And now your monthly edition of Monkeying Around! This week's guest star: broken promises!!!! Everyone please give them a round of applause!
Don't cry, monkey. Some promises are made to be broken.
- Torii Hunter looks like he is going to break his promise to steal 30 bases this year. It is mid-May and Torii only just stole his second base of the year. This is a good thing. That second steal was also his second steal attempt, which is fantastic as I had feared his pledge to swipe 30 had me trembling at the thought of him setting a new record for caught stealings in a season. Sure, he still gets thrown out trying too hard to advance to third on a play, but at least Hunter is finally coming to terms with the fact that he no longer has the speed of his youth.
- Another broken promise that is more disappointing is what I am guessing was the playing time promise that was originally made to Bobby Wilson. I hate getting all worked up about a third catcher, but the more I think on it, the more I realize that he is getting a raw deal. Hank Conger fully deserves the playing time he is getting, but it is inexcusable that Wilson hasn't been able to steal even the occasional start away from Jeff Mathis. I mean, if Conger can be given a shot to prove he is better than Mathis, why can't Wilson get one? I know Hank has a lot mroe upside, but the Angels have never even given Wilson a chance to show what his potential might be.
- I find it funny how Angel reserve outfielders develop a cult following. A few years ago, there would have been a large group of people that would have thrown a fit had the Halos traded Reggie Willits. Now, everyone realizes his limitations and was actually kind of upset that he just got promoted. But part of that outrage has to do with new cult-favorite Chris Pettit not getting the promotion even though Pettit is struggling mightily in Triple-A and clearly in need of regular playing time after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury. Honestly, I can't wait until 2013 when everyone realizes that Pettit is at best a fourth outfielder and starts clamoring to kick him off the roster to make room for the equally limited Tyson Auer.
- I remember thinking the Angels were overreacting when they sent down Kevin Jepsen. Jepsen now has a 4.76 ERA and has allowed in six of his last ten appearances. For whoever is taking the order, I prefer my crow be medium rare with a side of BBQ sauce. Thanks.
- Somehow the Mets fans managed to get their light-hitting catcher, Josh Thole, to quit Twitter. What I want to know is how they did it and can we hire them to try and get our own light-hitting catcher, Jeff Mathis, to quit baseball altogether?
- Part of me thinks the Angels only called up Alexi Amarista so that it wasn't so obvious that Maicer Izturis is the most under-sized three-hole hitter in all of baseball. Izzy looks like Prince Fielder compared to Amarista.
- A memo to everyone who has made some derivation on the joke, "hey Wells is out, but Milton Bradley is available!" We get it. We all get it. Now please stop pummeling that horse carcass.
- Last night's Angel lineup might've been the strangest ever. We had a 2B playing LF (Kendrick), a CF playing RF (Hunter), a 2B playing 3B (Callaspo), a SS playing 2B (Izturis), a DH playing 1B (Trumbo) and a should-be-DFA playing C (Mathis).
Woo hoo! Yeah! Validation for being an Orlando Palmeiro fan! Wait, being in a cult isn't a bad thing, is it?
I always want our guys to do well. Well, almost always. I hate that punk Alberto Callaspo's guts but that's because of him beating on Paola with both the Angels and the Dbacks. Pxxxy! Anyway, I get so invested in the farmhands and want them to do well that I've stuck with Mathis because he always teased me with the possibility of coming through as a hitter. But he's not doing it. Bobby Wilson, like Howie Kendrick, has been moved around and out of his preferred position and sat down on the bench for such extended periods of time that we completely forget about him. And without (public) complaint! But Mathis is now they guy who is so bad with the bat that the opponents now walk an unheralded rookie intentionally to get to him for that sure out (or two). I know it's not in keeping with baseball wisdom to start a rookie and back him up with a guy who has sixty six career game appearances but it's time to cut bait on this guy, start Conger and use Wilson more at both catcher AND first base. He has value as a backup at both positions.
Part two of the Mathis problem is who to bring up to take his place. That's the "and then what" question. Honest to God, the Angels would be hard pressed to show me a helpful position player in the minors who is worth promoting at this time. Having a real third baseman would be nice, if there were one to be found. Maybe the Monkey can help me out here.
By the way, Howie is a DUDE! This guy will do anything for the team. Never let him go.