Daily Links for the LA Angels including Scioscia leaning towards carrying 12 pitchers, former Angel John Lackey's wife has breast cancer, Takahashi knew almost nothing about the Angels before signing and much more...
The Monkey Says: This is good news for guys like Jason Bulger and Rich Thompson who both could be waived if they don't make the Opening Day roster. Those guys, plus all the other viable relief arms they have now have an extra roster spot to compete for. On the other hand, this virtually guarantees that the Angel bench will feature Reggie Willits, Brandon Wood, Maicer Izturis (or Alberto Callaspo, depending on who gets the starting third base job) and the winner of the backup catcher competition. Noticeably lacking from that group of players is anyone, like Mark Trumbo, capable of playing first base (and hit, sorry Brandon Wood) and giving Kendry Morales a day off whenever he needs it, something that could be important if his recovery continues to be taken so slowly.
The Monkey Says: Well, this is just bad news. It sounds like his wife will be OK, but at the least, we should all probably give Big John a little bit more warm of a welcome the next time he visits Anaheim.
The Monkey Says: Wow, that really makes me feel good about one of the few Angel off-season acquisitions. Congrats, Tony Reagins, on signing a guy whose only knowledge about the team is what color they wear.
The Monkey Says: Pujols' contract talks with the Cardinals appear to be dead, so get ready for a season of incessant Pujols speculation. The Angels are already having their name thrown into the ring, but I highly doubt they make a serious run at Pujols. Albert is going to be asking for an absolutely preposterous contract should he hit free agency and given how Arte Moreno reacted to Carl Crawford's demands, I can't imagine he'd even momentarily consider the rumored 10-year, $300 million contract some think Pujols could demand (and rightly so, that contract would be beyond criminally insane).
The Monkey Says: I am HIGHLY hesitant to link to this since it is not confirmed by any media source, but I have heard this rumor repeatedly over the summer, so I am giving in. I like the notion of Wood going back to his old swing, since he has been infamous for tinkering with swing constantly the last few seasons. However, unless Kevin Long is also a psychiatrist, I don't think Wood is going to make any huge leaps since I firmly believe his primary problems are all in his head and not in his swing mechanics.
The Monkey Says: Good, let's all shut up about him now. Podsednik was never the answer to the leadoff problem in Anaheim and the fact that Pods was only able to land a minor league contract speaks volumes about the kind of impact the talent evaluators and decision makers in this league really think he could have.
The Monkey Says: I'm sure everyone will now sleep much better knowing this crucial decision has been made.
The Monkey Says: This piece was actually meant to showcase the reasons each player might have a shot at significant playing time, but it pretty much reveals that the decisions have already been made. Mathis is quite clearly Scioscia's favorite and he likes Wilson too. Scioscia's comments about Conger, however, seem to strongly suggest that he still thinks Conger has development left to do and I really doubt that he is going to let Conger develop in the big leagues, eating up at-bats that Jeff Mathis could be wasting.
The Story: Rebuilding Trevor Reckling's confidence.
The Monkey Says: Reckling was considered the team's top pitching prospect before he fell apart last season, but he is still plenty of young and full of promise. However, this season is going to be make or break for him since he is likely to return to Triple-A, where his 2010 struggles began. If he can't compete there again this year, then Reckling might have to be written off altogether.
The Monkey Says: OK, I'll be the jerk who says it, but Arte Moreno is on the list? First off, I kind of feel like including an owner is cheating. And second, should he really get so much credit for his tenure considering the team, while now competitive, has yet to even make a World Series appearance?