The October 11th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including questioning the firing of Eppard and Picciolo, Trout credits his father for his development and much more...
The Monkey Says: Simers, an actual high-paid journalist, uses two people losing their livelihood to craft his little play without ever actually doing any real reporting to see if there is a reason beyond the public statement given about the firing. This is what T.J. Simers does and why I wish this piece of excrement didn't somehow leak out of the OC Register's normally ironclad paywall.
The Monkey Says: I kind of want Jeff Trout to adopt me now.
Before the season, we fans all obsess over the various projections models that attempt to tell us how our teams and players are expected to perform. As Angel fans know quite well, these projections are far from perfect as the Halos have made a habit of soundly beating the projections or getting savagely beaten by them.
Now that the season is over, it seems prudent to look back at those projections, including my own personal projections from my annual player profile series, to see just how right or wrong (mostly wrong) we all were. Today, we look at the Angels' hitters, with the pitchers on deck for tomorrow.
2012 Stats: 554 PA, .290 AVG, .324 OBP, .416 SLG, 67 R, 8 HR, 45 RBI, 20 SB, 4 CS, 61 K, .321 wOBA, 109 OPS+, 3.4 fWAR
2013 ZiPS Projections: 601 PA, .276 AVG, .317 OBP, .393 SLG, 72 R, 8 HR, 48 RBI, 23 SB, 6 CS, 69 K, .309 wOBA, 99 OPS+, 2.7 fWAR
2013 Bill James Projections: 553 PA, .278 AVG, .321 OBP, .389 SLG, 69 R, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 20 SB, 7 CS, 65 K, .307 wOBA
2013 CAIRO Projections: 488 PA, .274 AVG, .315 OBP, .392 SLG, 55 R, 7 HR, 44 RBI, 17 SB, 5 CS, 62 K, .309 wOBA
2013 MWAH Projections: 650 PA, .285 AVG, .318 OBP, .406 SLG, 88 R, 9 HR, 64 RBI, 28 SB, 6 CS, 80 K, .322 wOBA
2013 Actual: 589 PA, .271 AVG, .301 OBP, .382 SLG, 68 R, 6 HR, 54 RBI, 12 SB, 7 CS, 59 K, .299 wOBA, 93 OPS+, 1.6 fWAR
Clearly, it was a down season for Aybar, but nobody saw it being this bad. Nobody was egregiously far off on his average and power production, but what stands out is how far off the systems all were in terms of his OBP and base stealing. The leg injuries could explain his lack of stolen base attempts and success, but his decline in plate discipline is very unusual, especially when you consider that he is right in the prime age range for walk rates. That probably won't stop Scioscia from trying to have him bat leadoff next season though. Yay.
2012 Stats: 195 PA, .220 AVG, .291 OBP, .315 SLG, 27 R, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 3 SB, 1 CS, 44 K, .272 wOBA, 73 OPS+, 1.9 fWAR
2013 ZiPS Projections: 471 PA, .248 AVG, .302 OBP, .396 SLG, 63 R, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 18 SB, 6 CS, 102 K, .302 wOBA, 2.8 fWAR
2013 Bill James Projections: 613 PA, .262 AVG, .316 OBP, .411 SLG, 88 R, 13 HR, 57 RBI, 24 SB, 9 CS, 124 K, .315 wOBA
2013 CAIRO Projections: 453 PA, .255 AVG, .308 OBP, .401 SLG, 58 R, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 16 SB, 6 CS, 95 K, .309 wOBA
2013 MWAH Projections: 530 PA, .253 AVG, .308 OBP, .394 SLG, 58 R, 11 HR, 52 RBI, 31 SB,9 CS, 114 K, .313 wOBA
2013 Actual: 196 PA, .274 AVG, .333 OBP, .377 SLG, 26 R, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 6 SB, 0 CS, 43 K, .317 wOBA, 102 OPS+, 1.1 fWAR
Give Bill James credit for believing in Bourjos more than everyone else, but we all lose points for overestimating his power potential. Though, to be fair, 196 plate appearances is hardly a sufficient sample especially with a few dozen of those at-bats coming after he hurt his wrist. Really his whole comparison isn't worthwhile because of the injury issues.
The October 10th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including speculation on Angel coaching staff vacancies, five minor league coaches fired and much more...
The Monkey Says: I'd be surprised if Omar Vizquel didn't get appointed to some sort of role. Not that I am in the clubhouse, but it seems like this team could really use an infusion of energy on the coaching staff and Vizquel would be well-suited for that, even if he just serves as a third base coach. As for the rest of the spots, it is really just a guessing game. Hitting coach will probably be the source of much intrigue just because of the differing offensive styles that Scioscia and Dipoto appear to prefer.
The Monkey Says: A lot of people are throwing out King Fish as a candidate, but it doesn't look they will be able to reel him in. See what I did there?
So, Scioscia and Dipoto are staying together, presumably for the good of the kids. Their relationship is damaged and they aren't really in love anymore (if they ever were to begin with), but they are going to stick it out for the greater good. They are going to try one last time work through their differences to try and get back to a place where everyone can be happy. As with many fractured relationships, there isn't just one big issue driving a wedge between the two men, but rather a few key areas where they must work together to start patching things up.
The only reason I had thought that the Angels should've considered firing Scioscia was the way this team dealt with the pressure of high expectations. On multiple occasions, Angel players, including Mike Trout, admitted that the team playing was too tight and feeling the pressure. There were also plenty of rumors of this causing unrest in the clubhouse. I fail to see how letting Scioscia, and to a lesser extent Dipoto, twist in the wind for weeks before deciding to keep them is going to alleviate that pressure.
The way in which the retention of Scioscia and Dipoto was handled made it perfectly clear that they are both on thin ice. If the 2014 season starts going wrong, one or both could very well get fired. Scioscia and Dipoto know this and so do all of the guys in the clubhouse. It is up to Scioscia to find a way to help them deal with that pressure, but that is a tall order when they all know the pressure is actually on Scioscia. The problem is that it has been Scioscia's job to relieve that pressure the last two seasons and he has thus far failed to do so.
Maybe in some weird way having Scioscia on the wobbly chair will somehow redirect the pressure on the players towards Scioscia and allow them to loosen up, but maybe it will only increase the pressure on the players as they once again try to do too much in an effort to spare their skipper from the chopping block. The bottom line is that this is a deep-rooted cultural issue right now and it is going to take a unified effort from Scioscia, Dipoto, Moreno and every player on the roster to change that culture.no comments
The October 9th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels keep Scioscia and Dipoto, Picciolo and Eppard fired and much more...
The Monkey Says: It is a tough decision, but probably the right one. Finding a superior manager to Scioscia wouldn't be easy and cutting bait on Dipoto and overhauling the front office again would have been a big setback for the club. Make no mistake though, both men are going to be on the wobbly chair the second pitchers and catchers report to training camp in Tempe.
The Monkey Says: This is a small blow to Scioscia's organizational power as Picciolo was one of his guys and Mike had supposedly demanded to keep his staff intact earlier in the off-season. Many are upset that Mike Butcher survived the mini-purge, because apparently it is his fault that the pitching staff has so little talent to work with. As for replacements, popular opinion is that Omar Vizquel will take over at third (though one would think they would've announced it already if that were the case). At hitting coach, one candidate you will hear a lot about is Wally Joyner, who just resigned as the assistant hitting coach of the Phillies yesterday. Being a former Angel shouldn't be a major qualification for the job, but if they hire more for PR, Joyner would be a popular hire.
Our long wait is over, Arte Moreno has finally made his decision. Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto will return for the 2014 season.
Mike Sciscoa and Jerry Dipoto both returning to jobs next season. Only changes: Hitting coach Jim Eppard and bench coach Rob Picciolo— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) October 9, 2013
Picciolo and Eppard weren't quite so lucky, however. Both will be repalced in a development that only adds to the mystery of what the status of the Scioscia-Dipoto power struggle really is.
On one hand, Scioscia was originally rumored to be demanding that all of his coaches be retained. Losing Picciolo and Eppard certainly suggests that Scioscia lost that round, but it was never totally clear how attached he was to either man, Eppard in particular. Suffice it to say, it will be interesting to see if Scioscia gets to make his own hires or if he has new coaches foisted upon him by Dipoto. As I write this, it is being announced that Dino Ebel has been promoted to bench coach, so that solves half the equation, but the hitting coach hire should remain a point of intrigue.
Even if Dipoto wins the coaching staff battle, Scioscia still has an edge on him in that he has five years remaining on his contract while Dipoto is heading into the final year of his pact. Unless the team subsequently announces that Jerry is getting an extension or has his club options picked up, that places him firmly on the chopping block, which is never a good thing as it can lead to a GM making reckless moves in order to save their job.
What this announcement won't change is the overall pressure for both Scioscia and Dipoto to turn this club back into a winner. The second the 2014 Angels struggle even a tiny bit, speculation about one or both getting fired will crop up once again. In other words, this is less of a vote of confidence for either man and more of a stay of execution.
The fun times in Anaheim, they never stop.
|Like MWAH on Facebook||Follow MWAH on Twitter|