The June 19th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Trumbo unsure about participating in the Home Run Derby, Scioscia explains the Angels' lack of stolen bases and much more...
The Monkey Says: It is a little weird when a non-All-Star is in the derby but that is hardly the point. He has an outside shot at making the team though, so he could very well be back in the derby even if he is trying to back out already.
The Monkey Says: He is going to have a lot more explaining to do after we all watched Josh Hamilton hit into three double plays with Mike Trout standing stationary on first base.
The Monkey Says: And a lot of that has come from Scioscia protecting him from left-handed batters and often using him for only one or two batters.
The Monkey Says: I knew he was struggling but didn't realize it was that bad. Good thing he is the only righty off the bench so that Scioscia has nobody else to pinch-hit for Hamilton with.
The Monkey Says: Not that he is biased or anything on the topic. He is right though that the best players should go, which is why fan voting should probably count for less since we live in an era where it is more about which team can conjure up the best ballot box stuffing strategies.
The Monkey Says: I really worry for Riley's health if one of these teams doesn't turn it around soon.
The Story: Joe Blanton is baseball's biggest loser.
The Monkey Says: To be completely accurate, Blanton isn't the worst pitcher in baseball, he is the pitcher in baseball still allowed to be in a rotation. And the invocation of FIP is misleading because FIP isn't just a measure of luck. Blanton defies FIP a bit because he is an exception in that he can miss a fair amount of bats but also allows a lot of good contact all while not walking many batters.
The Monkey Says: Because what other choice does he have? Is there some clearly better alternative out there? It isn't like Pujols can be put on the DL and Joey Votto is going to take his place. It would be Brad Hawpe. Do you really think the Angels are better off with Hawpe than keeping Pujols in the lineup hoping that he comes around? Don't be obtuse.
The Monkey Says: This is a great cause, so please attend if you live in the area.
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I think Peter Bourjos jas a lot more explaining to do than anyone. No matter what happened, or didn't happen, he botched what was possibly the biggest bunt situation of the season so far. I don't care who is hitting .324 or .213, the Angels did not work the 9th inning as a team.
The lack of stolen bases points more to Aybar and Bourjos. Aybar has 1, Bourjos has 3. Not acceptable from either.
By the way, Pujols is having a better season than he was in 2012 to this point. His batting average is 11 points higher than it was at this point last season, and his OBP is 23 points higher.
Hamilton is having the terrible season, but I still wouldn't even put him in the top 5 reasons the Angels are 31-40. Angels are still 4th in OBP. But they're 12th in ERA, 12th in runs allowed, last in fielding, most outs on the bases, lost Weaver for 7 weeks. They've scored more runs than the Rangers and are outhitting them w/ RISP. It's about the pitching.
That's just my take on things. I love reading your stuff.