Halo Headlines – 2/22/11

Daily Links for the LA Angels including the Angels are convinced they have improved, Trumbo to get time in the outfield, Scioscia says Trout isn’t a finished product yet and much more…


The Story: The Angels are convinced that they’ve improved.

The Monkey Says: And they have, and I really don’t see how anyone could argue otherwise.  Their bullpen is better with Downs and Takahashi and the lineup and defense is better with Wells in left and Morales returning at first.  What is so funny about it though is that I think so many non-Angel fans think the Halos are going to suck this year simply becaue they didn’t land big free agent targets like Crawford and Beltre.  The Angels had a chance to get A LOT better but they whiffed on that chance, but they still made themselves a little bit better and that should count for something.

The Story: Mark Trumbo will get time at first base and the outfield, but not third base.

The Monkey Says: Trumbo figures to be a poor defender wherever he plays, but if he wants to remain an Angel, he would be best served focusing on the outfield.  I know some have said he should move to third since that is the position he played when he was drafted, but that should never be an option.  Trumbo says he was “OK” at the hot corner, but I’ve heard plenty of reports from when he dabble at third during winter leagues that he was a flatout disaster.

The Story: Scioscia likes Mike Trout but realizes he is not a finished product.

The Monkey Says: Sosh isn’t saying anything that hasn’t been said before, but he is doing the kid a favor by reminding everyone that he is still just 19 years old and has a lot of learning left to do before he will be able to take full advantage of his immense physical tools.

The Story: Dan Haren is excited for his first full season in Anaheim.

The Monkey Says: Or maybe he is just excited that he isn’t stuck in the baseball purgatory that is the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Story: Jordan Walden needs to focus on maintaining his velocity and not just on putting up triple-digits on the radar gun every once in awhile.

The Monkey Says: So says the great and mighty Sosh.  This piece does tangentially make a good point that Walden is going to have to prove he can be effective over a full season in the majors, both in terms of performing consistently and staying healthy, before he earns the coaching staff’s trust.  For that reason, I have a feeling that Jordan won’t get real consideration for the closer job until after the All-Star break, if at all.

The Story: The Angels have a three-way race for the third base job.

The Monkey Says: That isn’t true at all.  Brandon Wood is supposedly competing for the job, but I don’t foresee any scenario, that doesn’t involve Izturis and Callaspo colliding during infield practice and injuring each other, in which Brandon opens the season as the starting third baseman.  There is no way Scioscia trusts him to perform and I highly doubt Sosh wants a bench that features both Izturis and Callaspo.  At best, Wood is competing to get some extra spot starts.

The Story: Scott Kazmir is a very old 27-year old.

The Monkey Says: I’m not so sure his early workload is responsible for his decline so much as his history of arm problems which have clearly forced him to alter his pitching mechanics and shattered his confidence.  It is funny though that Kaz gets called out for being an old 27, but it is his relative young age that actually should give us some hope that he can bounce back and save his career.

The Story: The Angels are approaching several milestones this season.

The Monkey Says: Most of the milestones aren’t of much consequence, but I am excited for the possibility that the Halos could finally have a .500 (or better) record for the franchise’s history for the first time since their first game ever.  It probably won’t happen since they need 99 wins, but it does show what Arte Moreno’s ownership and Mike Scioscia’s guidance has done to put this organization on the right path after decades of toiling in obscurity.

The Story: Big League Stew’s spring preview of the LA Angels asks some tough questions.

The Monkey Says: The Stew wonders, amongst other things, if the Halos’ window to win the division has closed.  I really don’t think it is, though I am clearly biased, if only because the Rangers should come back to earth and the Angels could be a playoff time if everything breaks their way.  It probably is a bit of a longshot, but I would hardly consider their window closed, and if it is, it is probably only closed for a season since they have so much help on the way in the minors.

The Story: Better OBP is the key to lighting a fire under the Angel offense.

The Monkey Says: Really?  Thanks for explaining that, Captain Obvious.

The Story: Michael Kohn is learning that he must attack hitters.

The Monkey Says: Does he mean, like, with nunchuks or brass knuckles?  That would probably work, but I am pretty sure it is against the rules.  Seriously though, it is good to here Kohn talking about learning to pitch since he is relatively knew to being a pitcher and has a lot of learning left to do as a result.

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.