Calling Angel #5

Angels, pitching
Angels pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.  Finally!  It's the start of the 2015 baseball season and I am ready for it.  There certainly are a few question marks in a mostly unchanged Angels lineup, including: Will Josh Hamilton be anywhere NEAR his prediction of a .300/30HR/100 RBI season? (nope) Who will play second base? (more on that soon) Who will win the 5th spot in the Angels rotation? Today, let's look at the third unknown on this list - who will win that 5th rotation spot? The Angels rotation will likely look like: Jered Weaver Garrett Richards CJ Wilson Matt Shoemaker Hector Santiago, Nick Tropeano, or Sean Andrew Heaney Questions about Richards recovery aside (he is doing great so far), and which version of CJ Wilson will we get in…
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Tearing it up in VWL

Angels, minors, VWL
Only the die-hard baseball fans probably even know there IS a Venezuelan Winter League going on right now.  And yes, the Angels have some players staying warm in the Caribbean.  Most notably - Left handed pitcher Jose Alvarez and new backup catcher - Carlos Perez. Alvarez is tearing up the mound with a league leading 6 wins.  He is showing some control as well with a 1.02 WHIP and 1.74 ERA.  Alvarez has seen time starting (6 appearances) and in relief (12 appearances).  Overall, he is impresses down south and hopefully that bodes well come spring. Carlos Perez was not overly impressive in the Pacific league this past year though he did have a .709 OPS.  in Venezuela is showing some wood with a very impressive .896 OPS and .373 OBP.…
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Angels AFL – Hits and Misses

AFL, Angels, Rankings
Well, baseball is pretty much done for 2014 (queue sad music).  Until pitchers and catchers reports we'll mostly be watching the news for off season trades, roster moves and all the stuff that builds up the teams to compete in 2015.  For now - let's take a look at the Angels who played in the Arizona Fall League.  Who was a hit and who was a miss? The Hits: Chad Hinshaw, A, OF Hinshaw had a pretty good AFL season and will probably move up to AA at least.  He led all the Angels with a .410 OBP and this speedy center fielder also swipped 7 bases in 10 attempts.  His OBP was the 4th best in the entire league, and his stolen bases put him at 6th there. Cal…
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Angels in Arizona – Part 2

AFL, Angels
How are the top Angels prospects doing since we checked last?  Last take a look! Position Players: Kaleb Cowart - Still doing pretty mediocre but did manage to increase his average from .069 in 29 at bats to .154 in 52 at bats so at least he's batting around .260 over the past week or so. Chad Hinshaw - Another double and 4 more hits.  Still batting in the 250's which was where he was last time. Eric Stamets - Stamets has more at bats now and is playing well.  He has a triple and a .303 average.  Though he has been caught stealing 3 times in only 4 attempts. Cal Towey - Sporting a .406 average, he is getting better as fall season goes on.  Three doubles, a home run and…
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Angels in Arizona

Angels, minors
Unfortunately I'm not talking about spring training, though hopefully we can blink and that will be here!  What I am talking about is the Arizona Fall League and the 8 Angels prospects currently playing there.  How the heck are they all doing after just over a week of play? Position Players: Kaleb Cowart - This top 4 Angels prospect is batting a dismal .069 with 29 at bats and only 2 hits.  Considering the meek numbers he has put up in 2013 and 2014 for Arkansas, he's feeling less and less "top". Chad Hinshaw - Hinshaw is doing ok so far with a .250 average in 20 at bats.  Three of his 5 hits have been doubles so he appears to be hitting the ball when he does hit. Eric Stamets…
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Early Look at 2015 Angels Pitching

Angels, pitching
Yeah it's early and a lot can happen between now and February, but many are wondering - what will the Angels pitching staff look like in 2015? First, the staff will be without Kyle Skaggs who will the entire 2015 season due to that pesky Tommy John surgery. Let's look at all the pitchers who started a game for the Angels in 2014 (in order of most starts): Jered Weaver CJ Wilson Garrett Richards Hector Santiago Matt Shoemaker Tyler Skaggs Cory Rasmus Wade Leblanc We've already eliminated Tyker Skaggs.  Wade LeBlanc is a free agent and it's unclear if the Angels will re-sign him, though they probably will if he doesn't want too much money.  It's also unclear if Cory Rasmus will be converted to a starter, though I would…
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ALDS Game 3: Adios Angels

Angels, Royals
I've been thinking about what to write in this post since the game ended yesterday.  Don't expect a lot of praises for the Kansas City Royals because this is an Angels blog after all!  But to be fair, the Royals DID just outplay the Angels and now they move on while Scioscia and company watch the rest of the season on TV. I think the bite stings a lot more given the fact that the Angels had the best record in baseball going in to the post season and they hadn't been swept in back to back series ALL SEASON.  In fact, they were barely swept at all and the Angels ended their regular and post seasons by being swept.  It's almost as if  they were a completely different team…
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ALDS Game 2: Three Strikes your trOUT

Angels, Royals
For much of the game last night at Angels Stadium it was loud.  Real loud.  Even when the Angels spent much of the game down 1-0. Matt Shoemaker was back on the mound (thankfully) and pitched a gem of a game. Kole Calhoun led off the Angels with a single then Mike Trout swapped placed with him on a fielder's choice.  I'm sure many did not expect Trout to run with Pujols at the plate but run he did.  His jump was slow and he was out by a mile.  Que Pujols ground out and suddenly the promising start was a 1-2-3 inning. A rare error by Kole Calhoun in the second inning led to Eric Hosmer taking second base instead of staying on first.  Shortly there after he scored…
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ALDS Game 1: Underwhelming Offense

Angels, Royals
That was a tough one last night and there is a lot of say about it.  Let me start with 0 for 18.  No I'm not talking about John McDonald's batting stats for September, but rather the combined at bats of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick ,and Josh Hamilton.  If that offense wasn't underwhelming then I don't know what is.  You simply can't win a game if you don't score runs.  You can't score runs if you don't get on base. Note that the picture above is after Weaver pitched his no hitter earlier this year.  He was in disbelief.  Sort of like how he was when they lost this game despite his great pitching.  So it fits.   Take your pick for which of the following played the…
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Final 2014 Angels Pitcher Rankings

Angels, pitching, Rankings
This final regular season ranking includes the top 20 Angels pitchers in terms innings pitched and excludes those no longer with the team (I'm looking at you Ernesto Frieri). Unlike previous weekly rankings, these are for the entire season as a whole.  A little bit unfair to the players who only pitched a few times, but life isn't always fair (just asked poor teamless Ernesto). These rankings were compiled with the help of MLB stats, FanGraphs, misc. data, personal opinion, and some fairy dust I found hidden in Shoemaker's beard. Rank Player Comments 1  Garrett Richards Despite a shortened season, Richards was the man for the Angels on the mound in 2014. Richards had a WHIP of 1.04 (3rd best), 2.61 ERA, .201 BAA (only .001 behind league leading Felix…
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