The biggest news this week was the rise and fall of the hopes of Angels fans as news leaked we are apparently out on Trevor Bauer. So we can stop playing games with ourselves and move on to reality.
What, did you think the title was about something else?
A solid consolation prize for Mr. Bauer would have been Masahiro Tanaka of NY Yankee fame. He had an obvious fit in the rotation and on Arte’s beloved billboards. But he took his ball and went home.
So where does that leave Perry Minasian to look for pitching help? Brent outlined some potential targets. Meanwhile I’ve come up with this trade proposal in which we basically trade Marsh for Sonny Gray and a reliever on the mend from TJ (we have to have at least one of those around) which is getting positive feedback.
Personally, I really like Marsh and want to keep him around. I think having one higher floor guy in Marsh and one more unpredictable guy in Adell is a great combination.
Speaking of prospects, Keith Law dropped his Top 100 on the Athletic. Marsh checked in at #36 with Law saying “he could be a 5+ WAR player in center, or maybe something like peak Brett Gardner with more pop in a corner spot.”
A bit lower on the list is Reid Detmers at #65. Landing the near MLB ready pitcher in time for Trout’s prime was a perfect fit for the Angels and Law hopes to see him this summer.
Detmers is working on adding a fourth pitch to his arsenal. The goal is to have a slider that keeps hitters off his change up and curve. Personally, I love seeing a guy who can mix speeds and location do his thing. There’s an art to pitching.
Speaking of getting paid, Fangraphs and Rotoworld are hiring. Although I might not want to let Brent and Rahul know this. Please don’t leave us.
Back to those games. When will they start and who will pitch for the Angels?
The Cactus League says they’ll be ready for baseball, delay or no delay. I have friends in the area including some who have volunteered at Spring Training ballparks and I’m hearing 20-50% capacity, contactless payments, pod seating….and prayers the projections for a sharp reduction in Covid cases come true.
FWIW I’m leaning less and less towards going every day. Although I do pine for baseball and sunlight.
As far as who will pitch, I have no idea. Part of me says Paxton/Ohtani could team up for a combined 200 innings between injuries. Part of me says to get Odorizzi and stack the bullpen. None of me thinks there’s a genuine top of the rotation arm coming.
We missed out on Musgrove, but Pittsburgh looks to be selling low on Chad Kuhl. He’s a full year from TJ so he’ll fit right in here. I wouldn’t really want to depend on him as a starter, but do think a more Tampa Bay approach could work where some starters are limited to 2 trips through the lineup then a guy like Kuhl or Barria or Pena gets a couple of innings. Might keep guys like Heaney and Canning healthier over the course of a full year.
Last week I brought up the possibility that Minasian is really looking at 2022. That free agent class will be insanely deep at shortstop as Marcus Semien and Andrelton Simmons signed one year deals this week. They are on track to join Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa, and Javier Baez to form a super class. Of course this also means a lot of big market teams will need a shortstop.
Getting left out in the cold in this week’s shortstop frenzy was the Oakland A’s, who never offered Marcus a normal contract but did float a pretty unique idea his way. Oakland now needs a shortstop but probably won’t outbid Philly for Didi Gregorious. They’ve taken several hits to their roster this year but will somehow still win 90 games.
And while it isn’t the end of his game, Curt Schilling only has one shot at the Hall of Fame left. Curt took a shot at creating video games after his playing career, with disastrous results. There’s your longform read for the weekend and it is appropriately titled “End Game.”
As far as baseball and gaming is concerned, nothing will ever top this story for me.
Best baseball video game of all time? I remember begging for MLB Baseball for NES as a kid because I just had to have real Angels players on my team. It was horrible in so many ways yet I played it for hours on end, smashing double after double with Wally Joyner. What was your favorite?