Halo Headlines – 2/22/10

  • The Story: Jeff Mathis won his arbitration case against the AngelsThe Monkey Says: He gets a $450,000 raise to $1.3 million which if you ask me makes him a candidate to be traded before the season since the Angels are risking losing Bobby Wilson who is out of options and almost a million dollars cheaper.
  • The Story: Will Hideki Matsui DH or play the outfield tooThe Monkey Says: Considering he just admitted his knees are not fully healthy, it better be just DH but I think we all know that Mike Scioscia is going to be foolish and give Godzilla relatively frequent starts in the field.
  • The Story: Jeff Mathis is hoping to build on his post-season batting prowessThe Monkey Says: That is a nice notion, but the very idea that Mathis suddenly learned how to hit during the playoffs is patently ridiculous.  Expect another season of Mathis wasting at-bats that should be going to Mike Napoli.
  • The Story: Arte Moreno focuses on building more market share for the Angels in Southern CaliforniaThe Monkey Says: Does that explain why Arte grew a scraggly beard for Spring Training this season?  Can’t he just change the team name again?
  • The Story: Scot Shields claims his recovery is on scheduleThe Monkey Says: Interesting he should say that since there were reports recently that he was actually behind schedule.  Let’s hope Scot is right because this bullpen really needs him to be healthy and at top form.
  • The Story: Scott Kazmir is working on his strength and flexibilityThe Monkey Says: Kaz says that it is part of his plan to not tire through the course of an inning and go deeper into games.  Another idea would be to throw more strikes rather than nibbling at the corners, but, hey, what do I know?
  • The Story: Kazmir’s bullpen session went well as he tries to battle through tight hamstringThe Monkey Says: Move along, nothing to see here.  The Halos are clearly just taking a careful approach with Kazmir to make sure he is good to go for the regular season and not put themselves in the same situation as last year where they started the season with a patchwork rotation.
  • The Story: The plate patience of Reggie Willts might be disappearingThe Monkey Says: My one critique of that study is that the numbers come from Triple-A where Willits may not have been as locked in as he should be or even trying to work on other parts of his hitting game since he doesn’t have a whole lot left to prove at that level.
  • The Story: Is fatigue to blame for Juan Rivera’s late-season slump in 2009The Monkey Says: I am inclined to say yes, but for reasons different than suggested by the column.  Rivera historically has been a second-half player, but last year it was the opposite and fatigue is really the most obvious explanation for that.
  • The Story: Matt Palmer is still upbeat even though he might get squeezed off the Angel roster to start the seasonThe Monkey Says: The Angels have a tough call to make with Palmer who clearly deserves to stick in the majors this season, but they’d have to carry 12 pitchers in order to do that.  They carried 12 pitchers most of last season, but it seems like that would be superfluous this season with all the supposed bullpen depth they already have.
  • The Story: Versatility is the key for Maicer IzturisThe Monkey Says: But that versatility could also be a problem for the Angels as Mike Scioscia needs to find a way to get Izzy playing time but also not take away from the progress of the three young infielders that Maicer backs up.
  • The Story: The Angels are starting Kevin Jepsen off slowly this springThe Monkey Says: The Halos don’t want Jepsen to overdo it after battling back and shoulder issues last year in a season where he shouldered a heavy workload.  Or maybe it is because they still have no idea what to do with Jepsen since it seemed that by the end of 2009 that he would challenge Fuentes for the closer role but he instead now finds himself behind Fernando Rodney and Scot Shields on the depth chart.
  • The Story: Jered Weaver is hoping to assume a leadership role this seasonThe Monkey Says: Someone needs to fill John Lackey’s shoes and Weaver is probably the best man for the job and it might just be an essential step in his evolution into a bona fide ace.
  • The Story: History suggests PECOTA’s prediction of a 76-win Angel team is wrongThe Monkey Says: That and common sense, of course.  I love the point that PECOTA has underestimated the Angels’ win total by at least 8 wins every year since 2004.  At what point does PECOTA either need to adapt to what is clearly a consistent flaw in their system or do stat consumers start challenging PECOTA’s usefulness since it obviously isn’t very accurate?
  • The Story: Hank Conger is being put through the paces by Mike Scioscia in campThe Monkey Says: With Sosh finally getting a lot of one-on-one time with Conger, hopefully Hank can really blossom this year, especially on defense, and make a real push to start the season in Anaheim in 2011.
Garrett Wilson

About Garrett Wilson

Garrett Wilson is the founder and Supreme Overlord of Monkeywithahalo.com and editor at The Outside Corner. He's an Ivy League graduate, but not from one of the impressive ones. You shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he is angry.