There are a lot of things that one can complain about when it comes to the construction of the 2013 Angels but there is one thing that really drives me crazy right now. The fact that the Angels currently carry 13 pitchers on their roster, and appear set to do so for the foreseeable future, is a pox on this ballclub.
Believe me, I understand why they feel like they need to have eight relievers. Early in the season the rotation was such a mess that they needed the extra reliever (or two if you want to take a real hard line stance) just to get through games because guys like Joe Blanton couldn't get out of the fourth inning. But that was a temporary problem. The rotation has been much improved of late and early exits by starters are no longer taxing the relievers at an unreasonable level.
There is also the thought that the Halos don't need much of a bench because their starting lineup is set in concrete. They have two switch-hitters and only one lefty, so there is not much need for setting up a platoon. Their hitters are also generally considered to be strong enough (at least on paper, Mr. Hamilton) that pinch-hitting isn't something that comes up enough, especially in the AL, to necessitate having a stable of strong pinch-hitters at the ready.
None of that, however, is enough to mitigate all the unintended consequences that come with having essentially no bench. Already this year the Angels have gotten burned several times. We are barely a third of the way into the season and here are many (but probably not all because I have a faulty memory) of the unfortunate situations the Angels have found themselves in as a result of carrying a baker's dozen pitchers:no comments
The June 5th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels hit rock bottom, Trout has confidence in Pujols and Hamilton and much more...
The Monkey Says: When it comes to a "switch flipped off" and "fire and a sense of urgency," that is something Sciocsia is supposed to be taking care of. If he is really going to go to the media to deliver the message, while it might make the fan base feel better, it really does speak to how desperate he is getting as this is very much not his style.
The Monkey Says: Since this seems to keep coming up, let's just call it the Astrocalypse. I really don't think the Angels have a chance even with the example of the 2012 A's there for them to follow. The problem is that they are just now finishing up the absolute easiest part of their schedule and they have basically just managed to tread water over the 29-game stretch. It isn't impossible, but the degree of difficulty is exceptionally high.
The first round of All-Star voting was released for the American League yesterday. As usual, the Angels were not all that well represented, mostly because Halo fans aren't insecure or stupid and thus don't feel the need to vote for every single Angel on the ballot dozens of times per day. It might also have something to do with the fact that the Angels kind of suck right now.
But what's the fun in that? Let's be sheep like all the other fan bases and vote for every Angel whether they deserve it or not (SPOILER ALERT: most of them don't deserve it). I know that might be hard to justify, but I have perfectly acceptable reason that you can use to make your vote for every Halo player legit.
Albert Pujols - There was a movement to get Mariano Rivera named the starting pitcher of the All-Star Game to honor him in his final season before he retires. So I think we should do the same for Albert and get him named a starter too. Huh? What's that? Come again? You mean, he's- Are you sure? Not retiring at all? Well, then....
Howie Kendrick - Howie is actually having an All-Star caliber season so a vote for him is actually justifiable, however that isn't why you should vote for him. The real incentive is that Howie will become a sleeper agent of sorts. Since it is pretty clear the Angels won't be in the World Series, planting Howie in the All-Star Game puts him in perfect position to come up with a trademark GIDP in a clutch situation to cost the AL the game and thus potentially rob hated rivals like the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees and Tigers from getting home field advantage in the World Series. Excellent, Smithers.no comments
At the start of this season, every Halos fan knew there was one team standing in the way of the postseason. A team within the division who they needed to beat regularly in order to keep, at the very least, the wildcard open as a way into Fall baseball. A team from Texas.
Seriously though? It’s the Astros?
At the time of writing, The Angels have gone 3-6 against the Houston Astros in 2013. Let’s put that in perspective; a team with a payroll of over $140 million, is 3-6 against a team spending under $25 million. A team boasting at least three probable future hall of famers, 3-6 against a team of kids who most baseball fans would struggle to name without their rookie cards in front of them.
How the hell has this been happening?
One big part of it could be expectation. The Angels were expected to make short work of the Astros this year – it’s Houston’s first time in the AL West, and that’s at least part of the reason many thought the Angels had such good odds to make the postseason. The logic was, any team that had a significant number of games against the Astros had a better chance of gaining a wildcard than, say, the Red Sox, who play in a more uniformly tough division.no comments
The June 4th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Trout leads AL outfielders in All-Star voting, Vargas named AL Pitcher of the Month and much more...
The Monkey Says: He holds a narrow edge over Adam Jones as the Baltimore fans are stuffing the ballot box like crazy this year, as exemplified by Brian Roberts being fifth in the voting at second base. A few other Angels appear in the results, but none of them are remotely in position to win the voting.
The Monkey Says: Vargas had a great month but mostly against inferior competition. That isn't his fault or anything, but he isn't likely to continue pitching at this level with the competition about to step up big time.