Daily Links for the LA Angels including Kazmir looks terrible in his first rehab start, Walden might need his changeup, debating Hunter's offensive worth and much more...
The Story: Scott Kazmir made his first rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake and it didn't go well... at all.
The Monkey Says: Kaz thew 50 pitches (just 24 strikes) in 1.2 innings of work. He allowed two hits and six runs while walking four batters and hitting another. He did strike out three batters though. Amazingly, Kazmir still had the audacity after the game to say that he felt good and just need to "iron some things out." He's still got 29 more days left on his rehab stint before the Angels need to call him up or release him, but if he performs this poorly again in his next appearance, they might just skip straight to the releasing him part.
The Story: Jordan Walden might need to rely on his changeup more.
The Monkey Says: The introduction of his changeup has actually caused him some problems, but it could be a real weapon for him once he learns how to properly use it. Even without the pitch, he seems to have gotten over his rough patch by refocusing on his approach and what appears to be a modest increase in velocity (he was topping out around 97 early in the year but is now hitting triple digits on a regular basis).
The Story: Is Torii Hunter really a foundation for an offense?
The Monkey Says: The Halos don't really have any other choice right now and we have seen how well the offense has clicked with Torii as the lynchpin. As evidenced by his recent surge, Hunter can still hit, but he definitely isn't a franchise-caliber offensive player anymore (if he ever was). Still, the Angels could get by with him as their cleanup man if they just surrounded him with some more overall offensive depth. That starts with getting Vernon Wells back and playing well, but it probably also means the Halos need to find a way to add one more good bat somewhere else in the lineup.