That was quick. Seems like bags were just packed for Arizona and now they are being packed back up to come home. Cactus League action wraps up tomorrow and the Angels host the Dodgers on Sunday night to kick off the Freeway Series.
The next time you read Weekend Links, the regular season will be in full swing.
All the talk recently about the Angels has been about the bullpen. Joe Maddon calls it “shutdown” and says it reminds him of 2002.
It would be easy to dismiss this talk as a manager being infatuated during the Spring. But outside observers are saying the same.
And Perry isn’t done. He added Wander Suero on a minors deal yesterday. Consider Suero and the recently optioned Wantz are better than many guys who have been on our MLB roster in recent years.
Our sixth best bullpen ranking matches the prediction we’ll see the sixth best WAR from third base. I’ll gladly take a 4 WAR season from Rendon this year.
One area the Angels should have locked down is center field. Fangraphs again projects Mike Trout to lead all center fielders in WAR . I’ll take the over on their 6.4 prediction, though.
Predictions on the Opening Day roster and overall record are all over the place. 85-77 seems like a reasonable jumping point, and I think CBS nailed the roster. I also think Detmers starts in AAA as our only semblance of depth.
The concept of pitching depth might sound foreign around here. But the all pitching draft class is already shaping the Angels farm.
A big part of the Angels success or failure will be the youngsters. Jo Adell has opened eyes with improvement this spring. Add this to his solid September last year and there’s reason for hope.
Adell is considered one of baseball’s former top prospects facing a make or break year. I’m glad Perry left Adell down in AAA last year despite injuries at the big league club. Perry played the long game and Adell likely benefitted.
Meanwhile Brandon Marsh is being labeled as a sleeper for fantasy leagues. A high line drive rate, low pop up rate, and elite foot speed will do that.
Around baseball there are some feel good stories.
Zack Greinke will make his second Opening Day start for the Royals 12 years after doing it the first time.
And as we all know, Albert Pujols will retire after this last dance with the Cardinals. He is retirement age, after all.
Enjoy these last few days before the games matter. Watch what should be an epic Final Four. Post your winners and anything I missed below.
And so it begins. I guess we’ll get to see him in July.
F’ ing F!
Last time his hip hurt he got off to a really bad start.
He got a cortisone injection during a home stand then played much better.
Hopefully it’s not as bad this time.
Hopefully he does not get a cortisone shot. It may help you play the next few games, but those things are bad long-term. They mask a problem and actually make it worse by providing a fake solution. The underlying cause has to be addressed, typically through physical therapy, specialized exercises or rest. Cortisone is bad news for athletes and everyone else.
Going to tonight’s (Sunday) game vs. the Dodgers. Been ages since I’ve been to the Big A – any advice on parking, either offsite or on? I don’t mind parking and walking if parking prices are outrageous. Seats near visitors’ dugout.
Parking is $10 or $20 for “Preferred parking”. What direction will you be coming from, going home to?
Coming from my dad’s in Villa Park, returning home to Pasadena area. Orangewood area near 5 might be good.
Make sure you remind those dirty Doyer fans that the 2020 Championship has a giant * next to it….we don’t recognize it …sorry.
Park on the surface streets south of Orangewood.
And then, right on cue, Beltran blames the front office for not telling them to knock it off. Good luck getting another job in baseball. In fact good luck getting any HOF votes.
Maybe that is why he is saying this. Beltran probablly realized (having seen the way Bonds, McGwire, Schilling etc have been shunned) that his only chance of getting into the Hall would be do a sort of “Tour of Remorse.” If he gives a series of interviews in which he owns his actions and says he’s sorry maybe he’ll shift some votes.
Not sure it is going to work, but it is not a bad strategy.
But if you blame the front office, I wouldn’t think that would go over with the writers. Although maybe if most of the writers hate the Astros management ( which is entirely possible) this move could be part Beltran’s strategy.
Agree that his apology is disingenuous. I mean, as you point out, he says “we were wrong,” but ultimately blames management by telling us he would have stopped if the front office gave the word. I think his “apology” it totally calculated and insincere.
Hilarious when he says they’ve all taken responsibility.
movement in Oakland
They must really want Blake and Rojas on the roster . But it’s time for the kids to shine
Really? Blake? I like Rojas but we don’t really need Blake.
I’ve never been a fan of Blake and I’ll be surprised that his maturing bat will really be that much of a net benefit when factoring in his wandering defense and clueless base running.
Wandering could be used to describe both his defense and his base running.
Wait til he gets hot and then dump him.
The Doyers we’re looking for a right handed bat after the Kimbrel trade so we had to oblige
That is exactly what I said in the other thread about ten minutes ago(before I read your comment) …. They should have at least rode out the hot streak.
Is this about Upton? It doesn’t appear to be an April Fools joke.
I guess he didn’t make the car ride back to Cali
Perry man – wow
That article that talks about 2021 draftees making an impact at camp should have been entitled “He Is Working on His Change Up.”
I swear, if there ever is a coach out there who can just specialize in getting 2 pitch pitchers to learn a passable change up he’d probably be the most valuable hire in baseball and he’d likely never set foot in an MLB stadium if he doesn’t want to.
There was. His name was Howie Gershberg. Unfortunately the Angels lost him way too early
11 hrs 30 sb’s $581K……….hits more hrs and steals more bases and makes $4.5M less!!!
My favorite pizza
Yeah, because we should have known in 2016 that a 6th rounder would be that way.
So why don’t you just drop it, Captain Hindsight?
So I’m seeing the O’s signed Harvey again and as skeptical as I am, this does not appear to be related to April 1st.
I’ll leave this right here.
Not sure Shohei would know who JJ Watt is, but he is of course at the pinnacle of what he does. If anyone is a better DT it is Aaron Donald and that is it. Watt is a monster. Also, his work ethic is amazing. He has not been quite the same player since his left leg injury, but nobody works harder than that dude. Getting praise from him is no small thing.
The NFL is pretty huge in Japan. I bet Shohei knows who he is.
Possibly. How do you know the NFL is huge in Japan? Compared to MLB I would think it is far less popular and well-known. I spent some time in Japan and I did not get the feeling it was huge.
It’s really this all around Japan, not only the guy below…
Does he know who Bugs Bunny is? Because he would totally approve.
Not to be the “actuuuaaaalllyyyy” guy, but JJ Watt’s a linebacker/defensive end.
He sometimes plays DE but the majority of games in his career have been at DT. And at his height that was his position. Besides, guys like that (true for Donald too) usually move around on the line based upon matchups etc.. He can do either one, but he made his name and money as a DT.
I must be confused as to what a tackle is… I was ILB… the dumb ones. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen Watt with his hand on the ground or with a Center or Guard trying to block him, which used to be how you could tell if you were a DT or an edge rusher.
No, Watt is not and has never been a LB. In the 3-4 defensive alignment the outside LB is a rush first guy, essentially replacing the DE. But Watt has usually played inside. And the Texans did not play 3-4 when he was there as far as I can remember. Usually the DT takes up blockers and his first job is to stop the inside run. They also free up room/space for the ends to get the sacks. Guys like Donald and Watt are so good that they get alot of sacks out of the DT position. In his prime Watt would constantly draw double-teams.
He is not the same player today that he was a few years ago, but the guy is a sure Hall of Famer when his time comes.
I don’t care what his position is…..he shouldn’t be in the same room as Sho or breathing the same air, let alone touching him!!
Old JJ should change his F’ing name to DL Watt….This guy gets injured just getting out of bed. Keep your love affair at a distance
ol’ DL…go find a new friend to share a Subway sandwich with.
It looks like Soggy Joe’s lineups are going to continually mess with us all
Not a bad lineup today. Swap Stassi in and I think that is our best assortment of offensive players. Play them everyday, keep them them constant as much as possible in the batting order. Let it roll for 30-games. If struggling, them move them around a bit. Just don’t like managers doinking around with the batting order.
If it is once in a while I don’t mind it. There is value in doing it sometimes based on matchups and what the other team is doing… But in general I agree. I don’t think there should be big movements.For instance, I don’t think Trout should bat leadoff and then bat 3rd etc. About your point of the “doinking” with the lineup, I got the feeling that Sosh did this alot because it was fun to be creative. I mean, it was a fun part of the job and he had the power to do it. I don’t like a manager “doinking” with the lineup because they have fun with it. If there is not a specific reason for doing something they should not be doing it.
In fact, I don’t like batting Mike leadoff. Not enough opportunity to drive guys in. In addition, it made sense his rookie year because he was stealing all those bases.That is not the case now. I think you have to keep him either at the 2 or 3 spot all season. That said, Jeff Fletcher gives a good explanation of why it might be happening today.
Near the end there I think Soth was more desperate than creative. The Escobar era baby.
Happy Sidd Finch day everybody.
Or in the case of the Angels, Happy Vernon Wells day.
Vernone Wells Day, a day that will live in infamy. A completely immovable, albatross of a contract, considered by some to be the worst contract in baseball, and Arte and Scioscia said: “Hold my beer, let’s trade a couple of productive players for that contract and all the infield pop ups we could ever want”.
Dodgers trade Pollock to White Sox for Kimbrel!
Very interesting. And happens on the last day of camp. Pretty easy for them to walk across the facility to the other clubhouse today, but now the scramble to find housing.
Dodgers definitely needed a bullpen arm or two. Trienen can handle the high leverage spots with Kimbrel pitching clean innings.
That said, Pollock seems like the better piece here; especially moving to a more offensive park and a weaker division.
I keep waiting for MLB Trade Rumors to post “April Fools” on this trade.
The Doyers take on an additional $4 million in projected tax salary , raising their CBT number to $297 million.
Come on Arte you’re losing ground.
Good trade for L.A.
It’s going to be so satisfying when the doyers crash and burn this year.
After reviewing the play, the Vast International Umpire Conspiracy to Only Screw the Angels, stands.
Everyone keeps talking about our starting pitching (and deservedly so), but the more I think about this 6-man rotation, the more it makes sense. There has been some discussion about whether a 4-man rotation is better than a 5-man rotation since it allows your aces to pitch more often and usually the 5th starter is much worse than the others. However, I don’t think this applies to the Angels.
I don’t see much of a drop-off in performance from #3 (Sandoval) to #6 (Barria/Detmers) and all of them would benefit from having a lower workload since none of them have pitched over 150 innings at any level. Also, our top starters (Ohtani, Thor) both have injury history and we will want to manage their workload over the whole season. I wouldn’t want either to be pitching on short rest during the regular season.
Cautiously optimistic about the pitching this year. If the starters can keep us in games, we have the bullpen and offense to win a lot of games.
WE WILL BE KEPT IN GAMES.
This crew definitely needs a 6 man rotation.
Thor is off back to back years off due to injury basically.
Ohtani pithed a career high 130 last year. No need to stretch him further.
Sandoval, Suarez, Barria are all unproven over a full year.
Sandoval, Suarez and Barria to my knowledge have ever been pitching in the rotation for a full year to really know if the extra days rest is beneficial. It’s a hunch that Joe Perry has but the decision is mainly driven to coddle Ohtani and the $20M arm.
So his bat is the other $20 million?
True but fewer starts is the best way to limit innings.
Sandoval pitched 87 MLB innings and none in the minors. Suarez was 98.1 and 6. Barria is the workhorse with 56.2 MLB, 49 in Salt Lake, and another 19 in the DR.
I realize these guys are young but I’m sure it is much more reasonable to expect 130 innings out of each than 160, the difference in 6 starts at 5 innings per.
Also Thor only pitched 2 innings last year. Getting him to 120 or so seems realistic, but not 150.
Ohtani has a better era in 5-days rest than 6, something to ponder. The Angel approach, essentially less starts by the best pitcher over the season. Is that good? A guy like Scherzer would never sign up for a 6 man rotation (sometimes 1 start in a 7 game stretch) as you lose sharpness by not facing live hitters in game situations. I think you want want a guy like Max very 5 days (or 6 with a team day off). To me, I don’t see any reason for it that the Angels are convinced post-TJ, they need to limit innings it’s all about coddling. The don’t really have the data to support if one way is better than the other.
You can call it coddling or whatever, but I’d like to have my pitchers last the entire season. We’ve seen a lot of young pitchers (C-Rod, Buttrey, Canning, etc.) all fall off the end of the season due to overuse.
Dare I get a little excited for Upton? Goes without saying, but a live bat from him would do wonders for our lineup.
Upton has always been a streaky hitter. He had a super hot month last year too.
As I am not a fan of Sho leading off, I hope they can try that Upton Sho 1-2 again at some point.
I’ve always been a proponent of putting your best hitters in the beginning of the lineup regardless of power, thereby maximizing their number of at bats and ensuring line up protection. But batting Upton leadoff last year seemed to trigger something in him where he became a completely different player that was much more engaged in the game. If this move spurs his renaissance I’m all for it.
Well, by this time next week we will already have started the Regular Season and will be 0-1 and facing a must win game.
In any case, since you are discussing batting order I thought I would share my preferred lineup for Opening Day. This is not what I expect to happen, but what I would do if I were Manager. Kinda like a Manager version of “If I were Perry…”
I would like to hear yours too Cowboy if you are so inclined. Anyways, here it is. And just for clarification, this is only my lineup for Opening Day, not for the entire season, so people don’t go apoplectic.
Angels Lineup for Astros Game of April 7th:
I feel that this lineup gives us the best chance to win this particular game.
Missing the LF but assume Marsh.
Sorry, I meant to put Ward as LF.
I think he (Mayfield) is swinging the bat pretty well right now. I just like him to be productive in this game. Rather than insult Rendon by batting him 8th I thought I’d give him the day off and let Mayfield play.
Anthony is not going to play every game anyways. If we put him 4th he’d be a big black hole in the middle of the order and kill rallies by hitting into a GIDP when Ohtani and Trout get walked in front of him. I alluded to this yesterday. It is all very calculated and not by accident. I do not want Rendon in the middle of the order for this game.
Unfortunately, I think it is going to happen whether I like it or not.
No Marsh. I don’t want him starting against the lefty Valdez. Plus, Ward and Upton are swinging the bat better than him right now.
I was reading the Athletic and Sam Blum thinks Marsh will be sent down to play everyday. Little more seasoning. Like the Adell approach where he got a run at big league ABs during 2020 and played nearly a full season at AAA in 2021.
Part of the challenge is to guess what lineup Soggy Joe will be posting not necessarily what I would prefer. But I am in complete agreement with his most popular lineup off all time:
I might go back to that at some point this season, but the way J-Up is swinging right now I want him batting Clean-up ! We need somebody who can actually drive Ohtani and Trout in, and against left-handed pitching I think he is the best candidate (Walsh would be there for a RH pitcher).
Interesting you say that. Last year J Up’s splits by batting order position were as follows:
Batting 1st 113 PA’s .313/.407/.552
Batting 4th 55 PA’s .280/.346/.700
Batting Everywhere else 194 PA’s Hammered dog shit
So I’d be ok with cleanup for J up
He was surprisingly effective as a leadoff hitter.
It has to be mildly annoying to hit two HR, a Grand Slam, drive in six RBI, and not be in the lineup the next day.
Hate to be ‘that’ guy but it was one Spring Training game! Lets see some consistency out of Upton before he enters the MVP conversation.
Exactly. He’s had a couple good games this week, but it is March.
Hopefully it is a hot streak that carries over.
Always amazing to me that folks are willing to crown or burn down based on a game or two. Really demonstrates how emotional sport can be for fans.
I would say with Upton’s body of work, I would need to see significant consistency over a couple months to buy into any such narrative.
Honestly, if he’s healthy, I think he’ll hit. He always has as long as he’s not broken.
Long day today as GrandmaBaseball has surgery later today but the drive is over 100 miles away. Everybody have a great day today and Go Angels.
Hope all goes well for you!
Hope GMB’s surgery goes well.
Good luck – hope all goes well. Impressive that on a surgery day for your wife, you have posted on a baseball website no less than 4 times this morning. 🤣
That made me laugh out loud. Good call.
Sticking to your routine and doing things you enjoy is good for stress management.
Oh I know that! Was having some fun!
Check out the time. I posted early, while you slept. I left my home 7:40 am, and next time I posted after my 14 hour day. Good job Sherlock, Graduated detective school at the bottom of your class. Today is Sat. I will leave here in a half hour. I’ll return probably in about 12 to 14 hours again tonight, round trip is about 5-6 hours, but yesterday going from the San Fernando Valley to Big Bear Lake was 5 hours because of traffic. (My helicopter is being repaired).
Idle curiosity, Grandpa… Where in the Valley are you?
I live in Big Bear Valley.
Ah, a very different valley. Hope GMB is doing well.
Best wishes for GMB xo
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Get well soon and safe travels!
It is possible to get 87-90 wins in 2022 season. I’m not crazy at all, how many games did our bullpen give away last season? Our starting staff is underrated but as I’ve said before, the top 5 guys will all perform better than expected because they are capable, and we have a real ‘Pen’ for a change.
With Mike Trout the big key is health. Playing in as many games as possible is what leaders not just in the clubhouse do but also out on the field. With reminding us all that Mike is going into MLBHoF no matter what, now he really needs a couple of seasons of 145-150 games with big numbers. This could be a big year for Ohtani and Trouty together.
Trouty if healthy could have another double digit WAR again as we watch a Mantle Maris battle right up to the last day of the season.