Today’s game is a home game against Cleveland and the game starts at 1:10 P.M.
News about the Angels
Breaking news! Mike Trout wants to get into the post-season. This article concerns Mike Trout’s “inevitable decline.” Looking at the projections, though, he is projected to tie Barry Bonds with 11 seasons as the WAR leader.
The Angels did not even get close to re-signing Kole Calhoun. The Griffin Canning “biological injection” was platelet rich plasma. Apparently there is no evidence of anything going on in there that would require surgery. (At least that’s the current story.) Andrew Heaney is your opening day starter. It’s nice that Andriese and Bundy seem to be working out fine. After Harvey and Cahill the Angels really need a karmic reset button. Joe Maddon says let’s be civil and move on rather than plunk Astros players. In my opinion, the Angels cannot afford to have pitchers get suspended so it will probably be for the best if they let some other team do that stuff.
News From Around Baseball
Rob Manfred plans to start the regular season on time, notwithstanding COVID-19. Teams may be playing to empty stadiums. Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun is hospitalized after taking a 95 MPH fastball to the face. To add insult to injury, it looked like the ricochet off his face nailed the fingers of his left hand. Justin Verlander was pulled from his start two innings early due to right triceps soreness.
If you see anything I’ve missed, feel free to link it in the comments.
Photo Credit: Rex Fregosi
Heaney as the opener doesn’t excite me one bit. It actually scares me that he’s considered the ace right now. Rendon better put up the same numbers and upton better bounce back, or it’s gonna be a long year for trout.
If Heaney is healthy he will be a 15 game winner. He also needs to have his head screwed on straight as last seaon he had issues with his best friend. He very well could be the ACE we expect him to blossom into.
15 wins? Wow, that means he’d be better than deGrom!
Looks like we won’t be facing Verlander to open the year
So we saw the 1st time the 3 batter rule for pitchers could be ugly, Cole threw 3 strikes while walking 3 before he was removed.
I was impressed with Andriese getting thru 4 innings on 37 pitches. No SOs, but I like the low pitch count a lot more than trying to rack up a lot SOs. Especially with this defense.
Historically, our bullpen is gassed by August. We need starters to go deep into games. We cannot expect Ohtani to do that coming back from TJ. Somebody else needs to go deep into the game on a reliable basis. See also: Bundy; Teheran.
Well, last year’s bleepshow of pulling starters in the 4th/5th inning can’t last. You can pin some of that on Ausmus. He was almost too rigidly adhering to the no 3rd time through the lineup thing, even when a pitcher wasn’t getting hit hard.
No one is expecting starters to throw complete games anymore, but for crying out loud… we need some guys that can at least give us 6+ innings with regularity.
On the other hand, the few times he let them pitch deeper into games, the starters tended to get hit really hard.
Ausmus was in a lose/lose situation.
It was less the “no 3rd time through the lineup” and more about the fact the other team was getting to its 3rd time though in the 4th or 5th inning way too often.
Had the SP had more 1-2-3 innings, then that 3rd time through might have been the 6th or 7th. Instead, the SP gave up too many walks and base hits, and the average number of batters per inning was 5-6, rather than 3-4.
If the 2020 starters can have one or two shutdown innings in each start, they should last longer into the game, and require less of the bullpen. You know, like a normal team.
I agree with you he was in a no win situation and if it had been Sosh he would have left the starters in longer and it would have been worse. Pulling pitchers when Brad did was not his fault, it was just poor pitching. Ausmus was not a good fit for this team imho, but he only can play the pieces given.
I thought Ausmus was perfect such that he implemented whatever Eppler wanted to do. The team scored a lot of runs last year, the most in Eppler’s tenure by 48 runs. Unfortunately, the lack of talent at pitching gave up 868 runs allowed, the most in Eppler’s tenure by 141 runs allowed.
So is it coaching or is it talent? IMO, it’s talent as the above paragraph reveals the most productions in two different directions, which doesn’t make sense from a coaching perspective unless you’re lacking talent. Ausmus did what he could do to compensate for the lack of pitching talent last year. I’m in different about him as a coach, but he did what GM Eppler wanted and that plan failed due to lack of pitching talent. There was no way any manager could disguise that deficiency.
I believe it is Stirrups who has reminded us that the forecast error for projected wins can be quite large large. Regardless of that, it would behoove the Angels to not put themselves at any sort of disadvantage in the race for a wild card spot since their projected wins put them right on the cusp. No, do not plunk anyone since this team needs every win they can get.
Yeah. If you have a rage boner about the cheating, just spike somebody sliding into second and say “Oops!”
Yeah, no need to give the Astros a free man on base. There’s plenty of other ways to express your displeasure subtly and with plausible deniability toward your opponent. And beyond that– why should any Angels pitcher open himself up to a 5+ game suspension for plunking someone, more MLB penalty than any of these cheating Astros will have received?
When put into that context, it’s a pyrrhic victory. Don’t plunk with the intention the best revenge is to win the AL West and prevent the Asterisks from reaching the post season simultaneously.
Could cling to that old cliche, “The best revenge is to live a better life.” No need to fester in revenge only to become Darth Vader. Become Luke Skywalker. (Star Wars movies 7 – 9 do not exist to me, just like a certain date in Halos Heaven lore.)
In short, why put men on base and lose pitchers against a team who, even without trash cans, is likely to kick our ass? It just seems stupid. Let the Yankees pick their own fight…. watch Stanton break his leg on nothing running in from RF, etc. That sounds like more fun to me.
i am not in favor of being blatant about plunking Astros, but l would pitch them all tight and inside and kept them honest. lt’s hard to look the other way when players who cheated and won Games, Batting Titles, MVP Awards or at least took votes from those who deserved them in the different races, stole a World Series title, cost people their jobs and positions and got away with it. No Morals, no being ashamed other than being caught. Anyone who should ever write or post anything positive about any cheater is automatically a loser in my eyes.
Hean Dog deserves to be the opening day pitcher this season. Platelet enriched injections in the past seemed to be a waste of time hope it helps Canning and he can get ready to go. l am completely disappointed in Eppler in that he held on to Fletcher instead of trading him and having him play second fiddle to LaStella, such a waste of talent it seems to me. The OF play of Goodwin and Upton this spring is embarrassing a best, hope their AB’s can make up for it. Spring Training has shown us that our pitching maybe just what was expected all winter. If so Billy Boy is done being a General Manager in his career again, not just here. I still insist that Trouty has a monster season this year, so all who think Mikey goes into decline are going to look sheepish in their future post about anyone’s decline. Go Angels!
Eppler promotional giveaway this season?
@UnrealisticOptimist – I LOVE cinnamon rolls
How has ST shown us that our pitching will be bad this year? Which stats are you using?
I mean, small sample size caveats, but 19 pitchers are under 4 ERA, including Heaney and Sandoval at 3.60 (the worst of them), Adreiese, Suarez and Peters with an ERA of 1, and Canning, Bundy and Barria all with an ERA of 0. Teheren the only projected starter doing ‘badly’ with a ST ERA of 5+.
So, who exactly is the doom scenario? Is it just Cam you are worried about? Key giving up 2 HR yesterday?
Is it just the delay for Canning and Ohtani that has you worried? Because the depth seems to be pitching pretty ok.
Let us look closely at stats, to be found at MLB site OK? Can we agree that the forecast starters for the season looked like this, Heaney, Teheran, Bundy, Canning, with a possible one or two from Barria, Pena, Andriese. Through today’s game only 2 are kicking butt. Barria hammered today and ERA just below 6. Pena IL, Canning injured, Ohtani injured, Heaney hit hard today, with surprises to most Sandoval (Sandy) doing well, Peters doing well Bundy is super this spring, and a surprise in Andriese do well. Remember we are now 6 wins in 19 starts. Bullpen is Noe, Suarez (maybe a starter) and Robles doing one scoreless inning today with killer change. You are right that Bedrock is doing poorly as is expect pen piece Ball, JC, Middleton and a half dozen not really expected to make the 40 man roster although Clark may surprise. So yes Sandoval, Suarez, Bundy, Andriese, Peters, doing well with Noe< Clark, doing well from the pen. The rest are having issues that they are working on diligently. This staff has generally been smacked around and l agre it is only ST with more to come. Our hitting is starting to come around slowly but they to are showing promise with there being a race for extra OF'er. Look it up before questioning someone here, or word it as "In your opinion the pitching staff is looking awesome.
Umpires better start enforcing rule 5.05(b)(2)(A) & (B), which state a batter isn’t awarded first base if he is hit by a pitch in the strike zone or if the batter makes no attempt to avoid being hit. Otherwise, the cheating Trashtros are going to lean into inside pitches and try to get the pitcher ejected for beaning them.
“i am not in favor of being blatant about plunking Astros, but l would pitch them all tight and inside and kept them honest.”
You keep repeating this point. While I myself am not in favor of beaning Astros because it doesn’t avenge much on the part of our team or do anything to help us win, I still don’t get why you keep saying this. How is this playing out in your head? Do you see George Springer heading back to the dugout telling his team mates “Look out boys, they aren’t throwing at us, but they are throwing inside and keeping us honest!”? When I harken back to ancient times when I pitched all those years you threw tight on a batter who was crowding the plate (not honestly staying in the batter’s box), are the Astros doing that now? Would a pitcher NOT brush back a hitter who is on the plate if it’s not an Astro? What does tight pitching have to do with sign stealing? As far as inside strikes, won’t I be throwing those anyway if that’s what the scouting report and catcher calls for?
Why not just pitch…. or just throw at the guy if that’s what the pitcher decides to do? Game playing just seems pointless.
Am I the only one who thought the MLB.com headline “Calhoun has fractured jaw after being hit by pitch” was about Kole?
Horrific injury to Willy Calhoun – wishing him the best.
Sorry for Willy, but I just prayed to not see the Dbacks uni on that article while opening it.
Best wishes for his recovery and more usage of flaps for the future.
Alright, i’m over spring training. Let’s get to beaning the Astros already.
17 days to meaningful baseball!
Pedro Martinez in book: ‘When I hit a batter, it was 90 percent intentional’
Enjoyed reading the fan graphs take on Trout’s inevitable decline, this quote stands out to me as part of his greatness “As of this year’s projections, Trout now ranks sixth in rest-of-career wins, behind Acuña, Soto, Lindor, Cody Bellinger, and Gleyber Torres”
Acuna-22 years old
I know these are projections of projections, but the writer of the article almost sounds disappointed that there are this many players that could collect more WAR from this point on than Trout will, even though some of these guys are 5+ years younger than him.
There used to be articles written about how Puig was better than the GOAT. I wouldn’t worry about it.
I’m not worried about it, i just think it’s funny how some people will hype a guy who had a great half season or full season. Trout had literally done it his whole career. At least the Harper comparisons have slowed/stopped
Yeah, anyone can do it for a season or two, but Trout has been this consistent for close to a decade now, they have some ground to make up.
Thank the FSM. Harper’s a douchebag.
The Fangraphs article is a prime example of writing something when there is nothing to write about.
That smell of pre Spring is in the air
Is that what it is? Crap, I thought something had gone bad in the fridge.