The February 7th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Pujols had 'normal' offseason, Angels as a sleeper team and much more...
The Monkey Says: Well, that's great, but I also doubt he would say anything else. Pujols refused to even own up to how his bad feet were affecting his hitting last season even though it was literally painfully obvious that they were affecting him. Until we see him sprint all out down a baseline without grimacing, there is going to be doubt.
The Story: The Angels are post-hype sleepers in 2014.
The Monkey Says: I don't know if "sleeper" is the term I would use. Most know that this team has a lot of talent, but they have just had so much bad luck, some of which they created for themselves, that maybe people are assuming they will continue to have bad luck. To me that is more of a "bounceback" team than a "sleeper."
The Story: The Angels could be a surprise team in 2014.
The Monkey Says: Again, wrong word. It wouldn't be a surprise if they are good. Many have already detailed what it would take for the Angels to be a contender again: healthy Pujols, bounceback Hamilton, the Richards-Santiago-Skaggs trio all click in the rotation and the bullpen steps up a bit. That's entirely plausible and easy to foresee. A surprise would be the 2012 Orioles who nobody envisioned being a playoff team.
The Story: The Angels should sign Bronson Arroyo.
The Monkey Says: No, they shouldn't. Even if you set aside the concern that he will get battered in the American League, the real issue is that Arroyo wants two or even three years on a contract. That is not something the Angels should give out when they need to preserve financial flexibility to pursue a legitimate frontline starter like James Shields next offseason.
The Story: Debating signing Bronson Arroyo.
The Monkey Says: Did I not just explain this? For what it is worth, there is a rumor that Arroyo has narrowed down his list of suitors and the Angels are not among them, so this debate is now irrelevant.
The Monkey Says: That's entirely fair. They could be better, but they have some work to do. What is worth noting is he has the A's ranked 10th and the Rangers ranked 7th. These are entirely subjective, of course, but it goes to show that the gap between the Angels and those two teams might not be all that big.
The Story: All flyballs are not created equal.
The Monkey Says: I'd love to see this data for Weaver as the working theory had long been that he was able to induce more of these "sharp flyballs" with his curve up in the zone. That info isn't really publicly available, but it would provide some real insight into whether or not he really is in decline.
The Monkey Says: This is why Trout needs to bat second and not a slappy like Aybar. This is critically important to understand.
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