Daily Links for the LA Angels including Wells still weeks away from a return, surgeons cast a doom-filled projection for Morales' injury, Chatwood making Kazmir expendable (or is he?) and much more...
The Monkey Says: That is no good. It doesn't sound like the team is too interested in seeking help outside the organization to replace Wells, but I suspect that might change if Vernon doesn't feel a lot better in two weeks.
The Monkey Says: It is important to note that these surgeons have not examined Morales, however, they say some pretty ominous things about Morales possibly having developed an arthritic condition that could put his ability to play at full capacity, if at all, in real doubt.
The Monkey Says: Nor should they be. Last year, his loss was sudden and demoralizing, but this season it was somewhat expected and merely disappointing. I still firmly believe the team needs to move aggressively to land a big bat to bulk up their lineup though since they were somewhat counting on getting Kendrys back to provide that boost.
The Story: The Angels can still win without Morales.
The Monkey Says: Some good points here about how the team's offense can get better if Hunter and Wells come around and if overachievers like Kendrick, Callaspo and Bourjos don't regress too much in the second half. Still, I'd feel a lot better if the Halos traded for another big bat.
The Story: Has Chatwood made Kazmir expendable?
The Monkey Says: Too... many... jokes... brain overloading! Seriously though, the answer, to me, is strangely "no." Chatwood has been competitive but his walk rates and very low whiff rates are alarming. The team has very little starting depth after Chatwood, so keeping Kazmir might be a necessary evil. That being said, Kazmir is not receiving good reviews for his work in extended spring training, so he may never even get a shot to prove himself one last time.
The Story: Is Howie Kendrick for real?
The Monkey Says: As the article points out, he has to come back to earth a little bit, but I think Howie has started to "figure it out." His newfound patience has made him a much more dangerous hitter, and I do believe the increased power is somewhat sustainable since he is a strong guy, but he has been (and is still) such a line drive hitter, that he never really got a lot of elevation on his hard hit balls. Maybe his power surge is merely him learning to lift pitches when he has one in his wheelhouse? (Or maybe not since his FB% is actually the lowest of his career now.)
The Story: Is Maicer Izturis a stealth MVP candidate?
The Monkey Says: I think Mike Scioscia hacked into Mark Saxon's computer. Izzy has been excellent this season, but MVP of the league? The team, maybe, but not the league.
The Monkey Says: I kind of saw this coming for Aybar since it was pretty clear that he screwed up his own head last year, but I never thought he'd have as much success as he is having right now.
The Monkey Says: You're never going to believe who wrote this article. I like the part where Scioscia says Jeff Mathis "shouldn't hit .200." You know, except for that whole thing where .199 is his career average. Sorry, Mike, but history says Mathis should hit .200.