The July 5th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Haren finally admits to back problems, Iannetta readying for another try at rehab, Frieri trailing badly in Final Vote balloting and much more...
The Monkey Says: It is annoying that he hid this obvious problem for so long, but at least he is finally addressing it. I can't help but wonder if he might not have owned up to it (or the coaching staff might have pressed harder on the issue) had Weaver and Williams not already been on the DL at different times in the last month.
The Monkey Says: But this time, he means it. He's had setbacks twice already, so I will believe it when I see it but I hope I see it soon because I am going to gouge my eyes out if I have to watch Bobby Wilson hit anymore.
The Monkey Says: As of Tuesday, he was 4th, behind the likes of Jason Hammel, so he might want to start making real vacation plan for All-Star weekend, though he stands a chance of being picked as a replacement once guys start pulling out.
The Monkey Says: Honestly, I'd rather see Downs in the game as a show of respect for his excellent body of work over the past several years. Don't get me wrong, Frieri is amazing this season, but one stellar half-season is really the only credential he has on his All-Star resume.
The Monkey Says: The Angels season is looking bright right now, why go and ruin it by making me think about Vernon Wells? Lots of words could be spilled about what to do with Well (and I'm sure I will spill them eventually), but I have a feeling that an "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" policy strongly applies here.
The Monkey Says: Now I hate Hannity even more, partly because he is a Yankees fan (of course he is) but also because he is stupid enough to make a bet with Tweeden that actually involves here putting on more clothes.
The Monkey Says: Pena is blowing up right now, so he could be a nice short-term solution, but he still is a bit raw and doesn't have a polished third pitch. He's likely a better option than Trevor Bell or Brad Mills, but if the Angels intend to count on him and Richards for a long period of time, they could be in big trouble, making a trade starting pitching far more likely.
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I think your suspicions are correct about Haren not coming forward about his back earlier because Weaver and Williams were already on the DL. I'm sure he knew how thin we are in terms of SP depth in the minors and figured that even with some stiffness in his back he could provide more and better innings than some AA or AAA scrub. Unfortunately, he couldn't. It does chap my behind, however, how a lot of people are calling him selfish about not coming forward earlier and how he put his ironman streaks ahead of the team. I think he was doing his best to gut it out for the team during a time of need, and think he should be applauded for it. I'm hoping that they let him just rest his back for a couple of weeks and suspect he will come back strong as Weaver did.
In the long run, this may help the Angels retain Haren, who has made it clear he wants to stay. If, for some reason, this injury leads to an extended absence, I think they can just pay him his $3.5 million buy out and bring him back next year at a reduced rate, like an additional $6 million or so. And if he comes back strong like I suspect he will, they might be able to work out an extension at a slightly reduced rate. As long as he doesn't have some sort of catastrophic injury, which this doesn't seem to be, I see the Angels bringing him back one way or another.
@scioscialite No, a buyout doesn't really make sense. For starters, it is a sign of bad faith. Second, other teams have been more than willing to roll the dice on injured pitchers who have MUCH more serious injuries than Haren's current back issues.
Now, an extension at a reduced rate is where you are likely correct. One of Haren's big selling points has always been that he was invincible Not anymore!