Now I'm gonna be late to class and the Angels don't even have a win to show for it. Thanks a lot Brett Anderson.
This just in via Twitter, the Angels have signed Russell Branyan.
I'm not normally one to get excited about a team singing a 35-year old slugger with a bad back that the Arizona Diamondbacks recently decided wasn't good enough to play for them, but I am going to make an exception this time.
Before this signing, if someone were to ask be the three things the Angel offense was missing the most my response would have been:
- More homers
- Bench depth
- A left-handed power threat
But now that Branyan has signed up, those three have all been addressed in one fell swoop. OK, so maybe they still need more power and their depth is just less of an issue now, but hey, its an improvement. Probably the best news of all is that the Angels finally have another guy over 5'10" to put in the lineup.
Oakland Athletics (23-27) @ Los Angeles Angels Anaheim (26-25)
Pitching Probables: OAK –Brett Anderson (2-4, 3.18 ERA) LAA – Joel Pineiro (2-0, 2.67 ERA
Game Info: 12:35 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
If the Angels can pull this series before Minnesota rolls into town things would be all "gravy", as those kids like to say, for this team. The Twins are one of the worst teams in baseball right now, fattening up on the weakest team would do wonders for this teams confidence. The first confidence they should look forward too is finishing this series strong.
Daily Links for the LA Angels including calling up Trout in 2011 isn't such a longshot anymore, Kendrick could hit the DL today, Moreno rated the third best owner in MLB and much more...
The Monkey Says: The Angels said loud and clear before the season that Trout would not be called up in 2012 for even one second. They were rather adamant about it at the time, but Scioscia says that he might be willing to consider at least talking about it in a month or so. For the record, I am against taking that kind of gamble with Trout even though the Angels could really use the help.
The Monkey Says: That is good news for Wells, but not so good news for Kendrick. The Angels have a tendency to play it safe with injuries, so I am guessing Howie will be forced into a short DL stint, which means more Amarista and Willits for us (booooo!).
The Monkey Says: I would have agreed with that before last off-season. His complete inability to understand the free agency market embarrassed the franchise and should have cost him a few spots in these rankings. That being said, Moreno is incredibly fan-friendly and dedicated to winning, which is something that can't be said about most owners in pro sports.
I didn't see much of this game, but I did get to follow al of it on Gameday. What I did see were some pretty spiffy home runs, a nice RBI "hit" by Bourjos, and two rookies busting a slump in grand fashion.
Angels 4 A's 1
Oakland Athletics (23-26) @ Los Angeles Angels Anaheim (25-25)
Pitching Probables: OAK – Trevor Cahill (6-1, 1.79 ERA) LAA – Ervin Santana (2-4, 4.18 ERA)
Game Info: 7:05 PM PT; TV - Fox Sports West; Radio - KLAA 830 AM
Holding that crown is the one and only Ervin Santana. Santana, being the proud owner of a sub 2 ERA against the A's in 19 games, is bound to bring the home crowd a pretty little victory. He's coming off a CG shutout, so logic only states that he carries that momentum into today's game.
For those of you who aren't loyal devotees of Fangraphs or maybe just are scared by sabermetrics in general, there is a shiny new stat they've rolled out for all of us to enjoy: Ultimate Base Running. For an idea of exactly how this stat is calculated, read this, but otherwise just trust me when I tell you it is a stat that measures a player's overall base running skills in terms of running the bases on balls in play (but NOT taking into account stolen bases and caught stealing). In other words, it is an advanced metric perfect for the Scioscia era.
For years, we have heard all about how Scioscia loves for his Angels to run the bases smartly but aggressively. But up until now, we haven't had a stat that could actually show one way or another if his strategy was actually being implemented properly. Sure, we have all kinds of anecdotal evidence at our disposal (i.e. Torii Hunter constantly getting thrown out at third), but UBR gives us a measure to use for all those instances in which a base running mistake or smart decision was made in an imperceptible way.
So now that we have UBR, let's take a look and see just how good the Halos have been at pressuring the defense like Scioscia thinks they are doing: