pixel 1
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Articles tagged: Los Angeles Angels

Angels fail to impress with Matt Harvey signing

Matt Harvey

The Los Angeles Angels had been quiet for most of the offseason, and their first big signing is not one that should fire up the fan base.

The Angels signed free agent pitcher Matt Harvey to a 1-year, $11 million deal that can be worth up to $14 million depending on performance. Harvey made eight appearances for the Mets last season before they jettisoned him to Cincinnati. In 24 starts with the Reds, Harvey went 7-7 with a 4.50 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 128 innings.

The Angels are desperate for starting pitching help, but Harvey for $11 million is the wrong place to start.

Harvey last put together a worthwhile season in 2015. He’s had a Tommy John surgery, surgery for Thoracic outlet syndrome, and a stress injury in his shoulder. What on earth makes them think he’ll be able to give them a full season with decent production?

The Angels are betting that Harvey will build upon the improved results he showed in Cincinnati and give them 150-plus innings, but I’ll believe it when I see it. The Angels were said to be in on Nathan Eovaldi and JA Happ and both pitchers re-signed with their teams. Dallas Keuchel is still out there. Gio Gonzalez is available. So are Drew Pomeranz and Derek Holland. And they’re giving $11 million guaranteed to Matt Harvey? I don’t get it.

In a world where Charlie Morton signed for $15 million annually, it’s hard to justify Harvey getting $11 million guaranteed and potentially up to $14 million. And what’s the point of non-tendering Matt Shoemaker if you’re going to sign Harvey for $11 million guaranteed? They’ll probably give your club the same thing. This is not the kind of move that will keep Mike Trout with the club.

Angels reportedly interested in Nathan Eovaldi, JA Happ

Angels logo

The Los Angeles Angels are interested in adding pitching help this offseason, and they reportedly have interest in two of the top free agent starters.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi says the Angels are active in the pitching market and have shown interest in Nathan Eovaldi and JA Happ.

Happ and Eovaldi both began the 2018 season with one AL East team and finished it with another contender in the division. Eovaldi made 10 starts for the Rays before being acquired by the Red Sox. He had a 3.81 ERA in 111 innings and impressed during Boston’s postseason run. He went 2-1 with two holds and a 1.61 ERA over 22.1 innings in the playoffs. The 28-year-old missed all of 2017 due to Tommy John surgery.

Happ, 36, went 10-6 in 114 innings with Toronto last season. He went 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA in 63.2 innings after being acquired by the Yankees in a trade. The southpaw got lit up in his lone postseason start against Boston.

The Angels need some pitching help pretty badly. Shohei Ohtani, Keynan Middleton and Blake Wood will all miss next season due to Tommy John surgery, while Garrett Richards, who also will be recovering from the procedure, is a free agent.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as manager

Brad Ausmus umpire

The Los Angeles Angels have their Mike Scioscia replacement.

The Angels have hired former Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as their new manager for the 2019 season, the team announced Sunday.

The organization will be quite familiar with Ausmus. He served as a special assistant to general manager Billy Eppler during the 2018 season, so he’ll be familiar with how things work and what kind of a team he has.

Ausmus won a division title in Detroit in his first season, but his tenure there was largely underwhelming, and there was a lot of chatter about his inability to command the respect of the veteran players in the clubhouse. He posted a 314-332 record in four seasons at the helm.

The managerial dominoes are starting to fall, as this is the second announcement of the day in that department.

Angels reportedly giving two-hour written test to managerial candidates

Angels logo

The Los Angeles Angels have an unconventional way of testing potential managerial candidates as part of their interview process.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Angels are putting their potential managers through a two-hour written test featuring questions that cover all aspects of the job.

This is the Angels’ first managerial search since the end of the 1999 season, as the now-departed Mike Scioscia left after this season. They’re obviously being thorough about it and putting a bit of a spin on the traditional interview process.

Shohei Ohtani sings ‘Despacito’ for Angels rookie hazing

Shohei Ohtani

Hazing of rookies may not be quite as ruthless as it once was in the world of professional sports, but the Los Angeles Angels showed us over the weekend that you can still come up with plenty of friendly ways to embarrass the less experienced guys in the clubhouse.

And no player is exempt. In order to pay his dues, Shohei Ohtani was forced to stand up on the team bus and sing the hit song “Despacito” in front of his teammates. Enjoy:

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has already shown a bit of a generational gap with Ohtani this season, so we’d love to know what he thought of the Japanese phenom’s rendition. Personally, we think Ohtani crushed it.

Angels not concerned with Shohei Ohtani’s velocity drop

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani made his first pitching start since June on Sunday, and it was an abbreviated outing as expected. What was not expected, however, was the way Ohtani seemed to hit a wall with his fastball.

In the first of the 2 1/3 innings that he pitched, Ohtani’s fastball velocity was in the high-90s like we saw earlier this season. However, he seemed to rapidly lose steam the more pitches he threw.

Ohtani allowed four men to reach base and gave up a two-run home run to George Springer before he was pulled. Naturally, there is concern that his elbow issues may have contributed to the dip in velocity. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the right-hander was dealing with some other minor injuries.

Given how bad the reports about Ohtani’s elbow sounded early on, it’s a good sign that the Angels felt comfortable enough letting him pitch again this season. Still, when a power pitcher’s velocity drops 10 mph from one inning to the next, that is a clear cause for concern.

Angels take measures to block Astros from relaying signs

Angels logo

The Los Angeles Angels took some measures on Friday night to prevent the Houston Astros from relaying signs from second base.

Jaime Barria gave up four runs over three innings on Saturday against Houston — his previous start. He allowed three runs in the first inning before making an adjustment. He said after the game that he thought the Astros were stealing signs against him.

Fast forward to Friday, and Barria got the nod against Houston once again. This time he and shortstop Andrelton Simmons came prepared. According to Angels reporter Jeff Fletcher, when a runner reached second, Simmons stood in front of the runner as signs were being given from the catcher to Barria so the runner couldn’t relay them to the batter.

The results were much better. Barria pitched six scoreless innings, allowing only three hits and one walk.

He’s not the only pitcher to face the Astros recently and think they were relaying signs. All teams will probably have to do the same against Houston to avoid getting picked. As Yu Darvish could tell you, they’re very good at that.