Daily Links for the LA Angels including the Angels regulars win their spring debuts, Trout gets pranked, the veterans get used to their new positions and much more...
The Monkey Says: This lineup was extremely close to the projected Opening Day lineup for the Angels except that Trumbo played in place of Kendry Morales. Vernon Wells also finally made his Angel debut and said all the right things about now being in left field. By the way, with the Angels using 10 different pitchers and making three mid-inning calls to the bullpen in a 3.5 hour game, this contest was an example of why anyone planning attending Spring Training games should wait until the final week or two of the Cactus League.
The Monkey Says: That is pretty good as far as pranks go. I'm guessing Trout is going to have to change his number, if he hasn't already.
The Monkey Says: Everyone is saying all the right things about their new positions, so don't expect any controversy about veterans having to switch positions. However, the transition could be a little rough despite Wells' and Hunters' reputations. Both need to learn all the new angles and there are real questions about if Hunter's arm can really play in right field.
The Monkey Says: Scioscia is still going to give Bobby occasional starts in the outfield, which I guess is OK, so long as it isn't overused. Abreu probably should have moved to DH years ago, so he should just be grateful that it took this long for it to happen.
The Monkey Says: They are actually projecting the biggest attendance drop in all of baseball, possibly even dropping the Angels under the 3 million attendance mark for the first time in years. I do believe that a drop is forthcoming, but that seems like a pretty dire prediction. Honestly, the Angels' record is going to be a major factor on how many fans walk through the gates this season.
The Monkey Says: This is an overlooked aspect of the Downs signing. The Halo bullpen is short on veterans with Shields gone, leaving a leadership void. Fernando Rodney is there, but has never had a mentor's rep. Takahashi is a veteran as well, but there is an obvious language barrier. That Downs can come in and actually teach all these hard-throwing youngsters some actual craft certainly won't hurt.
The Monkey Says: I co-sign this idea. I really like the idea of Trumbo being a platoon partner for Abreu at DH and providing power off the bench. My one concern though is that Trumbo still has a lot of learning to do when it comes to playing the outfield and that isn't really going to happen if he is in the majors as a reserve. I doubt he'll ever be even an average corner outfielder, but giving him more positional versatility will make him more useful to the Angels or, maybe more importantly, more attractive as a trade chip.
The Story: A look at the Angels' history with PECOTA.
The Monkey Says: I've talked about this before, the Angels always seem to make PECOTA look bad and hopefully that won't change this season. Even last year when PECOTA got their predicted record almost on the nose, they got it via the wrong means, predicting a strong offense and poor pitching, which we all know did not come to pass.