The March 13th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Jered Weaver was roughed up in spring training loss, Ervin Santana is working on his changeup, Bobby Grich should be in the Hall of Fame and much more...
The Monkey Says: Weaver was just working on his off-speed pitches, so this isn't cause for concern. Also, Trumbo played third base again and committed his first error of the spring. I'm sure it will be the first of many.
The Monkey Says: I don't see the harm in it even if it hasn't worked for him in the past. One of the big reasons people used to suggest that Ervin should move to the bullpen is because he is just a two-pitch pitcher. Upgrading his changeup to decent could make him much more effective and even prolong his career.
The Story: Bobby Grich should be in the Hall of Fame.
The Monkey Says: This is a great article about Grich but also about how the HoF voting process is flawed because of the relatively short window for a player to get in. Modern statistics make it obvious that Bobby should be in Cooperstown, but by the time the sabermetric way of thinking rolled around to reveal this, Grich's voting window had already closed.
The Monkey Says: The team is already talking about whether or not to have him play some minor league games first before making his Cactus League debut. My guess is that they will do that since they have been handling him with kid gloves every step of the way so far, why change now?
The Monkey Says: I'm not sure that I buy the premise that having one patient player in the lineup means that the rest of the batters will suddenly follow suit. Patience and plate discipline is something you have or you don't, a batter's approach can only change that so much. As the article states, Abreu had that kind of effect on the Angels when he first joined, but it doesn't seem like it sustained. In fact, I wonder if that was just people projecting what they wanted to see. I suspect that if someone studied it, we'd find that adding a patient hitter like Pujols has no emprical support for a team-wide increase in patience. I might have to study this.
The Monkey Says: Remember when I said yesterday that Fangraphs rating them 19th was the worst I've seen? This is worse, in case you are bad at math. I'm not surprised though, Goldstein seemed pretty down on many of the top Halo prospects, Garrett Richards in particular. There is no doubt that this system needs an infusion of talent, but I do think it can improve rapidly as much of the top talent in the system is still in the low minors. If they live up to expectations as they climb the ladder, the increased probability of them achieving their potential should make the system look better.
The Monkey Says: He has Scioscia's approval and that is all that really matters. The last thing Iannetta needs is to end up looking over his shoulder constantly like other Halo catchers before him.
The Story: Matt Shoemaker looks eerily like Billy Mays.
The Monkey Says: Except, you know, Shoemaker is still alive. Too soon?
The Monkey Says: That is just shameful. It is 100% accurate, but still shameful. Freaking Vernon Wells. If Mike Trout were the starter, I feel like the Angels could rank as high as 18th even considering the uncertainty of what Trout could do at this point of his career.
The Monkey Says: That's certainly an interesting philosophy, not exactly original, but interesting if only because I've never heard the Angel pitchers state it so plainly before. It also speaks to how good they are that they can basically attack each hitter in the same fashion and have so much success.
The Monkey Says: I would be more excited about this if I didn't think the Angels were already bursting at the seams with relief prospects.
The Monkey Says: I am all for it, but I doubt Bourjos would go for it. Signing him to a long-term extension to buyout his arbitration years and a few free agency years is pretty low-risk for the Angels as he is a lock to play elite defense as long as he stays healthy. However, his offense could be volatile in either direction, though it seems to be trending up, which is why Bourjos' agent would advise against such a deal since he stands to make a ton of money if he can prove to be a consistent offensive threat.
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"If they live up to expectations" is what I said for years about Angels prospects. I always wanted to think they would come through in some way. Operational word is "if". Years of disappointment followed until my rose-colored sunglasses were finally broken by Dallas McPherson. That's why I posed the same question here a month or two ago that Fangraphs did; where would their system be ranked without the ability to still list Trout as a prospect? That Top 30 Hit List of Angels prospects had way too many what-ifs to make me feel any better about them, especially considering the ages of some of those never-will-be's.
Anyway, I still slip into that bad place of being overly hopeful and so we should start a new AA. Angels (prospects) Anonymous. When I find myself getting too much in the camp of some kid whose time will never come I'd hope someone will talk me down off the ledge. *Please* talk me down off that ledge!