The June 15th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Dipoto reflects on when he traded Haren to the Angels, Wilson disproving his "overrated" label, Trout and Harper could be the next Mantle and Mays and much more...
The Monkey Says: One thing that the trade showed, but nobody really realized it at the time, was that Dipoto had balls. He gave up a top pitcher under a long-term contract and he did it without really pussyfooting around it for months like so many other GMs do when they trade a top player. He saw a great deal land in his lap and jumped on it.
The Monkey Says: Or have they? Wilson has a 2.30 ERA, but his xFIP is at 3.84 and his SIERA is at 3.79. He's walking one full batter more per nine innings last season but he is getting away with it all because his BABIP is at .237 and HR/9 down to 0.42. Part of the BABIP and HR/9 improvement can be attributed to no longer having to play his home games in the Ballpark in Arlington, a real hitter's park. The rest is probably just luck, so expect him to regress a little bit the rest of the way, but even if he does, he'll still be plenty good.
The Monkey Says: This is a wonder follow-up piece to the great write-up Jeff Sullivan did yesterday. It isn't a player comparison to those greats so much as an alternative theory that Trout and Harper could prove to be special enough that the general public never gets tired of marveling at them. However, what I find interesting is the theory being spawned by looking back at old issues of SPORT magazine. The key word there is "old." We live in a new media age where anyone can see any player at any time. Back in the days of Mantle and Mays, if you weren't in New York, you had very little opportunity to actually see those stars play so their legends grew and grew through word of mouth and exaggerated stories. There was no SportsCenter, no MLB.tv, no Twitter, no blogs, no nothing. The point is you could never get over-saturated on Mantle back then, but now you can very easily get more than your fill of Trout without even trying almost.
The Monkey Says: That is just a silly overstatement. Sure, Aybar could get a bit of a boost to his confidence after his homer, but his approach is garbage right now. Let's not forget that earlier in the game he hit into a doubleplay with the bases loaded by swinging at the first pitch against a pitcher who was struggling badly to find the strike zone that inning. He pretty much explained his entire hitting philosophy in that article, "I see the ball and swing hard." That's it. That's why he is in the top five of fewest pitches seen per plate appearance in all of baseball. Granted, he has always seen few pitches, but it appears that pitchers are exploiting that more and more this season.
The Story: The Angels need to bring back Torii Hunter.
The Monkey Says: Yeah, I'm not so sure about that. Hunter has been on fire lately, but he was also looking pretty bad earlier in the season. He does have value in the clubhouse, for sure, but that only goes so far. I'm also not totally against him returning though, but it would really depend on how much money he would want and whether or not he'd be willing to accept a one-year contract.
The Monkey Says: The suggestion that his slider isn't as sharp this year is an interesting one. To my eye, it seems fine, but the value of it is obviously down. I tend to think that has more to do with his horrible fastball command making it harder and harder to setup his slider. However, if someone more adept at using Pitch f/x data than I wants to try and prove that his slider is not breaking as sharply or as effectively, I would love to see that illustration.
The Monkey Says: Ah, yes, the famed "team chemistry." That is a nice way of saying the team is playing well. It just looks like "chemistry" because guys are always more relaxed when they are performing and the team is winning. They weren't suffering from "bad chemistry" early in the year, they just had too many players slumping at the same time... also, they had no Mike Trout. So there is that.
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