The Angels offense is crushing it right now. Mike Trout is hitting epic bombs. Justin Upton is hitting the long ball. And you just can’t get enough of Shohei Ohtani’s epic blast.
Let’s bottle some of that up for the regular season, guys.
Of course in years past blasts like that would be called “Big Fly” by Victor Rojas. Yesterday the Angels finally announced his replacements, Matt Vasgersian and Daron Sutton.
Anybody here around when Daron’s dad won his 300th game in the greatest Angels hat of all time? Here’s a nice clip of Daron remembering his dad after Don’s death in January.
The offense is rolling, but how about the pitching?
Newcomer Alex Cobb looked sharp in his first outing. His velocity was up and his sinker looked great. Later in that same game against Cleveland, Patrick Sandoval had an impressive outing.
I like Sandoval out of the bullpen. He seems to relax and just grip it and rip it. In a game moving more towards long relievers, he might prove to be a good one.
Eppler acquisitions still abound on the pitching staff. They throw every pitch as hard as they can and hurt themselves. I was really hoping Reyes could contribute this year.
Fangraphs did a pretty deep analysis on which rotations they think improved the most. The Angels improved a bit, Oakland and Houston got worse. Will it be enough to put us in the mix is to be determined.
Remember way back in 2018 when Shohei Ohtani showed up and we dreamed on a guy who pitched like an ace and hit like an All Star? That dream is alive and well again. Really, Spring Training this year has been all about Ohtani showing his brilliance.
If he stays healthy, we’ll see history. Babe Ruth stuff but against an insanely higher level of competition.
What’s incredible is the Angels are knocking the snot out of balls that are supposed to be deadened compared to the balls used in recent years. Did MLB really use juiced balls in 2020?
Baseball will really ramp up their efforts to use the minor leagues as an experiment ground. Robot umps, larger bases, bans on the shift and more are coming this year.
Most of this is the type of hot garbage we now expect out of Rob “Dumbass” Manfred. Must…stop…rant…. Nah, who am I kidding, in an era when people agree on very little, Rob Manfred is a uniter. Everyone agrees he sucks.
Another thing everyone enjoys: free stuff. That picture above is Big Fly Gear’s tribute to Gene Autry and the 60th season of Angels baseball. You can guarantee yourself a shirt by ordering one here. Or, take a shot at winning one. Write a fan post on your favorite big fly. Bonus points if you were there to witness it live. Winner will be decided during the Freeway Series by a vote of the staff here.
Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy some games. And, as always, link anything interesting I missed below.
I truly dislike Rob Manfred and his trying to change what wasn’t broken.
Matt Vasgersian will be a great announcer to listen to, but even though I am very aware of who Sutton is (Saw him as a baby many times), I will certainly miss Gubi a ton.
I thought the Gubby was a lame duck, glad I misunderstood.
Garrett Richards is sporting quite the look these days in Bean town…
I was at the Sutton 300th win game. It was a pretty decent crowd as excitement was building for the club. A nice 5-1 win and an appreciative crowd. That team was a lot of fun to watch.
One thing odd about camp in Tempe this year is that there are about 200 Japanese media members who aren’t here.
That is funny! I like the fan base he brings though. It’s been fun going to the San Diego zoo, heck even the Santa Barbara zoo, and seeing people from Japan with ohtani/angels gear on.
I can’t talk with most of them but I give a thumbs up and smile when I point out their merch.
I’m sure media is a whole different story.
Thanks for keeping us that can’t get out that way in the know Rex!
Still looking for 3/23 and 3/24 tickets. Would just drive my 3 y/o boy out though.
Trevor Cahill got a one year deal with the Pirates ($1.5 Million).
Glad he got a job, I saw him at my chiropractor three weeks ago in Tempe
Back injuries… you never understand them until you have one!
Anyone read or seen any developments on TV streaming services that will carry FSW this year? As of now it appears AT&T TV is the only streaming service carrying the network, at a fat $85/mo (without a contract). Hulu & YouTube TV probably unlikely to pick them up again assuming Sinclair is playing hardball with rights fees. I really don’t want to have to go back to the old-school cable co…
$85.00 per month? For just FSW? At that rate you may as well sign up for basic cable.
These streaming companies are just as bad as cable. Companies drop channels all the frigg’n time. For me, I need The Angels and the Lakers. Spectrum is the best of my bad choices. I cannot stand Spectrum but need to follow my teams.
I too am tethered to Spectrum, but just the basic package with FSW and internet. No movie channels except I have Disney + I stream because I have young kids.
It’s been a juggling act these last few years with subscriptions for sure.
I posted a reply to this on your comment yesterday (vasgerian hiring)
If only there was an mlbstreams . to one might go to… someone putting that together would be a nice thing to try.
I get mlb.tv free with t-mobile, though. But, just saying… for those who don’t feel like spending that much.
I also get mlb.tv with a veterans discount
Interesting that Maddon isn’t ruling out letting Ohtani hit during games he pitches, nor is he ruling out the day before/day after. Doesn’t mean he’s going to do those things often, but seems like they’ll be less rigid than the “Ohtani Rules” Scioscia seemed to put on him in 2018. Of course Ohtani is going to have to show himself consistently pitching into at least probably the 7th inning before Maddon will let him hit in the same game he pitches… obviously due to the “losing the DH” once Ohtani is removed from the game. Then the team is likely only looking at 1-2 times of being forced to use a PH for the pitcher spot late in a game… vs. 3-4 times should he be forced out early. Not like there’s much more than 3-4 bench position players and that’s not a good strategy me thinks.
The Ohtani not hitting the day he is pitching or the day before and day after was not a Scioscia rule, it was and is an Ohtani rule that he himself requested.
If memory serves, that’s the way he operated in Japan. The Angels bending over backwards to keep his schedule as similar to his Japan days as possible was a selling point.
Maybe now that he’s been here a few years he’s ready to change? Personally, I think Ohtani would likely pinch hit on a normal off day or hit in an NL game.
He’ll have to pitch in the NL park in this year’s World Series
The “trout-a-here” is truly cringey. Then again, I also was never a fan of “big-fly” either
I like Terry Smith, something very enjoyable about only having one voice to listen to. But…get that Trout home run call outta here. Too gimmicky. Just like Victors Jimmy Jack call…keep it simple.
The “It’s Trout o’ here!!!” call made me cringe. I really hope he doesn’t keep that going and that it’s just spring training experiments.
Hasn’t Terry been doing that forever?
Yeah, I don’t think that call is going anywhere. He’s been doing that the past couple regular seasons, at least… ugh. Smith has never been my favorite play-by-play guy but if he could just cut down on the cheeseball lines like these I probably would like him more.
At least we don’t hear Langston saying “Marte partay” any more.
Is Langston gone?
No. Marte’s gone.
We’ll still get the parrot for the Captain Morgan commercials.
But that’s only by the Captain’s Orders….
Sandoval seems like a good pick to handcuff to Ohtani IMO. I know he’s looked good but I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Shohei still had some of those messy games where he flames out in the 2nd inning.
Also even when he’s good he’s not that efficient so having a guy who could give you 3-4 innings would be valuable.
Sandoval being a reliable multi-inning reliever will be awesome. Most of our starters only seem to do three innings these days.
If it came down to Barria or Sandoval for our multi inning pen guy who would you choose?
My concern with Barria in this scenario is his lack of velocity. It’s not enough to truly throw off hitters like Claudio or a junk baller. But it is a few MPH off most our starters so hitters might see his FB as very well.
Sandoval can still be optioned. If we want to have our cake and eat it too, Barria has to stick with the big club.
One thing I think Perry has done quite well is establish a list of guys with options for the bullpen. Pena, Sandoval, Slegers, Guerra is on a minors deal, pretty sure Faria has an option.
I’d obviously pick Pena to make the Opening Day roster. I’m just saying as opposed to many other years there seems to be a way to rotate some middle relief guys throughout the year and keep some fresh arms on deck.
Responding to a past recent comment you made.
Harry Dalton got his revenge on us later with the Milwaukee Brewers as their GM and beat us in the 1983 ALCS. I can very much see the same scenario playing out with the guy in rain & mold country in Seattle. I don’t see 5 straight losing seasons and having MLB’s worst farm system as good work even if was just one year less.
Dalton gets a bad rap sometimes. He took over in Baltimore for Lee McPhail, and is he suddenly a “genius” for the 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971 AL Pennants, and Championships in 66 and 70? He did steal Frank Robinson from the Reds all on his own. Or is he a chump for his term with the Angels?
When I was a kid, no other organization put more butts onto MLB rosters than Baltimore and the Dodgers. So Buzzie Bavasi (ugh!) ends up taking credit for some of the foundation Dalton laid, just like Stoneman got the joy for the foundation Bill Bavasi left.
Yet many times it takes finding a great conductor and recognizing great complimentary pieces to get the musicians to play their best music. As curmudgeonny as Buzzie was, he at least got the snake bit Angels to the next level (including the next level of pain)
I’m convinced that many GM’s are so myopic and insecure and lack enough gravitas that they can’t build a winning roster even if they are on the cusp of a breakout. I think this was young Bavasi’s problem.
BTW, Joe Maddon claims that from 1984 to 1994 no other organization produced as many ballplayers in the major leagues than the California Angels of California. Unfortunately, its not always the best strategy to spend most of your efforts filling other team’s rosters.
I don’t agree with that if he did in fact say that. Especially under the Autry ownership which was arguably just as bad as Arte Moreno with respect to player development. The Angels are guilty of not producing a single good Latin player until the 2002 team ( Bengie Molina, Ramon Ortiz, and a kid named Francisco Rodriquez…..that was just 20 yrs ago! ). BTW Dickie Thon doesn’t count either. How good were these players anyway? I mean to produce a bunch of ho hum guys like Jeff Mathis, Lee Stevens, Tyler Chatwood, Casey Kotchman, and Peter Bourjos or one Jered Weaver or Mike Trout is quite a difference.
What don’t you agree with? That Mauch was wrong in bringing back his older 2 primary pitchers on 3 days rest for the first time all season only to see them get shelled when he had other viable options? Uh Huh.
Relative to the rest of your diatribe regarding the Angels player development, congratulations, you were able to name 11 former Angel players whose playing careers span over 45 Angel Seasons . But I’m not sure there was any coherent point made. Wait…No I’m still searching….
From about 1981 to 2005 the Angels did a fairly good job in the development of Latin American players. Could they have done better ? Absolutely. But compared to other clubs they held their own. Now why they have gotten away from that program the last 10 to 15 years? I have no idea, but its something they definitely need to revisit
I think they got away from Latin American player program because of the graft/kickback scandals that was rocking the Latin American scouting scene.
The Harvey Wallbangers were in 1982 not 1983. (Gritcho was spot on since it appears that 10% of the time you are right 100% of the time) This Brewers team still remains to be their only entry to the fall classic . But the Angels loss was less about the Brewers domination but more about the Angels collapse. Many feel it was due to the Little General Gene Mauch freaking out once again when he bypassed Ken Forsch in Game 4 in favor of the 39 year old Tommy John on 3 days rest. I had a chance to talk to Ken Forsch at an Angel Dodger game years later when he was Stoneman’s Assistant. It was obvious to me that despite the passing time this decision still angered him. He said that Mauch had penned a letter to him after the series to try to explain his actions but Forsch still could not bring himself to read it.
If you worry about misspelling and minor stuff like that then you’re a denier in chief. I’d take the late Harry Dalton ( passed in 2005 ) any day over Billy Eppler and BTW if Billy Eppler was still here he would in fact get his 6 straight losing season with us. Back to the 1982 Brewers, they just were a better team on paper……Mike Caldwell, Pete Vuckovich, and later Don Sutton and Rollie Fingers as closer ( we didnt have a star closer like they did! Luis Sanchez and Andy Hassler…LOL!! ). Geoff Zahn was on his last hurrah and Ken Forsch sucked after leaving Houston. We’re lucky we didn’t get swept by this team!
Since Harry passed? No thank you I’ll stick with the living.
If you want to follow the dead and the losers of the world that’s your business. But how many world series trophies did old Harry get for Mr Selig during his golden reign? He was their GM for 14 seasons but alas it was big fat goose egg, so spare me your latest bromance.
BTW you forgot about Don Aase. He would have been a helluva closer if he hadn’t blown out his arm but like many teams back then, the worth of the bullpen specialist had not been embraced quite yet.
Mostly commenting on how bad Billy Eppler and our player development was and is……need to stay on topic for once. Arte Moreno will never get a kind word from me as long as he owns this franchise. 8th in the top 10 in team revenue earnings and to see him spend as miniscule on both pitching and player development ( BTW it was pointed out at Halos Heaven the old blog site for most of these members that we had the lowest payroll for pitching in MLB in 2020!! Yes even lower than TB, Pitt, Cin, Oak, Mia, and KC, all poor small market teams ). The fact is he bought and inherited a solid baseball franchise after winning the 2002 WS and has atrophied this team after even scoring a lucrative cable TV package deal from Fox Sports West in 2011 and were as bad as we were 30 yrs ago under Jackie Autry. This is like handing a brand new car to a juvenile delinquent.
Billy Beane hasn’t won a WS either, Been the A’s GM since 1997, but I’m certain some other team would hire him in a NY second if was available.
His shit don’t work in the playoffs
You may have to handcuff Sandoval to Canning if Canning can’t keep his pitch count down.
handcuff me to Canning instead pls