I thought my days of teaching (and thus grading) were behind me, but little did I know that being a blog proprietor mandates that every 40 games I must submit a quarterly report card for the team I cover. Now I understand why everyone else does it. Ah, conformity. Since I want to do a thorough job and grade everybody, I am going to be doing this in a few installments (that and I think there is a federal law against a blog post exceeding 8000 words). So part tres of this exercise will focus on all the coaches and decision makers in the Angel organization.
Mike Scioscia: B-
Mike Scioscia should get an A for keeping his team from folding like pup tent after all the early season misfortune that the team endured. However, his dogged adherence to small ball principles and insistence on using Maicer Izturis instead of Brandon Wood has proven detrimental to the club’s offense. Even Sosh’s line-ups have been more perplexing than usual this season, but the team would probably be in first place if every member of the bullpen didn’t go into the crapper at the same time, something that even the great and mighty Sosh couldn’t have prevented.
Mike Butcher: C+
Butcher has been simultaneously great and awful this season. He has coaxed brilliant seasons out Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver and even squeezed every last drop of production out of the random assortment of fill-in starters he had forced upon him. His work with Matt Palmer cannot be applauded enough since he appears to have been turned into a legit MLB starter after some minor mechanical tweaking from Butch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the bullpen has been tattered and battered on his watch. Butcher gets a big of a pass on Scot Shields since a hidden knee injury played a role in his demise, but Jose Arredondo’s mysterious lack of control has yet to be addressed by the Angels’ pitching coach. One also has to wonder how much of a role Butcher’s throwing program had on all the injuries the pitching staff suffered.
Mickey Hatcher: D
Few hitting coaches have held their position for so long while doing so little as Mickey Hatcher. The Angels had one major initiative this season: to become smarter, more patient hitters. The Angels hitters have displayed little progress towards that goal outside of adding Bobby Abreu to the line-up. Meanwhile, under Hatcher’s tutelage, Howie Kendrick, billed as a batting champ waiting to happen, has gotten so lost with his approach at the plate that he has been moved to the ninth spot in the order. While there are regular stories about how Mike Butcher has helped an Angel pitcher get on the right track, I don’t recall reading anything this century where an Angel position player credited Mickey with improving his play. The only thing saving Hatcher from an F is the improved consistency Mike Napoli has shown as well as the strong start to the season by Kendry Morales.
Tony Reagins: B+
Reagins deserves as lot of credit for not hitting the panic button when the injury plague ravaged the Angel pitching staff. The Angels’ farm system has thinned out the last couple of years and the team cannot afford to give away prospects in a panic trade. Then again, it isn’t exactly out of the normal for the Angel front office to sit on their hands. Still, Reagins could have done a bit more to have proper insurance policies in place after Santana and Lackey went down with injuries in Spring Training. Reagins real test will come over the next few months if the Angels continue to stagnate around the .500 mark.
Arte Moreno: B
Normally a prominent and active owner, Uncle Arte has been relatively silent this season. His only overt interaction with the fans was a heartfelt letter to the fans after the Nick Adenhart tragedy. While nobody wants Moreno to become the next George Steinbrenner in terms of meddling in the team’s daily affairs, he has been more hands off than normal this season. The elephant in the room though is whether or not Moreno will be willing to open up his wallet at the trade deadline again this season if the Angels have a chance to make a big acquisition to improve their chances at taking home the title