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Friday, March 23, 2018

Articles tagged: Los Angeles Angels

MLB teams with biggest offseasons are struggling the most

One month of the baseball season has passed. Albert Pujols has as many home runs on May 2nd as he did on December 2nd. The Dodgers are in first place, this time not just for being one of the Major Leagues’ most mismanaged teams. Who would have predicted this would be the case? Maybe it has something to do with Magic? Probably not, unless Mike Scioscia has achieved wizard status for making Bobby Abreu magically disappear.

On the other side of the country, a team taking a cue from the Angels experimented with a place-name change in addition to an increase in payroll spending but has found no less refuge from early season struggles. The Miami Marlins have been harpooned by the rest of the National League. Like the Angels, who spent hordes of money on Pujols, C.J. Wilson, and others in the offseason, Miami went fishing in the offseason and reeled in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell. However, if it weren’t for the glare of the bright orange hue on their new duds (emphasis on duds), they might be forgotten altogether having been marooned in the basement of the NL East with an 8-14 record.

Baseball can oftentimes be a fickle game. Over the last two decades, payroll spending has increased dramatically, teams gobbling up high-priced, under-producing veterans at the rate that Mitt Romney acquires suits. The results have been mixed. The 1990s Atlanta Braves built talented teams from within, yet won only one title. The New York Yankees used a lot of homegrown players to capture four titles in five years. Yet, they found that trying to buy a championship with high-money castoffs resulted in the team handing over a giant novelty check’s-worth of payroll penalties to the Commissioner’s office with only one World Series win to show for their troubles since their once budget eclipsed $100 million after 2000. Meanwhile, the Marlins essentially won two titles on credit in 1997 and 2003 while the Angels, White Sox, Giants, and others found a way to win a title without necessarily breaking the bank.


Angels call up Mike Trout after releasing Bobby Abreu

The Angels promoted prospect Mike Trout and released Bobby Abreu on Friday in response to the team’s early-season struggles.

The Angels are 6-14, have lost five in a row, and are currently one of the worst teams in the American League. They’re tied for last in the AL with 13 home runs, tied for the third-fewest runs scored, and third-worst in slugging percentage. They’re hoping the 20-year-old Trout can give them an offensive spark.

GM Jerry DiPoto described the move as one designed to “add a little energy, get some spice … shake it up a little bit.”

Trout, who hit .220 with five home runs in 120 at-bats last season, was tearing the cover off the ball in the minors. The former first-round pick of the Angels was batting .402 and OPSing 1.091 through his first 20 games in Salt Lake City. Abreu had a miserable spring and was batting .208 with three extra-base hits in 24 at-bats. The 38-year-old is owed $9 million for the season.

The Angels made a major mistake when they let Abreu’s $9 million option for 2012 vest by giving him over 500 plate appearances last season. Now they’re paying for that management mistake, but at least they’re not waiting long to correct it. The team said they wouldn’t bring up Trout unless they had a spot for him. DiPoto says he’ll play.

Now that they’ve cut Abreu, you have to wonder how long it’s going to be before the Angels get rid of their other big mistake — Vernon Wells.

Post-Dispatch Says Albert Pujols ‘Turns His Back on St. Louis’ (Picture)

Albert Pujols has signed with the highest bidder.  Given what we know about today’s day and age, that should come as a shock to absolutely no one who pays even a little bit of attention to professional sports.  As Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reported Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Angels swept in out of nowhere and offered Pujols a monstrous 10-year contract that is believed to be worth between $250-$260 million.  The last reported offer from St. Louis was in the range of $210-$220 million, so as you can see Pujols decided to take the extra $30-$40 million and run.

Most fans would probably take it too, but good luck getting them to admit that.  You certainly won’t hear anyone in St. Louis admitting it, as evidenced by the LeBron James treatment the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave Pujols on the front page of their website after the deal was announced.


Mike Napoli, More Than Vernon Wells, May Have Cost Tony Reagins His Job

Tony Reagins is out as the general manager of the Angels after taking over the position in October, 2007. What’s sad, is that much like his predecessor, Bill Stoneman, Angels fans are celebrating the news of his demotion. Fans never want to celebrate the firing of a front office executive because that generally correlates to the team performing poorly. That was the case for the Angels, who missed the playoffs two straight years for the first time during Arte Moreno’s tenure as team owner.

The baseball world first questioned Reagins’ sanity when he traded for Vernon Wells, who had perhaps the worst contract in the entire league. Taking a chance on the former All-Star may have been a worthwhile pursuit if the team were getting a discount, but Reagins unfathomably took on Wells’ contract without asking for any compensation in return.

Not only were the Angels stuck with the remaining four years and $84 million left on Vernon’s deal, but they also GAVE AWAY players in return. When Tony Reagins is getting robbed, he doesn’t just give the burglars what they want, he shows them the safe and hands them the combination, too. The Angels inexplicably gave Toronto Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli, a decision that in my opinion, cost Reagins his job.


Angels Give Derek Jeter a Painting Commemorating His 3,000 Hits

It’s not enough for Derek Jeter to get his own line of gear at MLB.com commemorating his 3,000 hits. It’s not enough that his Yankees teammates commissioned a statue celebrating the milestone. The Angels decided they had to get in on the act.

This is actually nothing new. We told you last month that the Angels planned to honor Jeter when the Yankees came to Anaheim. Well the Yankees arrived in Anaheim Friday night and the Angels welcomed Jeter with open arms.

Manager Mike Scioscia and outfielder Torii Hunter presented Jeter with a painting commemorating his 3,000 hits prior to the game. The PA announcer also congratulated Jeter after the second inning, drawing cheers from the crowd.

That’s something I just don’t understand.

Jeter has been a memorable player who will one day be in the Hall of Fame. When that day comes, all teams in baseball can celebrate him. Until that point, why would the Angels encourage fans to cheer on an opponent who’s still trying to beat them? I’m all for sportsmanship and I do believe Jeter deserves to be celebrated, but now is not the time. You can respect the opponent, by why celebrate the opponent while you’re still competing against him?

Thanks to Victor Rojas for the picture, via Beto Duran

Angels Pitching Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on Three Days’ Rest vs. Rangers

There is only a month left in baseball’s regular season and the Texas Rangers lead the Angels by 2.5 games in the AL West. Texas took three of four from the Angels in Anaheim last week and the teams meet again for a three-game weekend series. Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows time is running out on the season so he’s decided to gamble for the monstrous series; he’s pitching Ervin Santana and Jered Weaver on short rest against Texas.

Dan Haren will start Friday against Derek Holland. Haren beat the Orioles the previous week so he has a full six days off. Santana, however, pitched eight innings on Tuesday against the White Sox. He’ll pitch Saturday against C.J. Wilson. Jered Weaver pitched seven scoreless innings on Wednesday to beat Chicago the day after signing a five-year extension with the club. Weaver will pitch Sunday against Colby Lewis.

Neither pitcher has ever started on three days’ rest. Now it’s time to see what they’re made of. Something tells me Weaver will be up for the task. Let’s hope Santana will be too.

Angels Will Have Tough Time Catching Rangers Without More Offense

The Angels are a season-high 11 games over .500 and trailing Texas in the AL West. They haven’t been in first place since May but they’ve been playing good ball lately. Still, there’s reason to be concerned about their ability to overtake Texas.

After a 2-1 win over Seattle Sunday, manager Mike Scioscia pointed out the problem for the Angels. “There has to be more growth offensively with us this last third of the season,” Scioscia said. “If not, it’s going to be tough. But we’re confident that these guys have hit before and they’ll pick it up and start being more consistent in their production.”

The Angels have scored the second-fewest runs in the AL. They’re in the same pathetic offensive category as Oakland and Seattle. Well maybe not Seattle, but the Angels have been pretty bad. They’ve scored almost 200 fewer runs than Boston. On the other end, the Angels have the best pitching in the American League and have been carried by Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana.

The team didn’t make any big acquisitions at the trade deadline. Scioscia explained the reason saying the team already had the pieces in place, they just needed those players to hit up to their abilities. He’s exactly right. Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, and Bobby Abreu have all vastly underachieved. That’s the heart of the order. Without them going on offensive tears, the Angels won’t be able to catch the Rangers. Sadly, I don’t think it will happen.

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