when going for pitching, and could slightly out do the Rangers on the position player side just by having both the best player in the game and possibly the best manager in the game. Then of course there's the facts that the Angels have a new TV deal, and owned by a billionaire.
I wouldn't bother with the research, Mr. The Monkey. My guess is that your prediction is probably pretty darn close. I'd like to see Howie feel like he won't need to go for power so I'd lower the home run number a little. That BA number is probably still attainable, even if higher than the number we saw in St. Louis (a permanently slumping Rasmus hitting .246 didn't help that overall St Louis #2 batter's average, especially if he got the bulk of the work there). Maybe a look at #2 hitters NOT named Rasmus would be fun.
Anyway, Howie's "contact approach" should mean a lot of 300 foot line drives so you might raise the extra base hit number a bit while lowering the HR's. It will work out just fine. Can we start the season, like, NOW please?
@RyanWKrol Oops! I should have read this before I answered you above about Howie. True, true and true!
Heh, heh! Bob Starr calling Eichorn's slider(?) a "Frisbee". That was great!
@Rick K. Maintaining that approach could still translate to a 20+ HR season. The guy has surprising pop, and with the center piece hitting behind him, Howie cam relax and not try to do too much. I see similar things happening for Hunter, Trumbo, and Wells now that the pressure is off of a bit. Those guys aren't equipped to carry an offense on their backs. Trumbo might one day though. I think we'll finally see what Kendrick is capable of now that he will have a more defined role in the starting lineup.
Yeah, Rasmus hit .259 batting second while in St. Louis. Mostly owing to a hot start that went WAY downhill.
@RyanWKrol Yes, true. Mr. The Monkey was correct the other day, Howie could easily fall into that many home runs just from seeing more fastballs. I'd hope he doesn't alter his swing and approach just for them, though. t think that was the big disappointment about Rasmus in St. Louis. Why didn't he benefit more hitting in front of Albert?