David Fletcher plays center field! He’s obviously competing with Mike Trout for the job, and we shouldn’t be surprised if it’s a neck-and-neck race. It remains to be seen under which circumstances Fletcher would actually enter a Major League game in center (if Trout is healthy).
The official MLB site ranks teams by their farm systems. The Angels (unsurprisingly) end up near the bottom yet again. The top prospect, Jo Adell, is still striking out a lot…
The big news of the day was that MLB, following other sports leagues, is closing clubhouses to reporters due to coronavirus concerns. Unsurprisingly, reporters are upset ($$). Ken Rosenthal is just the loudest voice, but he does make a strong argument; this clubhouse access is how sports reporters get some of the best stories. Over the past few days, I’ve seen different beat writers from different sports, like basketball and hockey, argue that closing clubhouses limits the reach that reporters have over what they share, and doing so may eliminate the friendships that are built there between player and writer.
So what kind of history does baseball have dealing with illnesses? Emma Baccellieri looks into it on SI.
Another Mike Trout-Millville heartwarming story ($$)…this time about the high school jersey he bestows every year…
Just your average Spring Training play.
Matt Shoemaker is back! ($$) Apologies…there was a lot of good stuff from The Athletic today.
The Ringer examines whether or not the Astros cheating scheme has changed the way we think about Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish, two pitchers who were greatly affected by the dishonesty.
So…if Justin Verlander is injured, who will the Angels see on Opening Day?
Photo by Keith Allison
I’ll be writing an LAA mailbag shortly. What Angels questions do you all want answered?
Who is slated to backup Pujols at 1st, is it only between Walsh and Thaiss?
Should the Angels trade Kole Calhoun strait up for Aaron Nola? If we throw in Yunel Escobar will they give us Hector Neris?
How many OFers do we carry? 3? 4 (including whom, Hermosillo, Ward?)? 5?
How often does Pujols DH, if ever? (and if he doesn’t, who else does especially when Ohtani starts pitching – Upton? Fletcher?)
MLB Pipeline ranks the Angels 26th in organizational farm system rankings. That’s a little low from where I’d peg them with Adell and Marsh, but it illustrates what we’ve been saying for quite a while now: this is a top-heavy system that hasn’t been replenished in a long time now. The atrocious bumbling of last year’s first rounder really hurts.
There are two phases to the game and we have no prospects in one crucial area: pitching. Outfield, shortstop, plenty of athleticism to dream on but not a single arm that reasonably projects as a TOR piece.
uh-oh, you’re starting me off on our front office.
Which is the most head-scratching draft “thing”? Jumping for joy when Ward was available….or drafting Wilson, then trading him away just to clear up cap space? I’m not sure.
Ol’ Shoey’s beard is still among the manliest ever.
There is only one neck in that race, the other is just a thumb
Fletch doesn’t have a chance in a neck and neck race. Trout’s neck is much bigger.
Lindy’s Baseball Sports Magazine predicts Anthony Rendon as AL MVP. That is fine for me, although l am pulling for Mikey. While Trouty is considered the best hitter in Lindy’s, it is Bregman who who is considered to have the best “Plate Discipline”. Well l’d have great plate discipline to if l new what pitch was coming half the time.
It is not really discipline if someone is buzzing you the pitches, right? Maybe he is good at delegation?
Check out this double play at the plate committed by the Pirates yesterday, then watch the video on the same page of Carlton Fisk getting pummeled by two baserunners. Wow. https://mlb.nbcsports.com/2020/03/09/video-pirates-make-two-outs-at-home-on-the-same-play/
Fletcher is going to play 2b against lefties and spell everyone once a week or so everywhere else until either an injury or Maddon comes out of the ether just demotes a position player who is not working out. He will end up in RF or 2b. Adell’s trade value must be dropping and that is to bad.
David Fletcher, an American army knife. Warms my heart, man.
I predicted it.
I knew Verlander would come down with a mysterious “illness” or “injury”
This is clearly to avoid the opening week of the season, where there will be the most scrutiny on the Astros.
My prediction: another “star” has an injury and misses about the first 7 days of the season.
I say- Correa
want a cookie?
he’s 37, injuries happen. You think he said to himself “hmm maybe I should make up an injury so I don’t have to pitch to start the year”?
Honestly, Verlander strikes me as the kind of guy who will WANT to pitch that game as an FU to everyone. He’s a total douche, but he’s also a very competitive douche, and also a good pitcher who doesn’t seem easy to rattle…. who also bangs Kate Upton. I think he thinks your scrutiny can go f*** itself.
Fletcher having the experience to to play any position aside from pitcher and catcher is great. Maddon is definitely a think outside the box type of guy.
Mike Trout used to have an issue with strikeouts, too. Maybe he can give Jo some tips.
Ol’ Shoey and GRich are making me miss them…I still think we should have thrown Garrett that contract and ate his rehab year. He’s finally healthy and only 31. If he has a rebound year we should target him this winter…reunite the roomies.
I assume if Verlander is out we’ll see Greinke.
Those two Astros series are going to be a trial by fire for our own pitching staff. Hopefully Maddon can help the team avoid a Scioscia swoon in April of this year. I’d hate to be 15 games out of first by the time Ohtani starts pitching.
This is kind of what I was getting at on the Heaney opening day starter thread. I think Heaney will be a lamb going to slaughter in that game. The Astros players will be looking to prove something. Don’t ask me why these guys feel like the victims when THEY were the ones screwing all the other teams over with their banging and cheating. Somehow in their minds their have rationalized their reprehensible behavior and now feel picked on and abused. Imagine that.
But even though it is misplaced they will be angry. I fear we could lose three of those first four games and start 1-3. We then go into Texas to face an improved Rangers team. We could be behind the 8 Ball right out of the gates, ala the Scioscia years.
I don’t think Trout ever had an issue with strikeouts. His career minor league SO% is 16.3%. He did have a 30% rate in 25 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2011, but that is sandwiched between an 18% rate in 91 games in AA and a 17% rate in 20 games in AAA. Trout’s MLB-worst is his 26.1% SO rate in his career-worst year of 2014 in 157 games – a season he still put up .938 OPS.
Adell had a 32.6% KO rate in AAA last year. For reference, the MLB worst among qualified players was Domingo Santana with 32.3%. The smelly Texas Ranger was #2 at 30.6%.
It looks like Adell has a whopping 47.8% KO rate in spring this year. But it’s spring, and that also comes with a .318 AVG, so who cares. Adell will have most of the season in AAA to improve his contact. Whether he succeeds will be the difference between a good hitter and an elite one.
Don’t quote me on it, but I recall hearing Fletcher was the emergency catcher on his HS and college teams, too!
I’ve tried twice to reply to this comment with a gif and it won’t take it…