This is the kind of game that drives Angels fans crazy. The start of the game brought with all the usual heartbreak of a Joe Blanton start. Then all of a sudden an unknown reliever bails them out and the offense starts hitting the cover off the ball. Just when it looks like a laugher, the bullpen comes in and mucks it all up as the opposing team storms back. Finally, the Halos add on a couple of late runs to take a very much needed victory. A wild, weird way to win a ballgame.no comments
Confession time. I didn't actually watch this game. (full disclosure; I was chaperoning a high school prom...I know fun right?) The truth is I didn't really need to watch this game since I think we all could have guessed the outcome. The only questions we had were in the detail of the Angels losing, not the actual result. Would it be a blowout or a low scoring affair? Would the bullpen cause the loss or the inept Angel's offense? Would CJ Wilson try to break the scoreboard pitch counter by throwing 425 pitches in 4 innings? These days, it's all in the way the team sucks, not the actual losses that are piling up.
Wow. Who would have thought we'd be seeing headlines like that only two years into the Pujols contract. Most people speculated we wouldn't be seeing any significant problems with him until about 5-6 years into the contract. It seems now that the Angels have some serious deliberating to do on the topic of what is going to happen with Pujols. I don't want to come off as sensationalist or anything, but Pujols has been facing some problems that have caused his on-field play to suffer in a big way. Fortunately these are problems that can be easily overcome, we can see Pujols get back to form, but it's going to take proactive measurements on the part of the Angels brass. Letting Pujols stick in the 3-hole indefinitely where he can rot away due to his foot and knee problems have already proven to do farm more harm to this team than good. On ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball this past weekend the announcers working over the Angels/White Sox game were in marvel at the fact that Pujols was playing through serious pain. They used words like "grinding" to describe his incredible fortitude to stay on the field every day and help his team win. They made it sound like a positive he's working through pain to play right now, but the fact is it's not even close to a positive.
Pujols' plantar fasciitis and weakened knee from offseason surgery are sapping his ability to drive the ball on consistent basis. No major league hitter can be expected to drive a ball on a consistent basis when they're losing a serious amount of drive from the lower body. No torque and no momentum to carry the upper body can do damage to a hitters power stroke, which has been made clear by Pujols dipping SLG%. From April 20th to May 14th Pujols SLG% had dropped nearly 100 points, from 508. to 416., marking a drop in his ability to drive a ball. We all know how much pride Pujols has, and as a veteran he wants to be able to inject leadership into the club and by that he wants to be on the field every day. However, should he be hitting in the lineup every day when his problems are costing this team?
As much as Pujols doesn't like it he needs to spend some time on the DL; not a lot of time, but enough to rest his feet and legs. It might seem daunting to lose Pujols to the 15 day DL when the Angels are strapped for depth and serious power hitters, but in all truthfulness are they really that strapped? If Pujols were to hit the DL Trumbo could easily man 1B every day, and while nobody wants to see J.B Shuck playing every single day he can hold down LF without serious problems. Even if the Angels don't want to see Shuck out there every day they could shift Trumbo to the OF and have Luis Jimenez play 1B every now and again, as he's proved to be able to do so. We all know how big the Angels fetish is for turning everyone on the roster into super-utility players; with Jimenez, Trumbo, Harris, Shuck and eventually Kole Calhoun, the Angels have enough depth to cover the field in Pujols absence.no comments
The May 17th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Enright DFA'd. Coello's ancient but new pitch, wondering how much would Hamilton make in free agency and much more...
The Monkey Says: Dipoto was busy yesterday. Enright clearly just didn't belong in the majors so seeing him DFA'd is now surprise. Roth was just a victim of circumstance as he was going to be burnt for a few days, so the Angels demoted him in favor of someone who could pitch right away. Brasier obviously won't be much help and Buckner (no relation) is probably just around as a long man but he could be called upon to start if Tommy Hanson needs to miss another start. The fact that the called him up now suggests that they don't think that will be necessary. Oh, and Buckner makes it 21 different pitchers to grace the Angels' active roster.
The Monkey Says: Coello just became very interesting to me. I can't say I've paid much attention in his appearances since they have largely been in garbage time, so I thought he threw a normal splitfinger. This through is pretty damn cool and might actually be something that allows him to have some success as probably nobody in the league has seen that pitch before.
Games like this, I just can’t help but reminisce. It’s just hitting me how spoiled we were back in the mid -2000s. Pitchers like Scott Shields and K-Rod really don’t come around too often, and when they do it’s not long enough. Those were days, when the 8th and 9th innings were locked down by veterans, now we count on players you’ve never heard of (before this year) to hold our leads.
De la Blosa and Kohn combined to make the 8th inning a total mess. A missed relay man added to it, but blame it on the walks, wild pitches, and singles.
In the wake of consecutive arson jobs by Joe Blanton and Barry Enright, the rotation that Jerry Dipoto has come under fire. Well, that's not true, it has been under fire since the first week of the season, but the level of WTF when it comes to the starting pitching is now palpable. How could a GM make over a rotation that struggled last season and somehow replace it with a new rotation that is even worse?
A growing sentiment is that Dipoto is just plain incompetent. That, of course, is stupid. True incompetence would be to build a rotation with no discernible plan. Jerry very much had a plan and a sound one at that. Unfortunately, plans don't always play out like they are supposed to and Dipoto is finding that out the hard way.
The acquisitions of Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson weren't terribly popular. Those three lack the style and flash that Dipoto's other more famous pick ups have had. These weren't big name guys with stellar track records yet they were replacing guys who did have either a big name and/or a good track record in Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. That was just fine with Dipoto though because he wasn't acquiring those three because of their marketing potential, he was acquiring them because he thought he was getting known, stable commodities.no comments
The May 16th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Madson won't rejoin team for several weeks, the Trout-Harper-Machado debate and much more...
The Monkey Says: There was some thought he would be activated yesterday, but now the team appears to be proceeding with caution with Madson. The problem is that they are sending mixed signals about just how long they are going to keep him in the minors as there were some comments suggesting it could be for a few days and others stating it could be several weeks. This is just another wrinkle in his already frustrating recovery. Keeping him out longer might be best though since Madson reportedly was sitting at just 92 MPH in his first rehab outing. He clearly has some rust to work off and it better off doing that in Salt Lake than during games that count. Sure, the Angel bullpen needs help, but not as urgently as they did a few weeks ago.
The Monkey Says: Thank you! How long have I been saying this? I get the historical significance of having such young players doing so well at the same time, but it doesn't need to be a contentious issue. All three are great. We don't need a Thunderdome death match to determine who is the best. They aren't rivals in any way, shape or form. Stop it, America.