Marrying the sabermetric tendency with the exotic of true fan bitterness.
Oh. Right. It's that other guy. Former Angels outfielder Juan Rivera was designated for assignment and the Toronto Blue Jays recalled Travis Snider from AAA today. Rivera –– whose career...
When Kole Calhoun hit his 12th home run of the year last night in the 66ers' 13-7 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks, he extended his on-base streak to 21 games, and his hit streak to twelve....
Mike Trout continued his torrid June hitting with his eighth HR and 23rd stolen base tonight. He was on base three times, raising his slash line to a triumphant .330/.434/.565. He has a 1.265 OPS in June. He's doing this playing half his games in a pitcher's park. The Arkansas Travelers have won 8 of their last 10, have the best staff ERA in the Texas League, and suddenly have a functional offense. They are two games up on the divisional competition, and are on the verge of winning the first half outright. As a reminder, the average player age in the Texas League is 24. Mike Trout is still just 19 years old -- the youngest player in the league by far. In fact, there are only two active players under 21 in the whole league, and six total under 22. Put that in your prospect pipe and smoke it, George Washington.
Just a quick one to survey the current devastation in Salt Lake City. Countdown to ecstasy, where ecstasy means the man is finally released: 77 PITCHES 6 HITS, 6 RUNS 5 EARNED 4 HIT BATSMEN 3 INNINGS PITCHED 2 WALKS 1 WILD PITCH ZERO CONFIDENCE IN SCOTT KAZMIR'S RETURN TO ANAHEIM.
NO-K: Jered Weaver strikes out no one, and Jeff Mathis strikes out too much. Cleveland buries the hatchet, and that was Saturday night.
The Los Angeles Angels' two top prospects continue to impress down on the farm. Mike Trout and Jean Segura have monster Wednesday performances for their respective minor league clubs.
66ers down the Bakersfield Blaze in a 24-19 battle in the Cal League. Inland Empire had 31 hits and 40 men total on base in a nine inning seesaw contest that was actually at 19-19 entering that ninth inning. Every starting position player had at least two hits for the 66ers, and Dillon Baird was a perfect 7 for 7 (well, five hits and two walks) with two homeruns, a double and an RBI. Throw in some slapstick defense (seven of the Blaze's runs were unearned due to five 66er errors) and this one was a laugher. Forty men on base -- from one team!
I was thinking about the above-linked thread after Conger hit his second XBH of today's game. Not only does the post mention Chatwood's development, it also mentions lefty Andrew Taylor, who had a solid two hit performance in Arkansas today. But what I like is the little exchange between rghan, TheQuestforMerlin and myself regarding Conger's potential. Hank has had a very intriguing development curve in the minors. Much like Morales, he came into the organization with much-heralded offensive potential, but didn't immediately show it in the longball department. The HRs were rare, even as the plate appearances were excellent, K-rates were well-controlled, and overall metrics were very solid. Most of us forget this at this point, but Morales had only 17 HRs over 130 games at Salt Lake at age 23-24, and people were freaking out. You look at Conger last year at Salt Lake, and the trend was similar. In fact, his seasons through his age 20-22 years looked very solid, but the HRs were scarce, and he started falling off the prospect lists. Once again, I'm not saying that Hank Conger is Kendry Morales, or that he has Kendry's power ceiling, but he looks like a potential breakout player in much the same way that Kendry did, and we shouldn't be surprised if he exceeds expectations in the next year or two.
You can consider him this year's Kevin Frandsen, Paul McAnulty, or Curtis Pride –– one of the interesting career minor leaguers or woodshed whackers we pick up each season to fill a gaping...
Shoulder pangs recurring. Front office falsely purring. Fanbase starts demurring. 2010... uh, well, recurring?
The bench. We really don't talk about it much, but we had a damn good bench, and I don't think we've had one quite as good since that season. Just look at these six players on that page: Orlando Palmeiro, Shawn Wooten, Benji Gil, Jose Nieves, Jose Molina, Alex Ochoa. Those guys had a really nice year, and that provided for some serious depth. It's hard to imagine a better fourth outfielder than Orlando Palmeiro: lefty, good on-base skills, high average off the bench, solid guy. How much do you think the bench in '02 accounted for our championship?
Sure, he's been projected as little more than a fourth OF for years, but I've always loved this guy's skills. Seriously never thought he'd respond this remarkably after destroying his shoulder in a head-on collision at home plate during winter ball in late 2009. Pasadena born-and-raised, college at Loyola Marymount, we have every reason to love this guy. Plays all three outfield positions, with the speed to ultimately offer plus defense at the corners. In his first call-up, he didn't wither, but went two for seven, with two runs scored. MiLB record: .313/.395/.501 -- in '07 this guy tore up A-ball with 44 doubles, 18 HRs while putting up 101 runs and 30 steals -- all in 133 games. Broke his foot in 2008 and struggled, but returned in 2009 to put up a solid .386 OBP with the trademark mix of doubles, steals and excellent run conversion at Salt Lake. He's not a true power prospect, but could be a legitimate top-of-the-order threat, given his mix of contact skills and patience. Eight Angels have more plate appearances than him this spring, but he leads the team in OBP (.474), walks (7 against 4 strikeouts), third in runs scored behind Trumbo and Fleet Pete. In fact, he and Bourjos have really been leading the attack this spring. Just dreamin' on another dubious DaVanon? Or could he be the leadoff threat that has eluded us since Figgins split? Will we ever know, with Money-Burnin' Vernon blocking him for the foreseeable future?
As the disappointments have mounted, the FanShot trade suggestions have thinned out, so here's my go at putting a cartoon chickenneck on the chopping block. Fantasy trade. To NYY: Ervin Santana, Mike Napoli, Fernando Rodney, Hank Conger To LAA: Brett Gardner, Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero Our package delivered 5.6 WAR last season compared to 4.4 WAR for the Yankee's package, but Montero is a top ten national prospect. It would thin our starting pitching, and make this year more of rebuilding year for us, but the upside is significant, it solves the leadoff problem, and would give us two young players to build a core around with Trout. The Yankees get up to three years of a former All Star pitcher who has beaten them in critical situations in the past, plus two years of a mashing catcher, and a decent prospect who -- while not the sure thing that Montero is -- may still be quite good. And Rodney delivered the same value as Joba for the most part last season.
Jim Thome is a 40-year-old die hard with just about the prettiest OBP in all of baseball for a man making roughly as much as Jeff Mathis will make this season. He hasn't had a walk rate under 15%...
It's not Torii money anymore -- it's the Vlad contract. And in this market, I have no problem with that. Five years and 14-16M seems worth it for an organization this depleted of third base depth in the upper minors. UPDATE: Rosenthal tweets bidding now 5/85...
Well, this kind of nukes my next FanPost entitled "Three Free Agent Defensive Catchers" -- which was to cover Torrealba, Miguel Olivo and Rod Barajas -- the three free agent catchers on the market who are under 35, have above-average offensive metrics (for a catcher), and fall into the top 20% of catchers on defense per this analysis. Of them all, Torrealba was arguably the most solid defensively, and is quite useful in batter's box as well. The Rangers got him for a song. $6.25M for two years. His defense alone is worth that. Nice pickup.
There's a near consensus among the fanbase, Angels media, and one very vocal rightfielder that Carl Crawford is the way to go. If that's a fait accompli, it's an expensive one to be certain. By...
Let all the "Napoli & Willits for the Jesus" California dreaming formally commence. The Royals will now be faced with the decision of moving DeJesus this offseason in a rebuilding effort, or waiting for a few months and letting him build up some value by proving that he's healthy and productive. The Padres, Giants, Red Sox, and Rays all had interest prior to his injury. While he spent the majority of his time in right field this season, DeJesus is capable of playing all three outfield spots well, although UZR suggests that his left field defense is truly elite (career UZR/150 of 18.9 in nearly 2300 innings).
There's a lot of talk, justifiably, about Napoli on this site at the moment. There's SubOp's cruel bedtime stories, and Downing Rules' case (from the negatives of Nap's defense) for Napoli at DH...
And lucky for us, the majority of the article is in the free section.
Just a couple more observations from the farm tonight: Garrett Richards appears to have been promoted to the Quakes, and is starting tonight against High Desert. Quite an assignment, since the Mavericks lead the Cal League in every batting category. Meanwhile, Mike Trout has been in something of a tailspin the past two weeks, with only one hit against nine strikeouts in his past five games, while hitting .200 over his past ten. Looks like they gave him the night off.
Unfortunately, he's catching Daniel Cabrera tonight, who can't seem to get a single Portland Beaver out.
After a slow start, when he was playing irregularly as a reserve for the Rays, S-Rod has absolutely terrorized the ball for Joe Maddon's club since he began playing full-time due to club injuries (especially Jason Bartlett). He was on base four times today, with a double and two stolen bases, and is hitting .410 with a 1.208 ops in June. He has a fourteen game hitting streak. Just to compare the slash lines on the season: Sean Rodriguez: .288 avg, .328 ops, .472 slg, .800 ops Brandon Wood: .156 avg .168 ops .213 slg .381 ops Howie Kendrick: .267 avg .297 obp .398 slg .695 ops Erick Aybar: .278 avg .343 obp .361slg .704 ops Maicer Izturis: .247 avg .336 obp .387 slg .724 ops Alberto Callaspo: .270 avg .299 obp .440 slg .739 ops I throw in Callaspo because he was the other name in our infield depth chart when Kendrick, Aybar and Wood were moving through the system. We traded him for Jason Bulger as you'll remember. It's hard to evaluate young talent, but I think it's worth noting that Rodriguez and Callaspo are the ones that got away, the ones with the highest OPSes in this list, and were essentially throwaways in an organization that thought it had "too much depth" up the middle. The Angels are on a nice run at the moment, so it seems uncharitable to dwell on past moves -- but our success is also fragile, and its durability will be defined by these decisions in the future. S-Rod and Callaspo for Kazmir and Bulger. Still sitting well with everyone?
Since it's a veritable shooting gallery in the FanShot sidebar tonight, here's another goose to chase: Roberto Lopez, hitting .346 at Rancho while playing everything from first base to left field to catcher, was promoted to AA tonight, and immediately took McAnulty's place in the three hole of the Travs lineup. The Travs certainly felt no pain with the substitution. Lopez went one for two with a walk -- his one hit being a home run in a 2-1 victory -- rare enough for our boys down South. Looks like management is accelerating things out on the farm. That's good news for Lopez, who at 24 is no fresh prince anymore. Let's hope the pan flashes a little while longer!
Hard to see this one coming from his profile, but there'ya go: 111 pitches, 75 strikes against 36 balls. Only two walks shy of a perfecto, and one of the two he put on via the walk, he picked off. More at TRAVS AND SUCH blog.
Brandon Wood went 1-3 with a single today, raising his batting average and slugging percentage both to an ironically coequal .102 mark, just as he slipped over the fifty plate appearances...
It's not the Angels, and this is more or less headline MLB news, but can't help mentioning it. Jamie Moyers as the Phillies' fifth starter. What can you say? The man's a wizard. Mrs Teeth thinks he's the handsomest starter in baseball, but no kvetches here -- he's just one of those guys you give your props to. Dude's immortal.
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