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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Angels Acquire Gordon Beckham

Can he pitch?

The Angels announced that they have acquired second baseman Gordon Beckham from the White Sox in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations.

Beckham, 27, has struggled this season with the White Sox, hitting just .221/.263/.336 in 390 plate appearances.. he is a lifetime .244/.306/.374 batter…

Beckham will bring some degree defensive versatility to the Angels, and Jeff Fletcher of the O.C. Register tweets that he will come off the bench… Defensive metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved have pegged Beckham’s glove as roughly average over the past four seasons.

The District Attorney Posted: August 21, 2014 at 05:50 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, trades, transactions, white sox

LA Times: Angels’ Garrett Richards Suffers Knee Injury in Win Over Red Sox

He was exciting to watch this season, hope he recovers quickly.

Richards sprinted from the mound toward first to receive a relay from shortstop Erick Aybar, but as he approached the bag, he caught his right cleat in the dirt, and his knee buckled.

Richards crumpled to the ground, where he remained for about eight minutes while athletic trainers worked to mobilize his leg. The entire Angels team circled around the right hander as he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: August 21, 2014 at 12:25 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, injuries, pennant race

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Angels beat Red Sox and extend their AL West lead

The Halos have sole possession of first place for the first time since May 11, 2011.

“Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit consecutive RBI doubles, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their AL West lead with a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night.

With two runners on and none out in the ninth, Jepsen threw a well-executed changeup to Ortiz that moved off the plate and got Big Papi to swing and miss wildly.

‘I wanted to give him a pitch he thinks he can drive, but it fades out of the zone. In that situation, I’m going for the strikeout,’ Jepsen said. ‘Watching him, I’ve seen him come up a ton of times in that situation and tie it up.’

As Bogaerts and Bradley battle big league challenges, the Red Sox work on patience, Joe McDonald writes. Story

Jepsen then got Yoenis Cespedes to bounce into a run-scoring fielder’s choice before Mike Napoli lined to center, which closed out Jepsen’s first save since Sept. 16, 2012. It was the fifth win in six games for the Angels, who moved a half-game ahead of idle Oakland.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: August 19, 2014 at 03:24 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Monday, August 18, 2014

Neyer: Grains of salt

Get that dunce cap off your head and put it on Pedro Guerrero’s!

If I gave you a choice of any non-Kershaw major leaguer for the rest of the season, who would you choose?

Right: Mike Trout. Get that dunce cap off your head and move a little closer to my desk, right this minute.

And your second choice?

I’m not going to make you put the dunce cap back on if you don’t immediately think of Alex Gordon. But by this measure, he’s actually been the best player in the major leagues this season... [but] There’s no functional difference between 5.7 fWAR and 5.6 fWAR. Better to say those two have been the two best in the majors this season…

this is where I caution everyone, quite carefully: None of this means that the people at FanGraphs believe Alex Gordon is one of the two best players in the majors, or is as valuable as Mike Trout.

Every method has limitations, and we’re simply looking for the method with the fewest limitations. Wins Above Replacement is really good. But this version, anyway, seems to overrate really good corner outfielders like Alex Gordon and Jason Heyward. I think Gordon’s a great player. I’m just not sure he’s this great.

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: alex gordon, angels, mike trout, rob neyer, royals, sabermetrics

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Drafts That Exceeded Expectations

The Angels hooked a good one.

he leading 2006 Rays draft managed to produce three productive major leaguers: Evan Longoria (1st Round, 3rd pick, 38.5 career rWAR, 5.81 WAR/Season), Alex Cobb (4th Round, 3rd Pick, 7.1 career rWAR, 1.94 WAR/Season), and Desmond Jennings (10th Round, 3rd Pick, 11.7 rWAR, 3.02 WAR/Season). However, the 2009 Angels drafted Mike Trout, Tyler Skaggs, and Garrett Richards, so they may be on the way to passing the 2006 Rays. In addition, the Angels’s total includes Patrick Corban and Randal Grichuk, whom they traded away. However, since the point of this exercise is identifying the teams who are getting the best value, even if it gets traded away, this is a reasonable inclusion.

On the opposite end, the 1994 Phillies drafted four players who reached the majors, all of whom had negative WAR. The 1997 White Sox failed to sign 2nd Round pick Jeff Weaver (who would go on to have 15.5 career rWAR), had six total 1st Round and Supplement 1st Round Picks, and still wound out on -1.77 WAR/Season….

Accounting for this, we can calculate the WAR/Season above the expectation that a team got in their draft, which can be looked at as a measure of value. Not surprisingly this list has several teams picking near the bottom of the round who find a star (a la Mike Trout), or teams who find a star in the later rounds (Such as Paul Goldschmidt)...

Not surprisingly, the 2009 Angels draft class comes out on top. In fact, in future years this class may look even more impressive if Skaggs, Richards, Grichuk, and Corbin continue to develop.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 15, 2014 at 02:26 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, draft, mike trout, phillies, rays

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Angels’ Tyler Skaggs to undergo Tommy John surgery

Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs will undergo Tommy John surgery and will perhaps be sidelined until the 2016 season. The team made the announcement on Sunday. Not long ago, the team placed Skaggs on the DL with a flexor strain, and now, obviously, the worst-case scenario has been realized.

Well, sh!t.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 10, 2014 at 03:57 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fml, skaggs, tommy john surgery

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Why The Wild Card Game Should Be A Two-Game Series

But adding an extra game would push the World Series to Christmas!

Wha’? A two-game series? Erm…don’t know how to tell you this, Nico, but…um…two is an even number. I know. And the wild card game should, for many reasons at once, be a two-game series. Here’s how I think it should work, and why…

To advance to the ALDS, the 2nd wild card team should have to beat the 1st wild card team twice. That “two chances to win one” backdrop gives the 1st wild card team a significant advantage over the 2nd wild card team. This is important because the difference in record between the 1st and 2nd wild card teams can be large, potentially even larger than the spread between a division winner and a 2nd place team.

Never has this been more evident than in 2014, where the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim, if you didn’t know) are currently in the 1st wild card slot despite currently being on pace to win 97 games. Leading the 2nd wild card race, at the moment, are the Toronto Blue Jays, currently on pace to win all of 86 games.

A team 11 games worse should not be on such equal footing as to have only to snatch one game, albeit an away game, in order to advance. Consider a team like the Seattle Mariners, also in the thick of the wild card hunt just 2 games back of Toronto, that is on pace to win only 83 games but has King Felix Hernandez as a tremendous “one-game wild card” weapon.

In order to create sufficient incentive to win the 1st wild card, and not just “any wild card,” making the 2nd wild card sweep a two-game series in order to advance is more fair to the 1st wild card winner.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, blue jays, mariners, royals, wild card, yankees

Friday, August 01, 2014

Rosendo ‘Rusty’ Torres found guilty of 5 counts of sex abuse, acquitted of 3 other charges

It has not been a good summer for former Yankees outfielders accused of sexual impropriety.

A Nassau County jury convicted a former player for the Yankees, Rosendo “Rusty” Torres, Thursday of sexually abusing a girl at his baseball clinic in Plainview several years ago.

The jury of nine women and three men acquitted Torres, 65, of Massapequa of charges that he sexually molested another girl who attended the clinic, which he ran from 2008 to 2012 while he was employed by Town of Oyster Bay. He was suspended after his arrest.

Torres remains free on $50,000 bond. He refused to comment as he left Nassau County Court in Mineola. His attorney, Troy A. Smith of White Plains, said, “We respectfully disagree with the verdict.” He said an appeal was planned.

“Mr. Torres is obviously gravely disappointed. I’m gravely disappointed. We believe there were reasonable doubts,” the attorney said.

Torres, a light-hitting outfielder with a .212 career batting average and 35 home runs during his nine years with five Major League Baseball teams, faces up to 7 years in prison on each of five counts of sexual abuse in the first degree when he is sentenced Oct. 7.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Angels bringing on Huston Street

The Angels and Padres have agreed to a six-player trade that will send All-Star closer Huston Street to Los Angeles, sources told ESPN Baseball Insider Jim Bowden on Friday.
In return, the Padres will receive second baseman Taylor Lindsey, right-hander R.J. Alvarez, shortstop Jose Rondon and another minor leaguer from the Angels, sources said. Los Angeles also will acquire a minor-league player in the deal.

Looks like the Angels have found the Street that leads to the playoffs.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: July 18, 2014 at 11:48 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, padres

Dave Cameron: 2014 Trade Value: The Top 10

7. Salvador Perez

If there’s one piece of feedback I got more clearly than any other last year, it was that I was too low on Salvador Perez. I had one friend in the game tell me should have been in the top five, and I had him at 36. My bad, Kansas City. Consider this a mea culpa.

Perez might not yet be the best catcher in baseball, but there are a lot of people convinced that he’s going to be in the near future. He’s basically a power spike away from being Jonathan Lucroy, only he’s four years younger than Milwaukee’s backstop, and at a point where many catchers are still honing their craft in the minors. And while framing metrics don’t love him the same way they do Lucroy, his defensive reputation is still stellar, as he shuts down the running game as well as anyone.

And then there’s the contract. Because the Royals locked up Perez after just 39 big league games, he’s set to make $2 million each of the next two years, and then they have team options for three additional years at $4 million, $5 million, and $6 million respectively. It’s $19 million over five seasons, or an average of $4 million per year. The best catcher in the American league is signed to the kind of deal you give a decent middle reliever.

Perez doesn’t even have to get any better to be one of the biggest steals in baseball. If he does improve, though, he might eventually challenge for the top spot on this list.

BUT WHO IS #6????


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journal News: Recap of Derek Jeter Retirement Gifts

The big 2nd half issue at BBTF is likely to be the retirement gifts The Captain receives as he completes his Final Journey. To provide perspective, the LoHud Yankee Blog reviews the 1st half:

May 25 — White Sox
Once a powerful hitter for both the Yankees and White Sox, retired slugger Ron Kittle built Jeter’s U.S. Cellular Field retirement gift. Kittle created a bench made of baseball equipment with bases as the seat, bats as the back and arm rests, and baseballs used for decoration and spacing. Long time White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko also presented Jeter with clay removed from the shortstop position at U.S. Cellular, plus a $5,000 donation to Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.

Looks like it wouldn’t be difficult for Furtdao to top the Cubs effort on behalf of BBTF.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

OC Register: Garrett Richards misses out on All-Star Game…again

Garrett Richards came up empty in another opportunity to make the All-Star team tonight, when Seattle Mariners closer Fernando Rodney was named to replace David Price.

Price, one of the players originally selected for the team, had his start pushed back from Saturday to Sunday because of an illness, knocking him out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game. Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, in conjunction with major league officials, had the discretion to replace Price.

They took Rodney, who leads the AL with 27 saves and has a 1.98 ERA.

Richards is 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA, including 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA over his past eight starts.

Richards did not make the initial All-Star roster, when he was overlooked by both the players—who voted for five starters—and Farrell, who picked three. Richards then finished second to the Chicago White Sox Chris Sale in the “final vote.” Price’s illness offered him another shot, and he came up empty again.


Friday, July 11, 2014

DMN: After 15-6 loss to Angels, Washington gives ‘fire-and-brimstone’ blistering of Rangers

Manager Ron Washington resorted to a fire-and-brimstone blistering of the Rangers after a 15-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

In a post-game clubhouse meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, Washington vented his unhappiness at the way his club has been playing in this current dreadful stretch. The Rangers have lost five consecutive games and 19 of their last 22 games.

“I needed to remind them of some things,” Washington said.

Right-hander Colby Lewis, who allowed a club-record 13 runs in 2 1/3 innings, described Washington’s mood as “pissed.”

Said Lewis: “So am I. For every reason. We don’t lose here, and that’s what’s going on. We have to make changes, and it all happens like Wash said in this locker room.”

Washington said the Rangers have “a big group … that doesn’t know what winning is all about.” He hinted some players have let the losing distract them and used third baseman Adrian Beltre as the example of what is expected.

“It doesn’t matter the situation, he’s locked in,” Washington said. “We’re trying to get a lot of these guys locked in like that. It hasn’t happened yet.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 11, 2014 at 04:15 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, rangers

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tim Brown: Borrowing a few of Albert Pujols’ bats has helped Angels’ Erick Aybar stand out

If one gauges a man by his OPS or WAR, Aybar leads qualified AL shortstops in both. Same with, love them or not, RBIs. He doesn’t walk much, but hardly strikes out either. It doesn’t take long to find a defensive metric that says Aybar is the best in the league, or very nearly the best, at that, too.

This is, however, Derek Jeter’s year, and warranted. And, apparently, Alexei Ramirez’s, too, by player vote. And it’s Aybar’s to kill a little time on the twirling teacups, which makes him smile some more, as there are worse alternatives to a few days in Minneapolis.

“There’s a lot of good players going to the All-Star Game,” he said. “They deserve it. My thinking is to win. Playing my game.”

Maybe he gets swallowed up in the Mike Trout parade, and the Pujols and Josh Hamilton fascinations. In among them, however, Aybar has grown into a sound and important part of the Angels’ rebirth. Only three others on the roster – Howie Kendrick, Jered Weaver and Kevin Jepsen – were Angels the last time the team went to the playoffs in 2009. And while it was no secret Aybar could have been had for a front-end starter in a trade last winter, there apparently were none to be had, and it seems now the Angels are better for it.

For Aybar is having one of his best seasons – both sides of the ball – and the Angels are, through three-plus months, the second-best team in the game. They’re not unrelated.

“He’s one of the best shortstops in the game,” Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes said. “He should be on that list of guys.”

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 10, 2014 at 02:05 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

HardballTalk: The Angels are now the only expansion team to have a .500 record

...but despite all of that expansion history, no expansion team sat at .500 or above as play began last night. With their win over the Blue Jays last night, the Angels are now even at 4,272 wins and 4,272 losses.

Now, they aren’t the first expansion team to break .500. As Dbacks’ Vice President Josh Rawitch noted on Twitter last night, Arizona was 652-644 between 1998 and 2005, getting over the .500 hump and staying there for a time after their first couple of seasons. Such early success for an expansion team is unusual, however, and they have since sunk below sea level. The Angels were above .500 twice in their first four seasons, but they had not been at .500 in the aggregate since they were 1-1 following the second day of the 1961 season. They’ve spent over 50 years climbing out of the hole they dug. Pretty cool.

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 08, 2014 at 08:28 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Monday, July 07, 2014

LAT: Angels’ Mike Trout to start All-Star game; Garrett Richards snubbed

The excitement of a 6-1 victory that capped a four-game sweep of the Houston Astros on Sunday was tempered when the Angels learned that only one player from their club, which has the third-best record in baseball, was named to the American League All-Star team.

...

Snubbed were pitcher Garrett Richards, who got the win over the Astros on Sunday to improve to 10-2 with a 2.71 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts in 116 1/3 innings, and slick-fielding shortstop Erick Aybar, who is hitting .278 with six homers and 43 RBIs, most among AL shortstops.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, a nine-time All-Star. “I think Aybar should be an All-Star. He’s the shortstop with the most RBIs. And Garrett has been outstanding. Look at the numbers. Look what he’s done all season long.

Angels: 51-36, 1 representative (Trout)

Astros: 36-54, 1 representative (Altuve)
Mariners: 48-40, 3 representatives (Felix, Cano, Seager)
Rangers: 38-50, 2 representatives (Darvish, Beltre)
Indians: 43-44, 1 representative (Brantley)
White Sox: 42-47, 2 representatives (Abreu, Ramirez)
Blue Jays: 47-43, 3 representatives (Buehrle, Encarnacion, Bautista)

Etc., etc.

still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: July 07, 2014 at 05:45 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: angels

Sunday, July 06, 2014

MLB.COM: Eight Run Seventh Catapults Angels to Comeback Win

I was resigned to a loss tonight as Hector Santiago gave up a grand slam early and the Angels were down 5-2 in the 7th.  Then…..

David Freese, Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron all homered in the (seventh) inning, with Freese’s two-run shot trimming the deficit to one, Pujols’ two-run dinger putting the Angels up by one and Cron’s three-run blast supplying insurance runs.

For the Angels, the eight runs were a season high in one inning.

This season is starting to resemble 2002 in the AL West.  The Angels get hot and go on a crazy streak (10 in a row at home and 18-3 in their last 21 at home) but they look up to see the A’s doing as well or better!

Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: July 06, 2014 at 02:33 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, comebacks

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Diamondbacks send Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana to the Angels

The Diamondbacks’ are on the verge of making the first of what could be many trades this month, agreeing to a deal that will send left-hander Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels.

In exchange, the Diamondbacks are receiving a pair of minor leaguers, right-handed reliever Joey Krehbiel and outfielder Zach Borenstein.

I know it’s not a trolling article about sabermetrics from an old fogey sportswriter, but we need to fill the front page with something, and I guess actual baseball transactions make as much sense as anything.


Thursday, July 03, 2014

It’s a small world: Traded players meet at airport

Two relievers walk into a bathroom…


Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Angels acquire Rich Hill from Red Sox

Rich Hill has spent all season at Triple-A and now the Red Sox have traded him for cash considerations the Angels, who immediately called up the left-handed reliever.

This season at Triple-A for the Red Sox he posted a 3.23 ERA and 45/17 K/BB ratio in 39 innings, holding opponents to a .206 batting average and zero homers.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 01, 2014 at 11:39 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, red sox, trades

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mike Trout belts 489-foot home run

Mike Trout set team and stadium records for home run distance Friday, belting a 489-foot tape-measure solo shot to center field in the first inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ game against the Kansas City Royals.

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 27, 2014 at 09:56 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, mike trout

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rapoport: Kershaw’s gem was great, but batters feared Nolan Ryan

Hey, Rapoport! I haven’t read you in ages.

Ranking no-hitters may seem like a fool’s errand. Greatness is greatness and this sort of example doesn’t happen very often. Why not leave it at that?

But when a pitcher ascends toward the upper echelon of strikeout potential and pitches a no-hitter as well, the temptation to match him against those who came before becomes irresistible. And since claims are being made that Clayton Kershaw’s no-hit victory over Colorado on June 18 is the most dominant pitching performance ever, it becomes our civic duty to summon up a memory of Nolan Ryan.

...The only mark against Ryan that day was that he issued four walks while Kershaw allowed none. This gives Kershaw the nod, his supporters say. Fair enough, except for this.

Ryan threw the ball harder than Kershaw—his fastball was routinely measured at more than 100 miles per hour—and he therefore didn’t have Kershaw’s ability to control where it went. Walks were such a part of Ryan’s repertoire that he didn’t pitch a complete game without one until he was 36 years old and was no longer throwing as hard.

But I’ve always thought that Ryan’s occasional inability to get the ball over the plate was one of his strengths. The idea that a pitch might get away from him was firmly implanted in hitters’ minds as they approached the plate.

...As Kershaw’s no-hitter in Dodger Stadium was winding down, a television camera peered into the Rockies’ dugout and Vin Scully noted the look of awe on the faces of their hitters. That struck me as about right and points to the essential difference when the subject is domination.

When the Tigers came to the plate against Ryan that day, their main emotion was not awe but fear.

Repoz Posted: June 23, 2014 at 05:53 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, dodgers, history, mets

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Moura: Angels’ Richards surpasses all sabermetrics expectations

I hadn’t seen a Richards treated this badly since Frank “Cannonball” Richards and that Tsar Howitzer prank!

Very few expected this from him, as sabermetrics help show us. Luckily, they also show us why so few expected it — and how he’s been so much better than expectations.

...There’s also Steamer, ZiPS, and CAIRO, among others. This winter, all of them projected Richards to throw between 139 and 173 innings in 2014 and post an ERA between 3.80 and 4.71. None of them thought he could strike out much more than six batters per nine innings. Essentially, none of them thought he was more than a back-end rotation piece.

Well, it’s June 22, almost half a season, and out of nowhere Richards has unequivocally been one of the best pitchers in baseball. He has struck out 94 in 932/3 innings, while barely raising his walk rate, and recorded a 2.79 ERA. He is on pace to break 200 innings with a start to spare.

...No qualified starting pitcher in the majors has allowed long balls at a lower rate. Remarkably, Richards has not allowed a single homer to a right-handed hitter.

The last time a starting pitcher did that over a full season was Pedro Martinez in 2003. The time before that was Roger Clemens in 1990.

Obviously, Richards isn’t likely to keep that up for the rest of the year, but even so he is in rarefied territory.

Projections are often right, and when they are, we don’t usually notice. But when they’re wrong, like all of them were about Richards, we do.

PECOTA issues percentile projections, kind of like the SAT. They give 90th-percentile projections and 10th-percentile, one for each player, essentially their best- and worst-case scenarios.

Richards’ 90th-percentile projection for 2014 was a 3.62 ERA. He has been significantly better than his best-case scenario, and that sums it up quite nicely.

Will his surge continue? There are projections for that, too. They’re more favorable, now.

Repoz Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, sabermetrics

Angels release 42-year-old Raul Ibanez

He finishes his Angels tenure with a .157/.258/.265 slash line, three home runs and 21 RBIs in 190 plate appearances.

Another notch in the belt for Father Time.  That bastard never loses.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: June 22, 2014 at 03:25 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, final call, raul ibanez

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kalaf: No One Can Find Raul Ibanez’s Foul Ball

This ain’t like finding a batted ball in a haystack.

aul Ibanez hit a foul ball in today’s Angels-Indians game. That’s not odd. The odd part is that no one found it.

Ibanez’s foul ball went into the empty upper deck of Progressive Field. One fan ran up to try and get it. He did not. More people walked up to comb the sections. Their efforts were fruitless. There is no happy ending to this video. No one found Raul Ibanez’s foul ball.

JE (Jason) Posted: June 18, 2014 at 09:33 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, fans, indians, raul ibanez, souvenirs

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