Halo Headlines – 3/2/10

  • The Story: It is now March and Kendry Morales is still not in campThe Monkey Says: This is starting to get old and mildly concerning since the spring games start this Thursday.  K-Mo is in no danger of losing playing time obviously, but he needs to get some work in soon if he doesn’t want to get off to a sluggish start.
  • The Story: Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis will once again vie for playing timeThe Monkey Says: I’d like to believe that one of them will eventually emerge over the other, but I just don’t see Mike Scioscia ever letting that happen since he likes both players so much for very different reasons.
  • The Story: Jeff Mathis is ahead of the curve behind the plateThe Monkey Says: The myth of Mathis’ great defense continues to grow, and yes I chose the word “myth” on purpose as most defensive metrics suggest Mathis is nothing more than above average with the glove and not the defensive ace Scioscia makes him out to be.
  • The Story: Howie Kendrick is looking for a full season of productivityThe Monkey Says: Howie is saying all the right things about not putting too much pressure on himself, let’s just see how he responds the first time he slumps or starts losing starts to Maicer Izturis.
  • The Story: Scott Kazmir got bitter, then got to workThe Monkey Says: Worse things could happen than Kazmir beating himself up for his post-season failures.  If he can somehow use that as motivation to take his game to the next level, than that heartbreaking Game 6 might have all been worth it… probably not.
  • The Story: Mike Napoli denies that he lost weight over the off-seasonThe Monkey Says: Naps looks skinnier, but he says he just lost some body fat while adding some muscle.  Who’d have though that not eating Taco Bell after every game would help you get in better shape?
  • The Story: New Angel Brian Stokes was a late convert to pitcherThe Monkey Says: The Angels are touting Stokes as a power arm, but his strikeout numbers certainly aren’t those of a real power pitcher.  Stokes has the fastball to be a big-time power pitcher, but he still has a lot left to learn about pitching which is why he is a longshot to be anything more than a mop-up man for the Angels this season.
  • The Story: Fernando Rodney is not gunning for the closer jobThe Monkey Says: That’s nice to hear, but he will probably be thrown into the battle by default if Brian Fuentes can’t recover the velocity that he lost last season.
  • The Story: How do Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli differ when they catch Ervin SantanaThe Monkey Says: The examples studied show the Mathis calls more sliders, but I wonder if that isn’t more a function of Santana just having his slider working better during those games than against Napoli.  Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if Mike Scioscia shows any preference in picking catchers for Santana’s starts, something he is normally opposed to.
  • The Story: Brandon Wood’s minor league splits show some cause for concernThe Monkey Says: Woody didn’t hit well in non-hitter’s parks in 2009, but he did in 2008, so there is some concern over whether he can hit in every environment, though 2009 looks more like a fluke to me.  Personally, I’m going to concern myself more with him handling big league pitching before I am going to worry about him hitting in a pitcher’s park.
  • The Story: Will Hideki Matsui still be able to hit as many homers without the short porch of Yankee StadiumThe Monkey Says: Well, that chart didn’t make me feel any better about Godzilla in Anaheim, but Matsui is still a professional hitter and seems like he’ll be plenty productive even if he drops a few homers off of his annual total.
  • The Story: Sean O’Sullivan is changing his pitching approach this seasonThe Monkey Says: O’Sullivan wants to focus less on trying to make the perfect pitch as well as mixing in more breaking balls.  He had mixed results last season, but remember that he is just 22 years old still and has plenty of potential to still tap into and he is showing a lot of maturity already by realizing he needs to think more about his plan of attack on the mound.
  • The Story: Bill James ranks the Angels 14th in his Young Talent Inventory rankingsThe Monkey Says: I don’t know what value these rankings really provide other than he isn’t super-high on Kendry Morales and the other youngsters in the Angel line-up.
  • The Story: The Angels current starting infield is locked up through 2012The Monkey Says: That consistency will be nice after seeing so many long-time Angels leave via free agency the last few years, but at the same time it is kind of frustrating to see that the entire starting infield will make less than Chone Figgins will this year.
  • The Story: Las Vegas oddsmakers have the Angels as the fourth favorite to win the World SeriesThe Monkey Says: It is wrong to consider this a prediction by Las Vegas as they could really give less of a crap about who will win.  They just set the lines at levels where they think they can draw a lot of bets without risking losing their shirts.
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.