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Friday, June 22, 2018

Mike Trout Is Compiling a Historic Season and the Angels Are Wasting It Again

“This June is on track to be the best month of Trout’s career.”

Bouncing and pounding
My head the backboard
I need release to let it flow
And I was ready
Really ready
I was ready to explode

Oh wasted time

As someone might say, this boy Trout is really good.

Lest we forget Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 147 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, goat, mvp, trout

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   1. JAHV Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:02 PM (#5697833)
I suppose the price I have to pay as an Angels fan for reading all of the Trout superlatives is the awful hot take that they're "wasting" his talent. The Angels front office has made some bad decisions over recent years, but they've done it, misguidedly, in the name of competing. At least until Eppler cam along and realized whatever the team did with the major league club, it absolutely could not be at the expense of the farm system, unless the trade was long-term (like Newcomb for Simmons). Unfortunately that leaves the Angels in a weird place where Mike Trout's contract will be set to expire right as the team's best drafted prospects should be starting the productive phase of their big league careers.

The Angels were one of the few teams lauded for being active in free agency and acquiring expensive contracts, at least early on, over the winter. They re-signed Upton, they signed Cozart, they signed Ohtani, they traded for Kinsler. The rumor is that they made a decent offer to Moustakas before trading for Kinsler, but he turned it down to wait for a better one (that turned out poorly for both sides). The offense has under-performed and the starting pitchers has been good when not on an operating table. The one thing that you could really get on the front office for not addressing is the bullpen, but projecting relief pitching seems like voodoo, and the best way to build it seems like drafting hard-throwing pitchers and converting them into relievers. It's something the Angels are doing now, but it takes time.

I guess it depends on how you want to define "wasting," but the Angels are legitimately attempting to compete this season. There was little hope for them to hang with the Astros, but it seemed like they made moves to be able to get a Wild Card spot and possibly put some pressure on Houston. That's still the hope if the Mariners keep coming back to earth, but that doesn't qualify as wasting to me. Maybe it's my Angel fan bias that reflexively rejects this thought that Trout should be playing for another team because the Angels haven't made the playoffs much throughout his career.
   2. Baldrick Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5697858)
???

They're wasting his talent in that he's incredibly good and they're not. No one thinks they're not trying to win.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5697877)
No one thinks they're not trying to win.
That sentiment is not in this particular article, but it has shown up in past incarnations of this "wasting" idea.

Also, the Angels are 40-35.
   4. Rally Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:49 PM (#5697895)
Outside of incredible luck a wild card spot was about as much as they could have hoped for coming in. Houston is just loaded.

Wild card is still in play for them. Consider Houston as a lock, BOS/NYY as locks for division or wild card, and Cleveland as a lock in the central even if they don't finish with one of the best 5 records in the league. That leaves Angels and Mariners in a race for that last spot, only other team over .500 is Oakland, at 2 games over.

Angels have outscored the Mariners by 20 runs, and have only allowed 3 more. Mariners have a 6 game lead thanks to their 1 run game luck, but Angels look like the better team and might be able to close that gap. They could use some help in the bullpen, partially because they don't have a bullpen ace, partly because they are working the current crew very hard and should expect more breakdowns. That looks fixable, because prices for bullpen aces seem a lot less in 2018 (Herrera trade) than they were in 2016 (Torres for Chapman).
   5. Ziggy's screen name Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:56 PM (#5697902)
I'm usually dead-set against long term extensions signed before they're absolutely necessary, but the Angels should really be doing whatever they can to get Trout to be an Angel for life. Offer him a 420/10 extension and dare him to turn it down. (With none of that opt-out nonsense. The idea is that they're making this offer so that he'll never leave.) He's as predictable as a player has ever been, and he's really really good. Catastrophic injuries will always be a possibility, but he's not going to give you any clunker seasons. I mean, in the worst season of his career he won the MVP award.
   6. JAHV Posted: June 22, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5697908)
They're wasting his talent in that he's incredibly good and they're not. No one thinks they're not trying to win.


Again, I guess that depends on how you define "waste." I think there needs to be some intentionality or at least wanton disregard in order to waste someone's talent. The Angels are trying to compete and have been hit with some misfortune (unanticipated hitter regression, pitchers' arms falling off). If you have a good sandwich and leave it on the table to rot, you've wasted it. If you have a good sandwich and someone knocks it out of your hand and into the dirt, you've not. I see this more like the latter situation than the former, but it's not black and white.
   7. Stormy JE Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:00 PM (#5697909)
Trout's signing with the Phillies weeks after the 2020 season concludes, right?
   8. Ziggy's screen name Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:05 PM (#5697916)
Trout's signing with the Phillies weeks after the 2020 season concludes, right?


yes
   9. bfan Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5697919)
spot on, #1. They are wasting it only if you assume either: the Angels should have signed NO FA's, and built up their farm system for production starting this year (in which case they should have tanked and traded everyone except Trout in 2015-how meaningful were those 74 and 80 win seasons, the next 2 years?); or they should have the benefit of 20-20 hind-sight, and therefore should not have gone after what I believe were the 2 most sought after FA's (Pujols; Hamilton) in the year they were available. And before we jump in on how risky Hamilton was, his .OPS for the 3 prior years were 1.044; .882; and .930 (with 696 plate appearances and 43 HR that year). Anyone who claims they called his demise after the 2012 season is either a clairvoyant or a liar.
   10. JAHV Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:07 PM (#5697920)
I'm usually dead-set against long term extensions signed before they're absolutely necessary, but the Angels should really be doing whatever they can to get Trout to be an Angel for life. Offer him a 420/10 extension and dare him to turn it down. (With none of that opt-out nonsense. The idea is that they're making this offer so that he'll never leave.) He's as predictable as a player has ever been, and he's really really good. Catastrophic injuries will always be a possibility, but he's not going to give you any clunker seasons. I mean, in the worst season of his career he won the MVP award.


I would be surprised if that's not happening already, but Trout in recent interviews has made it clear that he wants to win. I think he'd love to do it with the Angels since he also seems to have a sense of loyalty (whether you think that's misplaced in the pro sports world or not), but I also think he knows he's going to make enough money to own his own continent regardless of where he goes. If the Angels can make a run for the Wild Card this season and make the playoffs in 2019, I think there's a good chance he stays. If they fall short this year and next, I think it would take a dominant season in 2020 to keep him after that. Again, I think he wants to stay, but he wants to win more.
   11. eric Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5697921)
Can we at least agree that, regardless of fault, the situation the Angels are in seems to be "wasting" Trout's talents, in that he doesn't get to/hasn't gotten to regularly play in October and is unlikely to have any sort of legitimate shot at a WS championship for at least another few years?
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5697927)
Can we at least agree that (Trout) is unlikely to have any sort of legitimate shot at a WS championship for at least another few years?
I think that goes too far.
   13. Khrushin it bro Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5697934)
Anyone who claims they called his demise after the 2012 season is either a clairvoyant or a liar.


I remember Hamilton in 2012.
   14. Khrushin it bro Posted: June 22, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5697956)
Without getting into the Angels wasting Trout argument I think they can upgrade their team and make a run at the wildcard this year. They have 3 major holes in their lineup and luckily these guys are also in spots very easy to replace at the trade deadline. Corner guys and DH's have been going for pretty cheap, they already have up the middle guys performing. If Ohtani can come back and DH vs righties then they just need a 1B and RF.

Albert Pujols .249/.284/.415
Kole Calhoun .158/.209/.224
Luis Valbuena .222/.271/.369

3 guys that could probably be acquired for cheap.
Danny Valencia .283/.349/.461 (to play 1B)
Domingo Santana .249/.313/.354 (was much better last year but even this production is a big improvement)
Lucas Duda .256/.317/.398 (might not be much of an upgrade)

Send Calhoun to AAA, DFA Valbuena, play Pujols less and mostly against lefties (never at 1B)

Hopefully Santana bounces back some to last year's numbers, hope Ohtani comes back this year and look for more pitching. These moves would get improve the lineup with not much payroll or prospect cost (except maybe Santana but he's hopefully a longer term piece).
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5697959)
I mean, in the worst season of his career he won the MVP award.


That's incredible.
   16. zachtoma Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5697978)
I really dislike the idea that the Angels are "wasting" Trout. There was an article on Deadspin recently called like "Mike Trout doesn't deserve this" or something. It's just so wrong-headed, why not? Baseball is a team sport. Mike Trout is an Angel and the Angels are his teammates. Of course he can't carry a mediocre team by himself, no baseball player can, but what does that have to do with what he "deserves"? Of course I'd like to see him in the playoffs and the World Series, but does he deserve to be? No, but you have a stronger case that the fans do. There's this idea creeping into baseball from basketball journalism I think that individual players and individual stars are more important than team identity/performance. But baseball just doesn't work that way, individuals just don't control the game the way star basketball players can. People who are more unfamiliar with baseball have the instinct to write about Trout the way they write about LeBron. I don't think Mike Trout blames his teammates for the Angels failures to advance even though they are all partly responsible (including himself as I'm sure he would say), and I don't think he resents them for it - the suggestion that he should, no matter how slight or implicit, I think misapprehends the nature of the game. Are the Angels "wasting" Trout? Do they "deserve" him? These are nonsense statements, Mike Trout IS an Angel. You don't put yourself above your teammates, almost every professional knows that.

This is one instance where it's useful to have ex-players as analysts/commentators because they would be able to shut this BS down. There are a lot of obvious things that even very smart, well-intentioned commentators who've never played the game will miss. I half expect Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan to do a thought-experiment soon about what if another team could pay Trout to play for them instead before every game against the Angels, how much would they be willing to pay? If Trout is worth nearly .1 WAR per game, is it worth $1-2 million/day in a short series? They could natter about that for 20 minutes. The idea of baseball being based in teams rather than individual players as Autonomous Performance Units who generate WAR on a clockwork schedule gets shoved deeper into the trash can - and don't you know, the point of baseball is to collect enough APUs that generate the most WAR at the most efficient price point? The rest is really just secondary.
   17. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5697981)
Forget the Angels, my 3-keeper fantasy team is also wasting his prodigious talent.... although that 2014 flag will digitally fly forever.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5697994)
Well put, Zachtoma.
   19. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 22, 2018 at 02:58 PM (#5698004)
I mean, at the end of the day, I largely agree with #16. We don't need to assign blame to people, like they're derelict in their duties to Mike Trout.

But I also think, a lot of us just want to see the best players playing on the biggest stages, playing in, excelling in, and winning important games. The fact that baseball players can't carry a team to that stage is something most fans know, but that doesn't really change that a lot of fans probably want to see Trout win a title.
   20. Hank G. Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5698018)
I don't think Mike Trout blames his teammates for the Angels failures to advance even though they are all partly responsible (including himself as I'm sure he would say), and I don't think he resents them for it - the suggestion that he should, no matter how slight or implicit, I think misapprehends the nature of the game.


I think you are right. If there is anyone he might resent, it would be Albert Pujols, who has been stinking up the place for the past three years. In a recent game I saw, there was a shot of Trout sitting in the dugout next to Pujols with his arm around him and talking to him in a very friendly fashion. Unless he was saying, “You know, Albert, you really ought to retire to preserve your legacy,” I don’t think he resents him at all.
   21. Rally Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5698028)
Send Calhoun to AAA, DFA Valbuena, play Pujols less and mostly against lefties (never at 1B)


In 3 games since he came off the DL Calhoun is 4-10 with a pair of homers. Sure, that is extreme small sample size, but enough to already ensure his month of June is better than May, where he played 25 games, had 8 hits in 74 AB (no homers), drove in a single run, and scored only 4. He's scored 4 and driven in 3 in the last 3 games. Maybe he was really hurt.

Valbuena can at least handle 3rd base, which is helpful with Cozart out. His versatility gives him an advantage over the generic 1B/DH types that nobody seems to want these days.

Pujols is a +2 defender by DRS so far. He's incredibly slow of course, but has good reactions, soft hands, and knows what to do out there. If you have to play him I feel better about him at first than DH - I think in his case playing in the field keeps him loose. Check out Pujols' platoon splits. He is useless against lefties, and has shown a reverse split in 5 of his 7 seasons with the Angels. The last thing I want to see him be is a strict DH vs. lefties. That would be a disaster.

   22. zachtoma Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5698029)
But I also think, a lot of us just want to see the best players playing on the biggest stages, playing in, excelling in, and winning important games. The fact that baseball players can't carry a team to that stage is something most fans know, but that doesn't really change that a lot of fans probably want to see Trout win a title.


Another part of it is I just don't get that excited about the playoffs anymore. It can be a fun little tournament if your team is in it, but it's not the end-all be-all. I think regular season baseball is far superior to playoff baseball and you could argue that Mike Trout's greatness is more fully expressed in day-to-day brilliance and consistency over 162 than it ever could be in a handful of big moments.
   23. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5698036)
The worst part about all this is if the Angels continue to miss out on the postseason it's going to become a major argument those who want to push 16-team playoffs on baseball will use.
   24. Baldrick Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5698037)
I really dislike the idea that the Angels are "wasting" Trout. There was an article on Deadspin recently called like "Mike Trout doesn't deserve this" or something. It's just so wrong-headed, why not? Baseball is a team sport. Mike Trout is an Angel and the Angels are his teammates. Of course he can't carry a mediocre team by himself, no baseball player can, but what does that have to do with what he "deserves"? Of course I'd like to see him in the playoffs and the World Series, but does he deserve to be? No, but you have a stronger case that the fans do. There's this idea creeping into baseball from basketball journalism I think that individual players and individual stars are more important than team identity/performance. But baseball just doesn't work that way, individuals just don't control the game the way star basketball players can.

Obviously no single player 'deserves' to be in the playoffs every year in the sense you're talking about, but great players set their teams up to do well, and none do so more than Trout. He's done everything possible to give his team a leg up (by himself he adds 40 points to an average team's winning %), and they haven't taken advantage of it. Hence: they're wasting the opportunities he's given them.

If Madison Bumgarner throws 8 shutout innings but his offense also gets shutout and the bullpen blows the game, it would be perfectly reasonable to say 'they wasted a great performance from Bumgarner today.'
   25. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5698042)
Baseball is a team sport. Mike Trout is an Angel


Because they won him at the slave auction. Baseball's draft system is un-American.
   26. Buck Coats Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5698053)
I dunno, slave auctions were pretty American
   27. Blastin Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5698058)
Not to go OTP but yeah I'm gonna have to call "nope" on comparing the minor leagues and drafting to actual slavery.

(though indeed slavery and the centuries-long minimizing thereof after the fact was and is the most American of all things)
   28. zachtoma Posted: June 22, 2018 at 03:47 PM (#5698061)
I dunno, slave auctions were pretty American


The reason the draft is un-American is, presumably, because the Yankees don't get to draft everyone.

Minor league players should be paid A LOT more than they are currently, but joining a professional organization (MLB/MiLB) that can relocate you for work is not a violation of anyone's core freedoms.
   29. Blastin Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:03 PM (#5698084)
Get out of here with your facts!
   30. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5698085)
Not to go OTP but yeah I'm gonna have to call "nope" on comparing the minor leagues and drafting to actual slavery.
You must be new here. Anything that lessens the Yankees' financial advantage by a penny is worse than slavery, Hitler, human trafficking and cancer combined.
   31. Hank G. Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:07 PM (#5698087)
The SI article talks more about his recent hot streak than what he has been doing the whole season. According to Baseball Reference, here is where Trout ranks in most of the major offensive categories:

WAR (all players) 1st
Offensive War 1st
Batting Average 6th
On-Base % 1st
Slugging % 2nd
OPS 1st
Runs Scored 1st
Hts 9th
Total Bases 1st
Home Runs 1st
Bases on Balls 1st
Adjusted OPS+ 1st
Runs Created 1st
Adj. Batting Runs 1st
Adj. Batting Wins 1st
Extra Base Hits 3rd
Times on Base 1st
Offensive Win % 1st
Intentional BB 1st
SB % 2nd
Power-Speed # 1st
AB per HR 1st
Base-Our Runs Added (RE24) 1st
Win Probability Added (WPA) 1st
Situ. Wins Added (WPA/LI) 1st
Base-Out Wins Added (REW) 1st

In several of the categories where Trout ranks first, there is a bigger gap between 1s and 2nd than between 2nd and 10th. Now, if he could just get his batting average up.

P.S. Is there any way to format a table for this site?
   32. Batman Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5698090)
The reason the draft is un-American is, presumably, because the Yankees don't get to draft everyone.
The Angels did get Trout with a Yankees draft pick, though...
   33. Hank G. Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:17 PM (#5698094)
Not to go OTP but yeah I'm gonna have to call "nope" on comparing the minor leagues and drafting to actual slavery.


It’s much closer to indentured servitude, with the caveat that baseball players are paid pretty well (compared to the whole labor market) while they are indentured, though often much less than their free market value would be.
   34. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:29 PM (#5698110)
I dunno, slave auctions were pretty American

The reason the draft is un-American is, presumably, because the Yankees don't get to draft everyone.


Any system where an employee has zero control over who they work for is un-American. We aren't serfs in a fiefdom. The Yankees don't factor into it and I don't know why you're trying to muddy the waters by bringing them up.

Minor league players should be paid A LOT more than they are currently, but joining a professional organization (MLB/MiLB) that can relocate you for work is not a violation of anyone's core freedoms.


What industries require lengthy periods of indentured servitude to an employer who maintains 100% control over employment for multiple years?
   35. Rally Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5698112)
Not to go OTP but yeah I'm gonna have to call "nope" on comparing the minor leagues and drafting to actual slavery.


True. The proper comparison of slavery is to the reserve clause. At least by Curt Flood's account.
   36. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5698113)
Get out of here with your facts!


You'll get more and better facts from Chairman Mao's Little Red Book, which at least contains a good recipe for noodles.
   37. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5698116)
He's incredibly slow of course,


Hey now!

He's only the 2nd slowest player in the majors in 2018 when measured by top sprint speed!

He was the slowest in 2017.

He's getting better with age!
   38. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5698117)
Not to go OTP but yeah I'm gonna have to call "nope" on comparing the minor leagues and drafting to actual slavery.

True. The proper comparison of slavery is to the reserve clause.


Which obviously I would support because the Yankees could sign everyone forever.
   39. Stormy JE Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5698119)
The reason the draft is un-American is, presumably, because the Yankees don't get to draft everyone.
Well played, sir.
   40. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: June 22, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5698128)
According to Baseball Reference, here is where Trout ranks in most of the major offensive categories
For you super nerds out there, I saw in a tweet recently (yesterday or today) that Trout leads the majors in wRC+ vs. LHP and vs. RHP.
   41. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 22, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5698142)
Not sure why, but I was expecting to find a YR hijack when I clicked on this. Glad he didn't disappoint.
   42. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 22, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5698143)
.
   43. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2018 at 05:51 PM (#5698165)
I'm no fan of the control system for draftees and pre-FA players but, in the case of Trout, he is only an Angel this year and for the next two years because he accepted their offer of a contract extension. A contract extension that makes him the 2nd highest-paid player in the game right now. The system obviously gave the Angels leverage in those negotiations but he could have turned down their offer.
   44. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5698179)
The system obviously gave the Angels leverage in those negotiations but he could have turned down their offer.


But they did have that leverage (as a direct and exclusive result of owning Trout like any other chattel). It becomes a question of how much risk a professional athlete is willing to absorb during his indentured servitude to the team that purchased him.
   45. Hank G. Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5698180)
I'm no fan of the control system for draftees and pre-FA players but, in the case of Trout, he is only an Angel this year and for the next two years because he accepted their offer of a contract extension. A contract extension that makes him the 2nd highest-paid player in the game right now.


FWIW, Forbes has slightly different salary figures and has Trout number one above Kershaw this year.
   46. Hank G. Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:22 PM (#5698183)
What industries require lengthy periods of indentured servitude to an employer who maintains 100% control over employment for multiple years?


It doesn’t meet all your requirements, but there is an unpaid intern system in the fashion and entertainment industries that is pretty disgraceful.
   47. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 06:40 PM (#5698187)
How does that draft work?
   48. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:32 PM (#5698231)
#44: Sure, but "if you agree to play for us in these years, we will guarantee you over $100 M; if you don't, you might get hurt and never make that $100 M" is not a situation referred to as "slavery" by anybody with any knowledge of the English language.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2018 at 08:38 PM (#5698235)
FWIW, Forbes has slightly different salary figures and has Trout number one above Kershaw this year.

What did Forbes do with Greinke's money? 6/$206.5 is nearly an AAV of $34.5 He's "paid" $31 M this year in salary but also a $3 M installment of his signing bonus.There is a big deferment of $10 M so you can discount it below $34. (Note it will be $34.5 then $35 (and $35) for Greinke which are higher than Trout 2019-20.
   50. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 23, 2018 at 10:13 AM (#5698335)

Any system where an employee has zero control over who they work for is un-American.


Well, Trout is free to become a fry cook or work retail or whatever he likes.

If you are referring to working in his chosen occupation, many Americans work in a city where their employer is the only one in their industry, giving them no choice who to work for.
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5698374)

Wild card is still in play for them. Consider Houston as a lock, BOS/NYY as locks for division or wild card, and Cleveland as a lock in the central even if they don't finish with one of the best 5 records in the league. That leaves Angels and Mariners in a race for that last spot, only other team over .500 is Oakland, at 2 games over.

Angels have outscored the Mariners by 20 runs, and have only allowed 3 more. Mariners have a 6 game lead thanks to their 1 run game luck, but Angels look like the better team and might be able to close that gap. They could use some help in the bullpen, partially because they don't have a bullpen ace, partly because they are working the current crew very hard and should expect more breakdowns. That looks fixable, because prices for bullpen aces seem a lot less in 2018 (Herrera trade) than they were in 2016 (Torres for Chapman).


To put the AL West's race into a broader perspective, here's how their top 3 teams have done so far against every team but the Yankees and the Red Sox:

Houston 46-20

Seattle 44-24

Angels 40-27

And here's how those teams have fared so far against the Yankees and the Red Sox:

Houston 4-7

Seattle 2-6

Angels 1-8

Total 7-21
   52. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: June 23, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5698396)

Well, Trout is free to become a fry cook or work retail or whatever he likes.

He doesn't even have to quit playing baseball to escape the tyrannical rule of MLB. I bet the LI Ducks would give him the most lucrative contract in the history of the Atlantic League.
   53. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 23, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5698402)
Any system where an employee has zero control over who they work for is un-American.

Well, Trout is free to become a fry cook or work retail or whatever he likes.


All tyrants justify their oppression thusly. In fact, I’ll bet you a dollar this exact same argument was used to justify the reserve clause, which I can only assume you’d also support.
   54. The Duke Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5698679)
If Trout is so good, as everyone says, why don’t the angels win more? He better start winning more if he wants to be a first ballot hall of famer. It’s not like he has poor talent around him. Pujols is a hall of famer. Simmons and Upton have outside shots.

Or he can develop a cute catch-phrase like Ernie Banks “let’s play two “ to distract voters from the Angel’s poor record

:)

   55. Man o' Schwar Posted: June 24, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5698684)
You laugh, but 20 years from now (at this rate) there will be some MLB Tonight former player analyst who says he refuses to think of Mike Trout as a first ballot Hall of Famer because his teams were never winners. Real Hall of Famers have a way of elevating the players around them and carrying them when need be, and Trout never proved he could do that.

   56. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 24, 2018 at 03:33 PM (#5698753)

Mike Trout Is Compiling a Historic Season and the Angels Are Wasting It Again

I always knew Trout was just a compiler.

You laugh, but 20 years from now (at this rate) there will be some MLB Tonight former player analyst who says he refuses to think of Mike Trout as a first ballot Hall of Famer because his teams were never winners. Real Hall of Famers have a way of elevating the players around them and carrying them when need be, and Trout never proved he could do that.

Seriously. You can see how true HOFer Pujols has elevated Trout's play. It is a shame that Trout is too selfish to return the favor.

:)
   57. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5698897)
Oh please, assuming his career proceeds in some sort of "expected" fashion, Trout will go into the HoF with 99.9% of the votes with nobody giving a damn whether he ever won a WS or made the playoffs.

Or ... find me a single columnist or TV moron (much less actual BBWAA voter) who said that Griffey's lack of WS rings should keep him from a 1st ballot. Shouldn't be hard, there actually were 3 morons who didn't vote for Griffey.
   58. Rennie's Tenet Posted: June 24, 2018 at 11:05 PM (#5698952)
Real Hall of Famers have a way of elevating the players around them and carrying them when need be


Twenty years from now, this will have been found to be true. Also, doctors will recommend diets of deep fat, steak, cream pies, and hot fudge.
   59. Rally Posted: June 25, 2018 at 08:39 AM (#5699000)
Pujols is a hall of famer.


Based on what he did before he played with Trout. You could fill out the lineup with Hank Aaron, Barry Larkin, Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Eddie Murray, and George Brett (2018 bodies). They are all HOFers, and none of them would help Trout's team win any more games.
   60. dlf Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:11 AM (#5699011)
Also, doctors will recommend diets of deep fat, steak, cream pies, and hot fudge.


Better than wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk.
   61. Sweatpants Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:12 AM (#5699013)
Speaking of Pujols, a look at Baseball-Reference this morning tells me that he surpassed 100 WAR again. Not sure how a 93 OPS+ with a .283 OBP is worth positive batting runs, but good for him.
   62. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 09:29 AM (#5699018)
Not sure how a 93 OPS+ with a .283 OBP is worth positive batting runs,

Yeah, that's really wonky. Something's odd there. Is it the infamous Anaheim park factor?
   63. Endless Trash Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:22 AM (#5699044)
After Jeter gets 100% of the vote it won't really be that hard anymore.
   64. Rally Posted: June 25, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5699073)
Yeah, that's really wonky. Something's odd there. Is it the infamous Anaheim park factor?


If it's park factor, that would also be used in calculating the OPS+. Maybe it's ROE - reaching on errors does not help your OPS+ but it does help your batting runs. Bingo - Pujols has reached on 7 errors already. If he keeps this up he will tie or pass his personal best (14) in that category. Last season he reached on only one error.

Last season a shortstop could overthrow the first baseman into the seats, run into the seats, negotiate a payment with the fan who caught the ball, buy a hot dog and beer, add mustard and relish, consume both at his leisure, visit the restroom for a deuce, and return to the field in plenty of time to beat Pujols to the bag. This season Pujols is running better and is just slow, but not slow to the point where it prevents him from making ordinary plays.

Breaking down Pujols' 2018 WAR improvements:

1. His OPS is 25 points higher than 2017
2. League OPS is down 25 points from 2017
3. Smaller negative position adjustment playing 1B instead of DH
4. He's actually doing a decent job there - +2 runs so far
5. GIDP rate is down - 26 last year, 8 so far in half a season
   65. Booey Posted: June 25, 2018 at 12:34 PM (#5699130)
Pujols is a hall of famer.

Based on what he did before he played with Trout.


No, he got his 500th and 600th HR and his 3000th hit with the Angels! THAT's what made him a HOFer! :-D
   66. Booey Posted: June 25, 2018 at 12:38 PM (#5699134)
Speaking of Pujols, a look at Baseball-Reference this morning tells me that he surpassed 100 WAR again. Not sure how a 93 OPS+ with a .283 OBP is worth positive batting runs, but good for him.


I've said before that if Pujols ends his career at below 100 WAR, Rally needs to tweak it to get him back over.

Sort of the stat geek version of hoping he maintains his career .300 average (I was relieved when Frank Thomas held on to his, too).
   67. BDC Posted: June 25, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5699157)
And before we jump in on how risky Hamilton was, his .OPS for the 3 prior years were 1.044; .882; and .930 (with 696 plate appearances and 43 HR that year). Anyone who claims they called his demise after the 2012 season is either a clairvoyant or a liar

I thought Hamilton could keep hitting for a couple more years, but I am on record somewhere here as doubting he could stay in center field any longer (and his position was a significant part of his value). Though as Khrushin alluded above, it didn't take clairvoyance to see that Hamilton's useful days in the field were over by the fall of '12.
   68. Rally Posted: June 25, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5699186)
He wasn’t a viable center fielder at the end of 2012. But the Angels didn’t need him to be. At the time they were probably thinking he could move to a corner like Torii Hunter did.
   69. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 25, 2018 at 02:14 PM (#5699208)
Sort of the stat geek version of hoping he maintains his career .300 average (I was relieved when Frank Thomas held on to his, too).

Another 800 AB at a .250 average and he will lose it. Less if he hits less.
   70. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 25, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5699353)
Better than wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk.


How do you milk a cat?
   71. A triple short of the cycle Posted: June 25, 2018 at 06:16 PM (#5699417)
How do you milk a cat?
Better pet her first.
   72. Ray (CTL) Posted: June 25, 2018 at 06:20 PM (#5699421)
I'm usually dead-set against long term extensions signed before they're absolutely necessary, but the Angels should really be doing whatever they can to get Trout to be an Angel for life. Offer him a 420/10 extension and dare him to turn it down. (With none of that opt-out nonsense. The idea is that they're making this offer so that he'll never leave.)


I thought the convention statgeek wisdom was that opt-outs are good for the team. Or is that just with pitchers?
   73. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 25, 2018 at 11:01 PM (#5699600)
After Jeter gets 100% of the vote...

It could happen, and it's only a year and a half away.

If it does happen, you'll hear the howls all the way to the dark side of the moon.

And if it doesn't happen, I'd sure hate to be one of the writers who prevented it. If you think Sarah Sanders has problems getting served in a restaurant.....
   74. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 26, 2018 at 01:12 AM (#5699634)

I thought the convention statgeek wisdom was that opt-outs are good for the team. Or is that just with pitchers?

Whether an opt-out is good or bad depends on what you get for including it. Presumably you get a discount from the AAV you would otherwise have to pay. If you don't get a discount then it's bad.
   75. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 26, 2018 at 06:31 AM (#5699649)
And if it doesn't happen, I'd sure hate to be one of the writers who prevented it. If you think Sarah Sanders has problems getting served in a restaurant.....


Not if it's a Miami writer.
   76. Lest we forget Posted: June 26, 2018 at 06:44 AM (#5699651)
"If you think Sarah Sanders has problems getting served in a restaurant....."

Oh, no Sanders laps a lone Jeter naysayer on that score.

I mean, sure, in NEW YORK that voter would be demonized. But Sanders - Sanders' reach is going global at this point.
   77. Rally Posted: June 26, 2018 at 08:15 AM (#5699657)
Sanders' reach is going global at this point.


She definitely has more range than Jeter ever did.
   78. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 26, 2018 at 09:19 AM (#5699673)
I thought the convention statgeek wisdom was that opt-outs are good for the team. Or is that just with pitchers?

Whether an opt-out is good or bad depends on what you get for including it. Presumably you get a discount from the AAV you would otherwise have to pay. If you don't get a discount then it's bad.


I am pretty much the furthest thing from the "convention statgeek wisdom," but I thought I was the prime person on here arguing that opt-outs are good for the team. They're a gamble, of course, but they can usually allow a team to end up being on the hook to a player for fewer years, which is a good thing from the team's standpoint.
   79. Nasty Nate Posted: June 26, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5699678)
Maybe the Indians should give Kluber an opt-out this offseason, so they're not on the hook!
   80. Booey Posted: June 26, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5699785)
After Jeter gets 100% of the vote...

It could happen, and it's only a year and a half away.

If it does happen, you'll hear the howls all the way to the dark side of the moon.


Yeah, I've already got my bowl of popcorn and front row seats ready for that one. No matter what happens, we're guaranteed some overreactions.

- If he isn't unanimous, fans will freak out, completely ignoring the fact that literally dozens of better players weren't elected unanimously either.

- If he is the first unanimous selection, haters will freak out, completely ignoring the fact that he IS an obvious HOFer and thus DESERVED to be unanimous. The fact that dozens of other players deserved it too doesn't change that.

Personally, I hope he gets 100%. That would be a big step in the right direction towards ending 80 years of voter idiocy. Rather than, "Well, if Ruth and Mays didn't 100%..." the mindset might shift to, "Well, if Jeter got 100%..."

I actually doubt he will, though. There's always a Chasshole or two that likes to be contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian. Last year we had that Cleveland writer who voted for only Thome and Vizquel, basically saying in his article "No one from the steroid era...unless they played for the Indians."
   81. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 26, 2018 at 12:57 PM (#5699848)
Not if it's a Miami writer.

That's my hope, that Miami writers don't vote for Jeets due to him being the public face of conduct detrimental to the best interests of baseball.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 26, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5699858)
That's my hope, that Miami writers don't vote for Jeets due to him being the public face of conduct detrimental to the best interests of baseball.

That would be fricking awesome.
   83. Baldrick Posted: June 26, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5700073)
I'm a Jeter-hater, but I very hope hope he gets 100%. Someone should, and even if he's not an inner-circle guy, he's a perfectly cromulent HOFer.
   84. BDC Posted: June 26, 2018 at 05:09 PM (#5700081)
Mightn't a somewhat saber-inclined voter be the likeliest to leave Jeter off a HOF ballot? There have been some arguments here over the years that Jeter's defense was so bad that he falls below the HOF line.

I don't buy it myself, but if you knock off 20 WAR, Jeter is down with Joe Tinker and Bert Campaneris instead of between Luke Appling and Barry Larkin. Couple that with a "I don't care about narrative" mindset and you've got a No voter on Derek Jeter.
   85. QLE Posted: June 26, 2018 at 07:42 PM (#5700177)
Mightn't a somewhat saber-inclined voter be the likeliest to leave Jeter off a HOF ballot? There have been some arguments here over the years that Jeter's defense was so bad that he falls below the HOF line.


Yes and no, I'd argue- looking at WAR by its components, he already is down -243 on Rfield. To argue for such a deduction, one of three things would need to be demonstrated:

1) That he was even worse than his Rfield demonstrates;

2) That his Rpos (which is at 144) is far too high;

3) That his Rbat (which, at 353, produces the vast majority of his player value) is inaccurate.

Of these, 1) is the most likely to be effective, but probably would require similar systematic analysis across the board, given other players whose HOF-worthiness could be affected if they turn out to similarly be worse as fielders than commonly understood (Manny Ramirez on one end of the spectrum, Scott Rolen and especially Andruw Jones on the other). 2) would be complicated across the board, as this would require through analysis of the defensive spectrum. 3), meanwhile, would serve to undermine the whole project- if we can't trust batting statistics, are there any we can trust?

The other possibility would be for Jeter to be HOF-worthy, but to believe that there are ten players better than him on the ballot- and that's a call that can't be made at this time, as it depends heavily on who still is on the ballot after the 2019 vote.
   86. TomH Posted: June 26, 2018 at 10:44 PM (#5700302)
First, Derek Jeter absolutely deserves to go sailing in the Hall on the first ballot.
But, I REALLY hope he does NOT get 100%. It just would be one... more... thing... in the menagerie of Jeter worship. Imagine, the first man ever to be unanimously inducted in the Hall. He is so overrated by so many fans, I can't take the prospect of this. Please, let it be Pujols (if he rebounds), or Trout, or Kershaw if he has a few more excellent years. Someone who has a great case to BE in the inner circle.
   87. gay guy in cut-offs riding a stegosaurus (MH#1F) Posted: June 26, 2018 at 11:52 PM (#5700351)
I'm biased on this score, but I feel like Greg Maddux would have been an ideal choice to get 100% of the vote. The guy pitched great forever, had both individual and career numbers, won a bunch of Cy Youngs and a ring, picked up some absurd number of Gold Gloves, and finished up 10th in career strikeouts. His name never came up in the various juicing scandals and as far as I can remember nobody ever credibly accused him of being a clubhouse cancer.

16 voters declined to check his name off. I'm struggling to come up with any adequate explanation for that.
   88. Hank G. Posted: June 27, 2018 at 12:58 AM (#5700368)
I am pretty much the furthest thing from the "convention statgeek wisdom," but I thought I was the prime person on here arguing that opt-outs are good for the team. They're a gamble, of course, but they can usually allow a team to end up being on the hook to a player for fewer years, which is a good thing from the team's standpoint.


You would have to have great timing for that to be the case. The player would have to be good enough (or think he was good enough) to opt out, and then get bad afterward for the team to come out ahead. If the player is injured or just plain bad, the team is stuck with him. Pujols could have an opt-out every year for the rest of his contract and there would be no way that he would use them.
   89. Howie Menckel Posted: June 27, 2018 at 01:11 AM (#5700372)
no chance that Jeter gets 100 pct of the vote. none.

not only, as noted, is he not a top 20 all-time player, but SABRmetric folks see him even lower. a few will wonder if he belongs in the HOF (though I would vote for him), and others just won't want him to be the first.

Mariano will wind up in the same boat.
   90. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 27, 2018 at 02:11 AM (#5700378)
16 voters declined to check his name off. I'm struggling to come up with any adequate explanation for that.


Eh, haters gonna hate.

Actually the guy who really should've got the 100% was Seaver. Total, no doubt inner circle. Ticked every box. Had the "Tom terrific" moniker. Good looking guy, well liked. Didn't nibble around the edges like a guy like Maddux(well presumably...). Threw it like a MAN!, had the 300 wins, 3000 k's, played in NY, amazing narrative, etc. etc, etc. real American hero stuff.

There was nothing you could fault about this guys candidacy, nothing. And yet there were like 6 voters who didn't vote for him....


   91. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 09:20 AM (#5700427)

Mariano will wind up in the same boat.


I doubt he's anywhere close. I could argue that zero relief pitchers belong in the HoF.
   92. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: June 27, 2018 at 09:50 AM (#5700447)
There was nothing you could fault about this guys candidacy, nothing. And yet there were like 6 voters who didn't vote for him....


He finished his career in Boston.
   93. Rally Posted: June 27, 2018 at 09:54 AM (#5700451)
I think there's a chance Mariano will be the first unanimous inductee. The difference between his case and Griffey's is that in Mo's case all votes will become public knowledge. Who wants to be the guy who says no to Mo?

Then again, this might actually work against a candidate getting 100%. Since writers need attention for business reasons and being one of a small number voting no gives more attention than being among the 400+ yes votes.

I don't know how it plays out, but the switch from optional anonymous votes to 100% public votes is a significant change.
   94. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5700452)
I think there's a chance Mariano will be the first unanimous inductee. The difference between his case and Griffey's is that in Mo's case all votes will become public knowledge. Who wants to be the guy who says no to Mo?

I think it's pretty easy. You vote for 10, include all the great SPs (Clemens, Mussina, Schilling) and say "I can't vote for a RP when there are elite SPs, who were much, much better pitchers than Rivera, still waiting.
   95. Swoboda is freedom Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5700454)
Or just say it was a strategic vote. I knew Mariano would get in but didn't want x to fall off ballot.
   96. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:07 AM (#5700460)
Then again, this might actually work against a candidate getting 100%. Since writers need attention for business reasons and being one of a small number voting no gives more attention than being among the 400+ yes votes.
My Spidey sense is telling me this is going to be a very powerful factor.
   97. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:15 AM (#5700463)
My Spidey sense is telling me this is going to be a very powerful factor.

It does give you 2 or 3 ready-made columns.

It's like pre-season predictions. Outlandish ones make better ink.
   98. Nasty Nate Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5700466)
There is a way to not give attention to a writer making a vote.
   99. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5700467)
It does give you 2 or 3 ready-made columns.
And probably a ton of activity in the comments section. Plus other writers, radio people, etc. talking about you, asking you for comment, etc.
   100. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 27, 2018 at 10:18 AM (#5700468)
There is a way to not give attention to a writer making a vote.
There was a way to not give attention to Trump, too, and how did we do at that?
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