The January 27th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Morales' recovery gets a boost after an impressive workout, Jorge Cantu a big "what if" for the Angels, how other big ticket Angel additions fared in their first seasons and much more...
The Monkey Says: This is a major development for several reasons. First off, up until this report, you probably had a better chance of finding someone who had witnessed a shark fighting an eagle than finding someone who had actually witnessed Kendrys Morales working out. Most importantly though the report states that Morales was taking swings from both sides of the plate, which is supposedly the first time he has done that since he suffered his injury. I've been very much in the camp of not believing in the Morales comeback until he actually proves it in a regular season game, but this is reason for hope that even I can't deny.
The Monkey Says: Sorry, but I disagree. Cantu is not good. He had two good seasons and that is it. He has just one season with a fWAR above 1.5 and three that were below zero. That being said, he should be better than he was in his terrible stint in San Diego last year. That should give him a shot of winning a bench spot with the Halos, but if he gets more than 150 at-bats for the Angels this season, they are in deep trouble.
The Monkey Says: We all know the Mo Vaughn precedent, but the general trend with these acquisitions is that when it works for the Angels it really works. When it doesn't, it goes really bad. Barring a freak injury, I can't imagine that Pujols' season will be anything great.
The Story: A look at #4 Angels prospect John Hellweg.
The Monkey Says: Hellweg is a lottery ticket and will be exciting to watch this year. It will be very interesting to see where he lands in other national prospect lists though since he is really only just establishing himself as a top performer.
The Story: The Los Angeles Angels of Pawnee.
The Monkey Says: Literally that best meme ever.
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Whoa WHOA W H O A!!! Morales is swinging away at Tempe Diablo ALREADY!? I will do my best to make sure my lunch breaks are spent at the complex to see if I can get first hand proof of this occurance. Additionally if I can land any photographic/video evidence, i will grant exclusive access to said photographs to...hmmm, I'm not sure who yet. Let me get the pics first and then perhaps we can negotiate muahhahahaha
I'm not saying Cantu will bounce back. The last paragraph I say it's pretty much all for naught because he's toast, I'm simply saying that IF (big if) he bounces back, the Angels would have more depth than they know what to do with and it could make either Callaspo or Cantu a semi-valuable trade chip.
@ScottyAllenLAAI Well that's that thing, I don't think he is completely toast. I think he can have value, I just think the odds of him having enough value to make anyone expendable is a longshot. Asking him to be more than a bench player is overextending him. You did make a good point though about how he is a terrible 3B, which complicates matters further since he would have to bounceback both offensively and defensively for the trade chip scenario can unfold.
In all seriousness, I think a more likely scenario is Lucho killing it in Salt Lake and getting promoted thus making Beto expendable. That I can see happening.
@monkeywithahalo I think the most likely scenario is similar to what you're thinking with a slight twist. I think Lucho absolutely shreds AAA pitching and then is dealt at the trade deadline for a closer or elite reliever. Jimenez simply isn't a "Dipoto" type of player, he swings at everything. Granted he manages to hit everything as well but his OBP will never be as high as what our new GM is looking for.
Once next offseason roles around, the third base picture will be considerably more clear. Either Trumbo successfully transitions and becomes a part time player there, or Callaspo can possibly be extended, or Aybar leaves for Free Agency necessitating Maicer Izturis' resigning making him a valuable option or (and this one's the biggest) the Angels go after David Wright in free agency.
Even though Lucho's probably my favorite prospect in the minors, I doubt he'll be the Angels starting 3B with their new philosophy geared toward OBP.
@ScottyAllenLAAI That's possible. It will certainly be a test of just how devoted Dipoto is to the OBP boost. 3B is such a thin position in the majors right now that I kind of feel like beggars can't be choosers, so maybe JeDi will just be happy to have a guy that can field the position and hit for power with a good average. Maybe he only goes with Lucho for the short-term until a better option comes along, like Wright (who still scares me).