Photo credit: Rex Fregosi
Los Angeles Angels Links
As reported yesterday by Rahul Setty, the Angels are getting trade offers for Dylan Bundy. Tanks for the memories. How could we pass on offloading our best starter for some prospects that aren’t quite ready this year? In a related story, it definitely seems strange to have a starting pitcher who is considered one of the top starting pitchers in the trade market.
The Angels will play a double header today instead of playing on Thursday. This is to avoid the complications caused by tropical storm Laura. Jo Adell’s struggles continue and continue to be written about. Fangraphs gives us a fun article about David Fletcher’s piñata swing double. Here is a new Angels activity, an origami Angels polo shirt.
Links From Around Baseball
MLB continues to promote people. Noah Garden is now Chief Revenue Officer and Chris Marinak is Chief Operations and Strategy Officer. The Hall of Fame has pushed their era committee elections back by a year. The Mets overcame their COVID-19 issues and will resume play with a ton of double headers. Greinke is back to calling his own pitches. Throw one of those suckers to Rendon and see what happens.
Good teams As, Yanks, Twins, Indians, White Sox, Rays, Jays. Astros. They are good whether it was 60 games or 162. There IS NO difference. Saying that this is a unique season where small sample size is misrepresenting teams is such a farse! This is not a bad month it’s a bad team. I literally don’t know what it takes to hit panic mode around these parts. The power teams are better and they have been also passed up by rebuilding teams.
The only hope is to get lucky and land 2 front line starters by December and to secure about 3-4 reliable relievers. How this happens is the key. That’s our only shot not to waste 15 years of Trout.
so when IS the first game today? I thought it was supposed to start now. 1:05? A double header, right? I’m so confused!
It’s 1:05 PDT
don’t worry about it, tracking it just brings pain
Question folks what is the point for Eppler to try and sell this trade deadline? If his job is in question wouldn’t he at least take a Hail Mary and trade for guys to make the team better this year to save his own skin? Not saying that’s best for us because it’s definitely not but I was just curious of the thinking.
So honestly this season has been over for 3 weeks at least. The more I think about it, Eppler should not be the one allowed to mishandle trades and dump our only assets for a shitty return.
Calhoun hits the ball with his head on purpose to get out of a rundown. Genius.
I don’t think he altered his path to come in contact with the ball (only turning his head to avoid getting it in the face). In my mind, it was a bad call (and a really bad throw – how can you not throw the ball over Kole’s head, seriously?).
It is all interpretation (says the rules, I am to understand), but I think they projected intent rather than seeing his actual actions.
Fun baseball Pacman game from Fangraphs! https://www.fangraphs.com/nes/run/fangraphs-arcade
Nice. Now I’m horrible at two versions of baseball.
Hell no on trading Bundy.
While I admit my “this is the season to go all in” comment from last week looks worse by the hour, this is also not the season to blow it all up. We’ve played 30 games, essentially an atrocious month, in what’s really a trash season for the whole league. No reason to blow up the potential this roster does have, and certainly not a reason to erase one of the few smart moves this team has made in recent years.
At the very least Bundy should be kept into next season when he can either help anchor a revitalized rotation, or be traded around a real trade deadline in a real season where he might bring back some real value. Or he can be offered a QO going into the 2021 offseason.
This team has about a four-year window remaining I’d say to do something in the Trout Prime era. That’s assuming his age curve is more graceful than most given the lofty heights he typically plays at. The problem, as it has been for years now, is pitching. The team could actually turn it around if they opened the wallet for the likes of Stroman, Odorizzi, and Wood this offseason. It would help even more if they traded some of our three million OF prospects and three dozen Rengifo-type middle infield prospects to teams with a glut of serviceable pitching talent, like the Diamondbacks and Indians (or Spiders or whatver – maybe we could trade them a new name too). I would add Heaney and Sandoval to this mix or just cut them entirely. I’ve seen enough there.
The team needs to do this ASAP in addition to getting whatever they can for Simmons and Upton (eating cash for an overpaid starter like Cueto for example on the latter). Trading Bundy isn’t the answer to anything, nor is just tanking and waiting for somebody like Kumar Rocker to save us. The earliest he’d pitch at the MLB level is what, 2022? We don’t have time for that. Whoever’s GMing this ship after September needs to go into the winter with the mindset of only talking to or about pitchers first before even thinking about position players.
Lastly, they need to have a conversation with Ohtani, both for the team and his own career. His bat and speed are proven value to the lineup. If health prevents him from pitching full time or he just can’t seem to regain form in the spring, he needs to be penciled into a corner OF slot 50 to 100 games next year in addition to his DH duties. He played the corners at times with the Fighters in Japan, and has the experience and arm strength to be an asset there. The two-way rules would still allow him to make a spot start or long-relief appearance on occasion if we really needed it, but without blowing his arm out with weekly starts. This would also free up another OF prospect for trade and make the case for contract swapping Upton even stronger.
There’s little reason our rotation next season can’t be something like:
Or, if Ohtani switches to OF/DH primarily:
Either of those rotations with a full season of this offense and one or two decent relievers added makes a contender, especially if this expanded playoff format sticks around. This should be the team’s goal this winter.
I largely agree, except for this sentence. Trading Bundy isn’t the answer to anything, nor is just tanking and waiting for somebody like Kumar Rocker to save us. The earliest he’d pitch at the MLB level is what, 2022? We don’t have time for that.
The Angels already have a terrible record. Only 30 more games of tanking to secure Rocker and it’s a near-certainty to say that the Angels will miss the playoffs (FG gives the Angels 6.7% for example, while the similarly terrible Red Sox are given 5.6% odds). The Angels are free to tank without impact on 2021 by experimenting with young starters, unique lineups, “creative” bullpen usage, which can all be done without trading Bundy; and, the team, has already been losing without focusing on any of those things.
I was thinking about “creative” construction of the pitching staff and wondered if this one would be feasible. Assuming 15 pitchers on the active roster:
5x Pitcher A: pitchers expected to get a minimum of 15 outs (aka established starters)
5x Pitcher B: pitchers expected to get a minimum of 9 outs (aka fringe starters)
5 x Pitcher C: pitchers expected to get a minimum of 3 outs (aka relief pitchers)
The intention would be to create A&B tandems that get the majority of your outs and are lightly supplemented by C’s. The major hurdle would be breaking the inherent routines & viewpoints of current pitchers. Regardless I’d like to see how the experiment worked out
Agree. At this point we might as well tank. And you can do it (as you say) without really throwing games like the 76ers did in the NBA. Just continue to play Upton and throw out Suarez as a starter lol.
Good comment. I think we all agree that we need to keep Bundy. But it makes me angry how Yankee fans and other entitled fan bases act like it is their right to take the best emergent players off the rosters of “.losing”teams. Oh, “so and so would be great on the Yankees” etc And of course they should only provide peanuts in exchange for said talent. Just give us your good pitching talent and take whatever we offer. And of course the MSM such as ESPN plays into this “rich get richer” thinking.
Sorry, response was to Commander Nate but accidentally responded to Rahul.
Sorry, I see now I was a little unclear there. I meant tanking in addition to trading Bundy. Last weekend and this week are the make/break point for the season IMO and it seems like we’re strongly leaning break. We’ll likely have a shot at Rocker no matter what, I just don’t want to give up Bundy and potentially weaken next year’s chances to do it.
I see what you’re saying. Agreed that trading Bundy close to annihilates the already-marginal playoff odds for next season.
Some of us last season back at the old place thought the same of Hansel Robles.
I warned on a earlier posting that Bundy who had 14 losses a year ago for Baltimore also got off to a nice start for them ( BTW the Orioles have a better record than we do this season ). This fan blog seems to always hitch their emotional wagon to a guy every summer who’s having a fluke year. The question to ask yourselves is what Billy Beane do with this guy? Most of the time these guys usually come back crashing down to earth……..Perennial All Stars are not found in a dumpster. Hansel Robles was Brendan Donnelly in Spanish last year.
Billy Beane is not in the same situation as an Angels GM is now or has been in recent memory. There are real financial restrictions and limitations in Oakland that necessitate his operating that franchise a certain way. We don’t have those same restrictions here.
And in addition, though he has been “successful” in fielding competitive teams pretty consistently Beane has still not taken a team to the World Series, let alone won one.
We do have a set of somewhat similar fiscal constraints. While the payroll may be larger, most of it is committed to a handful of players, some of whom are not productive, plus Arte seems committed to not splurge. So there are only so many dollars to spend, and they need to spent wisely and efficiently.
That’s not what I meant. Obviously we don’t have unlimited resources. But our budget is a hell of a lot bigger than the A’s. Our TV contract is much bigger and our market is larger and our attendance is a lot better/bigger. Those are income streams the A’s don’t have (comparatively speaking).
There is a reason the A’s don’t keep their homegrown talent (of which they get slot) past the arbitration years; and it is the reasons I listed above.
Arte’s frugality (compared to past seasons he oversaw) is a recent phenomenon. My guess is that he got sick of falling short in the playoffs after spending all that money on FA’s. But he can blame himself for his stubbornness in keeping Scioscia so long after Soth kept getting beat and failing. We as fans have good reason to resent Arte. We really should have two or three WS titles from the last 15 years if we had a halfway decent owner.
My biggest concern with trading Bundy is then we’re reliant on Eppler to find more pitching, which has not worked out well so far.
Not only that, but at this time we should value guys who can help us win NOW (2021), not prospects. With Trout, Rendon, Ohtani and Fletcher etc we have a potentially championship level offensive core. We really are not far off from being in the conversation. A top three of Ohtani, Bundy and Odorizzi is not bad.
I don’t want to build a team that relies on Ohtani’s successful return from injury. That kind of thinking is what has sunk us with Richards, Heaney and others. Getting Odorizzi and someone else, somehow, to pair with Bundy, Canning, Barria/Sandoval/Detmers, with Ohtani as a hope but not necessity seems like a better idea.
If you don’t want to put all your eggs in the Ohtani basket I understand that. So we’ll view Ohtani as a #3 instead of a staff ace. That makes him easier to replace should the rehabilitation falter. But in planning this way it makes it incumbent upon the new GM to trade for a frontline starter. The question becomes WHO do you trade? I refuse to trade Fletcher so we would have to look at other options.
It’s not that I think Bundy’s necessarily the ace we’ve seen so far, but he’s a reliable innings eater and we haven’t even had that consistently for years. Even if he regresses to his norm next year, you’re looking at 150+ innings of about 4.50 ERA ball. We need at least that plus some higher caliber acquisitions to be competitive in 2021. This offense can score about 4 runs almost on accident most nights, so we need starters who can keep us around that level consistently.
I also don’t think anyone’s going to give us anything valuable for Bundy this year since it’s such a crapshoot. Now, if the Tigers were offering Boyd or Fulmer, or somebody was offering a couple ace relievers with a couple years of control maybe I’d do it. But that’s not happening.
Bemboom answered the question we all asked when we got him.
Apparently he can pitch.
In truth, forget a Bundy trade – what we really need is someone with a vision who can rebuild this organization. We need to hire someone from the Friedman or Beane pipeline. Look at the Dodgers, Rays, A’s, and probably now the Giants (since Zaidi was hired) – they know how to build a strong player development pipeline and supplement it with major league talent.
The biggest thing we can do is to thank Eppler for his time, then interview people who work for the Dodgers/Rays/A’s/Giants and hire someone from them.
This team does have legit star talent. What we need, though, is someone who can help us develop our minor league system to supplement those players, and someone who can also find the Max Muncys, Mike Yaztremskis, etc of the world (cheap, undervalued talent that ends up playing very well).
I’ll also add:
Keep losing, so whoever takes over this team can have the #1 pick (Kumar), which will certainly be a great way to help inject enormous pitching talent into our system.
I don’t disagree that Eppler probably isn’t the right guy for the job, but NO ONE is going to come in here and produce a winner consistently if Arte keeps meddling. Forcing your GM to trade your #1 draft pick to get out from under a bad contract? Going out and getting insanely high priced FA and then leaving your GM with scraps to put together the other 23 spots of the roster. Arte is the biggest hindrance to the Angels winning, IMO.
I agree with this for sure, too. Arte needs to let the guys he hires do their jobs.
That said, Eppler’s drafting track record is middling at best. The decision to draft Wilson in the first round in 2019 was puzzling at best, when we intensely needed SP.
One other thing that has concerned me is our prospects seem to perform rather poorly upon promotion. A lot of teams these days promote guys who perform fairly well, or at least close to their potential. For us, we just see guys look rather poor (Adell, Sandoval, Suarez, etc). I think there is something significant missing in terms of our ability to develop talent well, and that is likely an organizational philosophy that starts at the top. Hence, my desire to move on from Eppler and bring in someone who has a better track record of building a farm system and helping players develop.
Really, of the prospects that were promoted in the last several seasons, only Jo Adell and Griffin Canning are highly regarded by most teams. Canning debuted just last year and Adell, called up too soon, is only a month into his MLB journey. That is to say that the Angels simply have not brought in enough talent into their system, and have gone for the hit-or-miss strategy of getting athletic outfielders, of which they have a glut of and may struggle to find fair value for.
In order to jettison a bad first round pick one must first make a bad first round pick. Arte hasn’t insisted on dumping any other draft pick under Eppler and there’s still very little to show at any level after 5 years.
The blowing money on big names and giving the GM limited wiggle room is all Arte, though. Never learned after the Pujols/Hambone fiasco.
Gotta be able to find and develop guys like Shane Bieber in the 4th rd.
Plus Corey Kluber was a Padres former 4th rd pick in the 2000’s. Was watching the ESPN pre Sunday night game show about the Indian’s knack for doing this this past Sunday. It seems like this organization has to draft guys who are as close to a finished product as possible. 😫
Maybe this is one reason why Arte doesn’t want to invest in more Latin America scouting and player development.