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@jcHc3in1 He most certainly is!  I think the Angels are wanting to bring him back for a ST invite though. 

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Angels Winter Ball prospects worth looking at

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@TheUltimateGMI think you have a wonderful sense of imagination.  The issue here is, the GM's of other teams wouldn't accept these trades.  For example, the Cards are desperate for a shortstop, but why sacrifice 6 years of a top of the rotation starter for a 30 year old SS making 9 million a year across the next 4?  That brings negative value.  On top of which, the Rangers are dangling Elvis Andrus and the O's are dangling J.J. Hardy.  I have a hard time believing the Cards would pass on both of those players and offer up Shelby Miller for Aybar.  

The same goes for the Pirates.  Taillon is elite and the Pirates just witnessed the Cards make it to the WS on the strength of young SP like Miller, Wacha, Lynn, Kelly, Martinez and Rosenthal.  The Bucs have something similar going on and Jepsen and Trumbo wouldn't be nearly enough to dissuade them from that course.  Now if the Angels added in another hitter like Cron to the package then maybe, but that just wouldn't be worth it for the Angels at that point. 

Bourjos for Owings...yeah I could actually see that happening.  Iannetta for Santos?  The Jays need a catcher, but they don't need to replace Arencibia so terribly that that they'd sacrifice an elite late inning specialist for cheap in return for a C that has his own defensive issues.  

As for the package for Price, no.  The Rays already have a second baseman and if they're unwilling to pay Price 12 million to pitch for them, why on earth would they be willing to pay Kendrick 9 million to play 2B for them, a position they already have covered?

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Angels off-season trade porn and predictions

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@RyanAguirre IT wreaks of Angels disappointment doesn't it?  So does the Michael Young signing. 

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Angels off-season trade porn and predictions

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Keep in mind Job, This is more about what I see the Angels doing, not necessarily the path I would take.  The Angels tend to give a lot of bad players a lot of money to be bad on their team.  It happens. 

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Angels off-season trade porn and predictions

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The versatility and build certainly make Zobrist an ideal comparison, though it's hard to say any player will develop as Ben has.  But Green certainly has the makings.  Ultimately, I can see him being a lot more of a Martin Prado type of player.  Not especially good defensively at any one position, but should make enough contact and hit for average that he'll be an everyday player. 

11 months, 3 weeks ago on Meet the new Angels prospects! Cory Rasmus and Grant Green

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Conger & Iannetta time share by the end of the year.

1 year, 2 months ago on A new catcher controversy in Anaheim?

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 @ryanoneil Williams was a great hitter, no doubt about that, but even if he hadn't had 3 years taken away as a result of the war, he still wouldn't have matched Hank Aaron's HR totals.  Now I realize this is like arguing about Fiji Apples vs Granny Smith, being that we are talking about two of the greatest power hitters of all time, but it's also worth mentioning that Teddy also had the added benefit of playing a large majority of his games at Fenway and Yankee Stadium, two parks I could've hit a HR in at age 13.

 

Now if you were to ask who I thought the better hitter was, no hesitation on my part, Ted Williams because I think he was the greatest hitter of all time (so far).  But if you were to ask me who the better power hitter was, without hesitation I'd say Hank Aaron.  

1 year, 3 months ago on Will there ever be a "greatest"? | April | 2013 Articles

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 @ChaseKimura Agreed, I think he will. 

1 year, 3 months ago on Five bold predictions for the Angels in 2013

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 @rgrounds They are absolutely right, a restructuring, or more like a rethinking of one's philosophy concerning a bullpen would be needed.  But honestly, do you picture Ned Yost or even Dayton Moore for example ever doing something so "against the grain"?  I don't, for a number of reasons, the most certain of which are Moore's offseason moves.  Had he not intended to change the way he structures a pitching staff, he would not have gone out of his way to bring in Shields, Santana and Davis.  I mean everything about those moves screams "traditional pitching staff".  More than anything, it seems the Royals are banking on their newly built rotation being average and their bullpen and young but dynamic offense making up for what they lack. 

 

It's hard to criticize it though, because that's what the best teams are doing.  The Tigers are hoping their backend bullpen flaws will be covered by their high powered offense and solid rotation.  The Giants hope their relatively toothless offense (I use this term lightly, I actually like the way they're built) will be saved by a great rotation and deep bullpen.  The Angels are hoping Blanton/Vargas can hold it together just enough for their offense to score runs and a newer, deeper bullpen to protect leads.

 

I can't say for sure which teams will be successful, but if you're going to built a pitching staff in a traditional manner, KC did the best they could.

1 year, 4 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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 @rgrounds For a team that was getting such terrible performance from their pitching staff, if I were the manager I would've given your idea a try.  It's simple, when something isn't working and you can't figure out the problem, you go back to step 1 and start all over.  So year, the Royals of the last couple seasons, this would've been an experiment.  Especially when you consider the ridiculous amount of talent they have in their bullpen, both at the Major League and minor league levels.  However, this season I think I'd be more willing to allow the pitchers to work deeper into games because you have Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana.   

1 year, 5 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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 @rgrounds I agree with you in that case that we are talking about undefined relief roles.  However, when it comes to starting pitchers, a more traditional approach may be better if combined with the assumption that 1 inning specialists will be used efficiently.  By that I mean, keep the starter in as long as he's effective, whether that be 3 innings or 8 innings, but also get someone warming in the pen beginning in the 4th or 5th inning if the pitcher has shown a consistent history of lasting only 2 times through the order. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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 @rgrounds I appreciate the comment!  You're right, the new Moneyball is about keeping runners off base for cheap, or putting up lots of run for cheap in certain situations.  In today's game, one inning specialists are a large part of the equation.  If a pitcher is so predictable that you now he's toast after the 4th or 5th inning, then of course you make that move.  The only question I have is which pitchers are truly that predictable every 5th day?  Can we really predict the game to that extent?

1 year, 5 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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I think it probably doesn't work as a clause because you can't force free agents to sign somewhere.  Seattle tried for Justin Upton via trade, they pursued Josh Hamilton and a couple of other sluggers this offseason and came up empty handed.  They ended up signing Jason Bay for cheap and trading for Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse in order to boost their offense.  But in truth, would either Morse or Morales sign in Seattle if they were free agents?  I don't know the answer for sure, but probably not. 

1 year, 5 months ago on A unique contract clause idea for Felix Hernandex | January | 2013 Articles

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How is Scott Downs not on this list?  I'd say he's better than Burnett.

1 year, 6 months ago on TOC Top Ten: Left-Handed Relief Pitchers | January | 2013 Articles

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Before the rosters were announced I was excited about the WBC.  Now seeing Dickey, Medlen, Vogy and Holland, I get the feeling this team is going to get bounced in short order after pool play.  I wouldn't regard Dickey as a staff as and think that those 4 starters are really a bunch of middle of the rotations guys.

1 year, 6 months ago on Ranking the World Baseball Classic rosters | January | 2013 Articles

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It seems to me that pitchign can not possibly be predictable, and if it were as you say it is, wouldn't teams catch on to the whole idea of relievers in set roles?  The new moneyball has to be a concept slightly more complex than pitching, a main element of the game which every team is trying to acquire.

1 year, 6 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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 @wayneoh33 Kemp is great but who would he start over?  Certainly not Trout.  You could argue Braun but Braun's stayed healthy and done it longer.  You could argue McCutchen but Cutch is a more complete player given his defensive prowess and the fact that Kemps is still coming off an injury plagued year.

1 year, 6 months ago on The dream Team USA World Baseball Classic roster | January | 2013 Articles

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 @rwsubers Price is younger and coming off a better season than any of the Phillies pitchers.  With the exception of Hamels, I'd still rank the rest of the Phillies staff behind Matt Cain and Jered Weaver.  But a lot of fans have no idea about those guys because they play out West, most of the country is in bed by the time they start. 

1 year, 6 months ago on The dream Team USA World Baseball Classic roster | January | 2013 Articles

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 @burningriverbaseball That would be nice to see for sure!

1 year, 6 months ago on The dream Team USA World Baseball Classic roster | January | 2013 Articles

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 @JakesBogusTrips The Reds acquisition of Choo is most certainly this.  Their defense comes across as very average, but with the swing and miss type of staff they're rolling out, any possible defensive shortcomings should be minimized.

1 year, 6 months ago on Searching for the new "Moneyball" | December | 2012 Articles

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Is Greinke important?  Absolutely, I wouldn't suggest otherwise.  But are the Angels screwed without him?  No.  Niemann, Price, Hellickson, Shields, Cobb, someone in TB is going to get traded, and if the Angels dangle Cron or Linsey, they have a shot at getting Cobb or Niemann.  As for the other spot in the rotation (they need 2 SP), gotta think the Angels would go after Shaun Marcum, who is also a #3/4 SP.  Is it preferable to Greinke?  No, but I don't think 2013 is a lost cause if they don't land Greinke.  It just means they'll have to trade and CJ Wilson will need to come back healthy.  Keep in mind, before the elbow acted up, Wilson was an all-star.  Good #2/3 SP.  Angels will be fine.

1 year, 8 months ago on How screwed are the Angels if they lose Zack Greinke?

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Peter Bourjos is a necessary part of the Angels lineup in 2013.  It isn't because Torii Hunter left and it isn't because we need to save money.  Peter Bourjos is needed because Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Zack Greinke left.  There's a really good chance the Angels will have Garrett Richards, and a not-so-great #4 SP as the back end of the rotation in 2013.  There's no better solution to shoring up a shallow and possibly inconsistent starting rotation than providing them with an impenetrable OF.  

 

Plus, there may be no better negotiating tool in the Greinke talks than Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout in the OF.  Why would Greinke want to go to Texas where even the most routine pop flies leave the yard?  Why go to the Dodgers when Matt Kemp looks destined for a corner OF spot soon and they have no suitable replacements?  Angels stadium may grade out as a relatively nuetral park, but with Trout and Bourjos sharing the same OF, it becoems an extreme pitchers park whenever an Angel is on the mound.  

 

Yeah, I'll take that advantage.  On top of which, this is just me, but I think in a full season Bourjos delivers .280/.320 30 DB 10 triples, 15-20 HR and 30+ SB.   Hunter in 2013, given the predictable drop in BABIP, I'd give him .280/.340 25 DB 15 HR and 5 SB.  I'm in the minority, but I believe that Hunter's 2012 BA is an outlier and that in 2013, Bourjos will not only be more valuable defensively than Hunter, he'll out produce him offensively too. 

1 year, 8 months ago on Peter Bourjos: Play him or trade him

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 @monkeywithahalo  @scioscialite  @ScottyAllenLAAI I'd take Marcum over Haren.  Given the cost, I'd actually take Iwakuma over Haren.  My issue with Dan Haren is the fact that his FB is sitting at 87-89 right now.  Dan Haren was most successful when he was sitting 92-94.  I believe his days of being a middle or front of the rotation starter are gone now.  McCarthy and Dice-K have higher ceiling than Haren and I think their numbers would both be somewhat comparable to Haren's 2012 campaign. 

1 year, 9 months ago on GM for a day, the Monkey's fool-proof 2013 off-season plan for the Angels

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 @monkeywithahalo  @ScottyAllenLAAI Well I'm looking forward to seeing how you can justify the trading of Peter Bourjos.  I admit the need for CF is great and the Angels have a slim chance at getting ok value for him, but I just don't think that "ok" value is Jon Niese.  If anything, I say play him full time.  He'll probably be a lille better than he was in 2011, which was tremendously valuable.  If you're still set on trading him after seeing what he can do in a full season, then do so.  But you'd get a lot more value that way.  I'd just hate to see someone like Niese arrive and post a 4.35 ERA while Bourjos hits .280 in the NL, steals 30 bases, hits 15 HR's and wins a gold glove.  As for Maronde, I think a very interesting study should be made on what helps develop a young pitcher more, spending time in the bullpen in the majors and working things out as a starter in AAA.  I'm ready to be convinced in any direction, but I just haven't heard an argument strong enough yet that tells me the bullpen is the way to go.  It worked for CJ Wilson and Chris Sale but was a disaster for others. 

1 year, 9 months ago on GM for a day, the Monkey's fool-proof 2013 off-season plan for the Angels

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Sorry, I just really really don't like this one, for a few reasons.

1. Trading Bourjos - His value is low and honestly, the Angels should get SO MUCH MORE than Niese for him.  I'd rather keep Bourjos and play him everyday.

2. Nick Maronde in the pen.  This kid has a future in the rotation as a solid #3 starter who happens to be a southpaw.  don't stunt his growth like that. 

3. There are so many under valued pitchers out there that would come cheaper interns of talent being given up.  Shaun Marcum, Hisashi Iwakuma, Brandon McCarthy would all come for a cheap price and wouldn't cost us valuable prospects. 

4. For establishing depth in long relief and in the rotation, why not sign someone like Dice-K or Jon Sanchez for next to nothing, stick them in a mop up role and give them a shot at earning a pot in the rotation out of Spring?

5. If you're going to deal Vernon Wells, don't do it just to save 2 million dollars.  At that rate you might as well keep him.  If I'm going to trade Vernon, it'd be to fill a hole somewhere.  Why not Vernon for John Lackey?  Fills needs for both teams.  Lackey has 2 years 30 million left, Wells has 2 years 42 million left.   

1 year, 9 months ago on GM for a day, the Monkey's fool-proof 2013 off-season plan for the Angels

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My take on this whole manager thing.....  All things have a shelf life, and Mike Scioscia's inventiveness, unexpectedness and youthful drive seem to have long since passed.  There's just certain managers I think are better than him, Showalter, Maddon and Bochy mainly.  Is Scioscia a bad manager?  No, I just don't think he's a great manager either.  Is there anyone off the top of my head that's available that could do better than him?  Maybe but probably not.  He isn't brilliant and has his flaws, but to Scioscia's credit, the clubhouse is never fighting, he doesn't say anything overly stupid and he's aggressive.  If I were to assign him a grade, I'd give him a solid B.  

1 year, 10 months ago on POLL: Who do you consider an upgrade over Mike Scioscia?

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 @MikeMcFarlane Everyone looks at players and sees different things.  Personally, I'm a tools heavy scouter, by that of course I mean I value tools above performance because I believe performance is often a direct result of such tools.  The three players that the Brewers acquired in the trade have extremely high ceilings.  

 

I can assure you, I've watched and scouted these players as much as anyone.  I respect Ryan Ghan's opinion over at Halos Heaven, but as for the rest of the site, I don't think I'd visit that place for anything, and I'll leave it at that.  As for John Sickles at minor league ball, I respect his opinion as well, but a lot of times with larger circulated websites like that, they may see a player once or twice and that's it.   They write a scouting report off of one or two AB's or innings.  

 

You can't really gain an essence of the prospect without watching them day in and day out.  You see how they respond to slumps, how they adjust in at bats, how their mechanics look over a longer period of time and possibly most importantly, who they are as a person.  Conflict of interest, but if you're looking for the top scouting reports in all of baseball for the Angels, you gotta go monkeywithahalo.com.  Blows anyone else out of the water in terms of depth as far as the Angels go. 

 

I hope this helps and points you in the right direction. 

1 year, 11 months ago on Analyzing the Zack Grienke trade | 2012 Articles

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Fangraphs likes to pretend that Marc Hulet is their minor league guru, but in all honesty he's terrible at that.  This guy literally dislikes the Angels and when you compare his Top Prospect lists, he always does a half-ass job at best for the Angels compared to other teams like the Rangers, or Rockies where he'll write for ages.

 

Trusting his opinion on an Angels prospect is like asking a Yankee fan to cheer on Boston.  He admittedly doesn't pay attention to the Angels.  Aybar's been red-hot as of late and was contributing a TON at the plate.  Jean Segura is an average defender with above average tools, thus he has a chance to be an above average shortstop.  IT is however doubtful that Segura steps in and contributes right away.  This is his first taste of major league fastballs and breaking balls.  

 

But as I've stated before, Segura could eventually be an all-star.  Personally, I envision him being a .280/.330 30 DB 15 HR 30 SB type of SS with average defense. I wouldn't call that a superstar but shortstop, that's fringe all-star. 

1 year, 12 months ago on Halo Headlines: Angels in deep trade talks for Shields, Halos looking at lefty relievers, Josh Johnson scouted by the Angels | July

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I have never seen a deadline traded player sign an in-season extension with his new team.  The closest thing to this I believe is when Miguel Cabrera was traded t the Tigers and signed his extension immediately, but that took place in the offseason.  There's a first for everything, but these just doesn't seem likely at all.  

 

Being as low key as he is, there would be no benefit in the Angels making their interest publicly known.  On top of which, if he thinks he'd be a perfect fit with the Angels, that means there's probably a handful of other teams he believes the same about, including Milwaukee. 

 

This has price inflation written all over it.  The Rangers are MAJOR deadline dealers, they've made moves that last two consecutive years to shore up weaknesses that could prevent them from advancing in the playoffs.  This year is going to be no different.  Their going to go after starting pitching and I guarantee you, they're going to get it.  Whether it be Cole Hamels or Zack Grienke, they're going to get it. And they're going to pay a hell of a price too!  But when have a farm system like theirs, this is what you do. 

2 years ago on Angels pursuing Greinke: fact or fiction? | July

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I'm a former Marine, I work out everyday and am in my physical prime, yet my wife asks me why my abs don't look like Channing Tatum's.  Then she makes me sit through 21 Jump Street, as hilarious a movie as it is, asks me if that's what I looked like in high school.  It's unfair.  Vernon Wells' contract is unfair.  The fan's ire for him is unfair.  Life is general is simply unfair. 

 

But there is hope at the end of the tunnel.  I'm willing to bet that this next offseason, Vernon Wells WILL be traded.  IT won't be anything more than a glorified salary dump, but he will be dealt.  It will actually be reminiscent of the Gary Matthews Jr for Brian Stokes trade a couple years back.  

 

So just so we're clear, I will NOT be seeing another stupid Channing Tatum movie, life is in fact "not fair" and Vernon Wells will be traded.  

2 years ago on A brief, incomplete list of things more likely to happen than Vernon Wells being traded | June

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 @Bill_TPA I do a bit of scouting and I'm not going to lie, I trust my own evaluation more than I do others and I'd expect nothing different from anyone else.  Trout had an easier environment n AAA, however, in AA he was in the most pitcher friendly park in debatably the most pitcher friendly league in all of minor league ball and still hit over .320 with power and speed.

 

As for the experience difference, I do believe that cancels it out.  Could you say a junior in high school taking college classes is more prepared for college than a senior in high school taking high school classes?  At this stage, age does play a big factor, but experience and performance play just as large of factors.

 

And if you're going to factor in environment, then you might as well factor in that Trout plays the majority of his games in extreme pitcher friendly parks (Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle) whereas Harper plays the majority of his in very hitter friendly parks like Washington, Philadelphia and Citi Field (if you buy into them moving the fences in closer as a legitimate argument to stimulate offense, which I do not necessarily).  

 

To me, if I'm judging both players based on their abilities with the bat in hand, I'd say Harper has more power (obviously, though numbers suggest otherwise so far), but I'd worry that his swing can get a little long and the torque generated through his load and hips may decrease as he build more muscle (possibly, though unlikely decreasing his flexibility).  With Trout, I'd say He offers more plate coverage and has shown an innate ability to adjust quickly.  He's lethal on anything low on the zone just as Harper is lethal on anything belt high or higher.  With Trout's speed I'd say he's a better bet not to slump as much either and hit for a higher average.

 

So from a pure scouting point, I could not justify saying Bryce Harper is the better of the two offensively.  Does he have the higher upside?  Yes.  But I could certainly justify saying Mike Trout is the better of the two offensively.  

 

Again, I don't want this to interfere with the article, because I found it extremely entertaining to read and I cannot emphasize that enough.   

2 years, 1 month ago on What if Trout and Harper are better than the Three Bite Rule? | June

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Not the point of the article, but calling Harper a slightly better hitter than Trout is simply ridiculous, and calling Mantle slightly better than Mays is debatable at best.  Their 162 game average (yes, they did not play 162 for a portion of their careers), Mays averaged the same number of HR's, 5 more doubles, 8 more SB and BA 4 points higher and an OBP 40 points lower. Nothing there outside of the OBP suggests Mantle was a better hitter than Mays.

 

In the same line of thought, Bryce Harper hit .256 and .250 in AA and AAA before the majors.  It seems HIGHLY unlikely that his .303 BA is sustainable given his struggles in the high minors.  Whereas Trout hit .326 and .403 in AA and AAA.  You could use the age argument as much as you'd like, but when you consider that Harper had been playing against collegiate level or pro caliber baseball since age 16/17 and Trout's first taste of this type of competition came at 17/18, the age argument is nullified by the experience argument.  

 

Furthermore, Trout is hitting .50 points higher than Harper is, in a much less hitter friendly environment, AND is playing elite defense at a premium position AND is the stolen base leader despite playing one month in AAA.  If anything, right now Harper isn't slightly better than Trout, Trout isn't even slightly better than Harper, Trout is MUCH better than Harper.  We'll see how it plays out for the rest of their careers. 

 

Again, I realize this wasn't even the point of the article, but it just irks me that most people just think Harper is a better hitter, just because ESPN spends 15 minutes a night talking about him versus 3 minutes talking about Trout.  This is a WONDERFULLY written article otherwise. 

2 years, 1 month ago on What if Trout and Harper are better than the Three Bite Rule? | June

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Demoted for being bad at baseball.......

2 years, 1 month ago on Angels Player Power Rankings - Week 10 | June

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Yeah, just comparing the numbers you gotta say Trout's the better player right now.  But the more interesting part of the contrast I think is just the way they came up.

2 years, 1 month ago on Harper versus Trout: a rivalry grows

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 @monkeywithahalo  @ScottyAllenLAAI  Anything that gets more RISP for Albert Pujols, I am in favor of.  Mike Trout is great at getting on base and can steal some bases and get himself into scoring position frequently, but he can't do it everytime.  Sometimes, we'll need someone to bunt him over.  Sometimes, Trout won't get on base and we'll need someone on the base paths that can still motor in an attempt to get into scoring position or score on a Pujols gapper.  That guy simply isn't Torii Hunter.  

 

The best player we have that can fit that role right now is Mike Trout, but since he's leading off our options are pretty limited, with Izturis and Callaspo being the clear top choices. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Podcast With a Halo: Episode 2 - Let's get happy! | May

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Not a tremendous fan of Hunter in the two spot.  Not a great bunter, not going to get runners over.  Grounds into WAY too many double plays.  As I said on Twitter, Kole Calhoun projects perfectly into that spot next season. 

2 years, 1 month ago on Podcast With a Halo: Episode 2 - Let's get happy! | May

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Oh come on Garrett!  Most of these moves were no-brainers, wouldn't you agree?

 

- The offense was one of the worst in baseball last year, sign Albert Pujols, that'll fix it (in theory)

- The rotation doesn't have a LHP, the best one on the market is from So-Cal, and is leaving Texas. Win-win.

- Bobby Abreu didn't have a role, Mike Trout does. No reason to keep a pissed off vet on the bench to poison the clubhouse. 

- Trout was hitting .400 in AAA.  Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells are hitting a combined .210. Team needed a leadoff hitter.  It was not only a no-brainer, but it was completely the right move to make (now if only he could force Scioscia to play Bourjos over Wells).

- The offense was underperforming, it wasn't getting better, someone needed to be held accountable.

 

Let me ask you a question, if you were the GM, would you have made these moves?  The only one I can for sure say I may not have was Pujols, but you didn't exactly see me complaining.  We both know hatcher wasn't to blame for the offensive woes, but I think we can both agree that he clearly wasn't the answer to any questions.    

 

2 years, 2 months ago on Does Jerry Dipoto run the team by crowdsourcing? | May

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Let's not forget, Trout isn't the only replacement, option, he's just the best and most exciting.  There's Alexi Amarista, Kendrick (with Izzy at 2B), Trumbo, Trout, Calhoun.....

 

There's a lot there to work with.

2 years, 3 months ago on Wells Watch 2012 begins | April

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I wouldn't even resign Izturis.  Amarista has proven adequate as a fill in shortstop.  I believe that he and Segura can split the position until Segura's ready to fully take over. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Halo Headlines: Abreu's attitude improving, Trumbo continues to be work in progress at third base, Angels set the roster | April

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Brandy has potential, but I'll remain skeptical.  I think the best catcher the Angels drafted was Abel Baker.  He just looks smoother behind the plate and has a prettier, more powerful swing.  Bandy appears to be the stronger, more athletic player. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Halo Headlines: Abreu in potential trade to Cleveland, Isringhausen to learn fate, Trumbo to get boost in playing time at third base | March

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The Pujols effect has been drastically overstated.  I don't expect walk rates to increase at all with the guys in their prime.  Sure, Kendrick will see more fastballs and Morales will have more RBI opportunities, which will inflate their value somewhat, but they can't completely transform.  All in all, I'd say Kendrick puts up similar numbers to last year, maybe .290/.340 with 35 DB 15-20 HR and 15-20 SB.  Not a breakout season by any means.  Morales on the other hand should give what his career norms will be, which I suspect is .300/.350 30 DB and 25 HR. 

 

The biggest benefactors will statistically be Trumbo and Bourjos.  But if you think about it, will they improve because of Pujols or will they improve simply because they're getting older and more familiar with the league?  My guess is the latter.  Bourjos' stirkeouts will still be too high for leadoff, but we'll see his OBP jump up to .340 within the next year or two.  As for Trumbo, his OBP was .291, so it really has nowhere to go but up.  I think he'll end up being a .270/.330 and 30 HR type of hitter with full playing time in a year or two.  But once again, probably not thanks to Pujols.  

 

What Pujols mostly does, is hit the heck out of the ball and force pitchers to throw more strikes to the guys around him.  That doesn't mean more patience or walks.  It means more hittable pitches and a slight uptick in performance.  

2 years, 3 months ago on Will Albert Pujols really 'rub off'on the rest of the Angels lineup? | March

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Crazy to think about 2017.  It's such a LONG way away, yet Mike Trout will still only be 25 by then.  

2 years, 3 months ago on Halo Headlines: Two fans struck by Cantu's bat are OK, Brad Mills continues to make a case to be fifth starter, Historical evidence against Trumbo making move to third base | March

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I'm actually confident that Izzy is going to have a good year.  His numbers were inflated because he tired down the stretch last season.  There was no time to mentally or physically prepare for the season.  He was also used in a capacity that he's no longer suited for.  The Angels will look to use him as more of a righty specialist until he proves that he needs to be used otherwise.  He's also coming into camp 20 pounds lighter than he was last season and his mechanics looks smoother.  

 

Right now, he's getting his mechanics down.  Sure he could try and muscle the ball the way he did in New York last season and he'd be good for a couple of months.  But if he gets his delivery down via repetition this season, both he and the Angels will be better served for it.  It's also important not to look at numbers in Spring Training as a predecessor to success.  The fact is his fastball and breaking ball both look as sharp as they have in almost 5 years right now.  Once he gets his release point down (along with his mechanics and delivery) we should see a legitimate quality setup man emerge.  This may not happen until May, but it will happen. 

2 years, 3 months ago on 2012 Player Preview: Jason Isringhausen | March

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If I were to take one from each league, I'd say it'll be the Padres and Indians.  THe Padres have a sneaky-good pitching staff and now have an offense tailored to fit their ballpark.  Before the end of the year we're talking a lineup that features Quentin, Maybin, Grandal, Alonso, Headley and Blanks.  That's a solid core of good hitters.  With as good of a bullpen as they'll have, I would say the Padres have a good shot at winning 85 games.  

 

As for the Indians, they'll have Choo, Kotchman, Santana, Chisenhall, Cabrera, Kipnis and Hafner all heathy and swinging the bat.  If Grady Sizemore comes back and swings the way he did in the past then it's simply gravy.  They have a solid 4 in the rotation and if their bullpen could hold up I'd say they'll push Detroit right into September.  I think they too will win 85 games. 

2 years, 4 months ago on Who will be the surprise team of 2012? | March

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 @monkeywithahalo Jepsen certainly seems to be earning himself a roster spot, but I doubt that pushes Thompson away as much as it might others.  Early in the season, you're guaranteed to start with a 7-man pen.  Walden, Downs, Hawkins and Takahashi are secured.  That leaves 3 spots.  Izzy, Jepsen and Thompson round it out.  Thompson should remain an Angel this year, but next year once we've seen Tillman, Carpenter, Geltz, Van Mil, Brasier, Berg and Kohn get that necessary experience in AAA, I wouldn't be surprised if himself, Izzy, Hawkins and Takahashi are all replaced internally. 

 

As for Abreu, Baltimore's the only team that needs a left handed DH/OF.  Why trade Phillips for Abreu when they can have a better player in Johnny Damon for a lower price?  The time for trading him has passed I'm afraid.  

2 years, 4 months ago on Six Angels that could be traded before Opening Day | March

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With Abreu showing up to camp overweight and being as awful as he's been in Spring Training, it would surprise me if he was given 2-4 weeks in the regular season to show the Angels SOMETHING before they just outright released him.  Rich Thompson will remain with the Angels because of his ability to go multiple innings and pitch in any role.  He's like the super-utility player of the bullpen.  Although I just wrote an article about Callaspo's trade value, I doubt he or Izturis are dealt.  

2 years, 4 months ago on Six Angels that could be traded before Opening Day | March

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Here's your argument Garrett.  The Angels didn't "buy" themselves the AL West.  They increased payroll by approximately 5 million dollars.  Thy didn't buy a championship anymore than the Rangers did when they dropped 120 million on a pitcher.  The Angels had lots of money coming off the books, and have a lot of money coming off the books over the next couple seasons and invested in two star players.  You also have to keep in mind, the Yankees bought championships by offering a lot more money to free agents than anyone else.  CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols could have gone to Miami who offered more money.  

 

So no, the Agels didn't buy a championship (assuming they win this season).

2 years, 4 months ago on Halo Headlines: Walden gets rocked, Morales' return delayed, Trout makes spring debut | March

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THe only one i really disagree with here is A League of Their Own vs Eight Men Out.  League of their own should be winning that one easily. 

2 years, 4 months ago on Baseball Movie March Madness! | March

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