The January 19th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels will be prominently featured on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, Angels announce non-roster invites, Dipoto says extension talks with Aybar are still ongoing and much more...
The Monkey Says: Out of the ten games announced thus far, the Angels play in two of them. One against the Yankees, another against the Rangers. Both are road games. Undoubtedly, ESPN will televise the high-profile Angels as much as they can. It is almost like this was part of Arte Moreno's plan.
The Monkey Says: No real surprises on the list. Just the typical crew of prospects and recently signed veteran retreads like Cantu and Langerhans. If there is anyone to get excited about, it is catcher Jett Bandy. I have no idea who he is, but his name is fantastic. I feel like he should be a 1950's private eye or a cast member on Gossip Girl.
The Monkey Says: The Dipoto quote here sounds a lot more optimistic than I anticipated, so maybe an extension really is plausible, but I still very much doubt it happens.
The Monkey Says: The Wizard of OC had a pretty nice career and was generally well-liked wherever he went, especially Anaheim. He will be missed.
The Monkey Says: Everyone and their mother will want the Pujols bobblehead. However, I will punch anyone in the face that I catch wearing an Angels cowboy hat in a game against the Texas Rangers.
The Monkey Says: I don't think anyone has a real problem with Callaspo as starting third baseman for this year. The problem is that he isn't somebody that you are going to be happy with long-term, especially when he starts costing more and more money. In fact, no matter what he does this season, there is a good chance he will be traded or non-tendered simply because of the raise he is going to get via arbitration making him no longer a cost effective stopgap at third.
The Monkey Says: I actually think the Angels could end up being the best over the Phillies since Vance Worley is a bit of an unknown as is their fifth spot.
The Story: A prospect profile of Luis Jimenez.
The Monkey Says: This is a very well articulated point on why Lucho might struggle to find a role in Anaheim. He could be a fine player, but as of right now he doesn't fit how the Angels want to build their roster. Then again, they don't really have many other options, so they might just cram him in there next season anyway.
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Yesterday I had the impression that Saxon's Case For Alberto Callaspo had a lot of wishful thinking and even more selective stat cherry-picking. Maybe not picking, more like "selective conclusions". Disclaimer: I don't have the time and inclination to look it up so I'm going by gut on the stat thing. I assume that WAR number is based on a comparison of players at the position, possibly AL players at the position. A position of weakness in baseball overall or, as KLaw put it in the podcast the other day, "especially in the American League." I can't immediately (and immediately is always important) find the list of UZR 150 players but those 15 errors lead everyone not name Mark Reynolds or Casey McGehee, while that .959 fielding percentage is pretty weak comparatively speaking.
That WAR comparison (and again I'm assuming it's a positional comparison) of 4.5, I believe, gives a false positive when compared to the Trumbo and Izturis. Trumbo is being compared to a position of strength and, just as Callaspo may get a bump for playing one position all season, Izturis must surely get added value for a lower number across more positions.
Even if I am completely wrong (and I often am) why is it those fielding numbers feel as empty as his batting average/OBP feel? Well, the OBP is hurt by his -0.6 base running but that stat I stumbled upon just confirmed one of my basic gut feelings about him. My eyes didn't show me the same rosy story espoused in this article just as the bullpen ERA didn't show us their all-too-often failures. I'd still have to think that if Trumbo can just hang on to almost everything hit at him he will look just as good as Callaspo, who is just no Chone Figgins at third the way Saxon wants those numbers to show us.
On the plus side, all three "color hosts" on Hot Stove had the Angels in the top five of the AL Power Rankings with Billy Ripkin being the outlier, rating them at #5. So we've got that going for us.
Ok, ok, ok... I know it's all about Albert and stuff, but it's great to see the Angels on ESPN, at least for me, since they're the only way one can watch MLB in Brazil, except for MLB.tv.
@Rick K. Errors are overrated, Rick. They fail to differentiate between errors on routine plays and errors on very tough plays. For example, it would be unfair to a guy like Peter Bourjos to judge him for making an error on a ball hit deep into the gap that he barely gets to and has it glance off his glove when almost every other CF in baseball never would have even gotten near the ball. To put it in perspective at third base, Evan Longoria made 14 errors and is widely considered to be a defensive wizard.
Now, Callaspo is no Longoria at third, but he is above average as his UZR and DRS are both good for fifth amongst qualified third baseman. He also made a respectable 33 out of zone plays. That's good enough for me, for now. Ultimately, the Angels need to find someone who can be more than just slightly above average offensively and defensively. That's the problem with Jimenez, his allergy to taking walks is going to severely limit his offensive upside unless he turns out to be a consistent 30+ home run hitter.
@monkeywithahalo Oh, I'm not saying Callaspo doesn't plug the hole in the dyke at third for now. And I am willing to stipulate that I hate his guts and think him a blight on the team who should never have been allowed to put on the Angels uniform again. Raiders, Ravens or Giants, maybe, but not the Angels. It's just unfortunate (for now) the Angels don't have a viable replacement within sight of the big leagues to maybe take his place or challenge him, at the very least. C'mon, Kaleb! You can do it, buddy!
And yes, errors for a guy who extends the boundaries of the position, like Bourjos or Longoria, are one thing. Errors for a player of more, er, limited abilities/range/whatever are much more difficult to swallow. Whatever the stats say, I just don't see a guy whose play at the position is much above utility, at best. Really, he looks to me like the proverbial "replacement player" (which he literally is, considering their planned third baseman for years to come flamed out so spectacularly). At least, according to my eyes. Why can't I shake that feeling?