Halo Headlines – 3/14/11

Daily Links for the LA Angels including the Angels begin making cuts, Haren dealing with dead arm, Takahashi’s family is OK in the wake of the disasters in Japan and much more…

The Story: The Angels sent Ryan Braun, Garrett Richards, Eric Junge and Alberto Rosario to minor league camp.

The Monkey Says: Those are just the first four to go.  Expect many other non-roster invitees to be sent packing in the next day or two.

The Story: Dan Haren says he is pitching with “dead arm” right now.

The Monkey Says: These kind of things happen during the spring, but this makes me a little uneasy.  Haren has been incredibly durable throughout his career, so this is probably nothing, but it is worth keeping an eye on.

The Story: Hisanori Takahashi’s family is safe after the natural disasters in Japan.

The Monkey Says: That is a relief and Hisanori is definitely very lucky, unlike so many others in Japan.  If you are interested in getting a deeper look into what is going on in Japan right now, I implore you to check out fellow Bloguin blog With-Malice.com.  Most of the time, it is a Laker blog, but the blog is run by Don Landrigan, who lives in southern Japan and he has been doing a great job of giving us all a glmpse of how things really are in that country for those that actually live there.

The Story: The Angels are happy to have a day off today.

The Monkey Says: Lots of Angels are nursing minor injuries, but nothing serious.  The only concerning issue is that Alberto Callaspo still hasn’t been cleared to return to the field, so he is in danger of being limited to spot duty once the regular season starts.  On the brighter side, the article indicates that Kendry Morales is on target to debut next weekend, putting him right on track to be ready to start the regular season.

The Story: Could the Angels and Astros be a trade match?

The Monkey Says: This is pure speculation, but it is definitely interesting.  The Astros badly need a catcher and the Angels could have a surplus if they decide to keep Hank Conger in the majors.  I doubt this will happen because it seems the organization wants Conger to spend a few more months in the minors, but if there is one team that would ever take Jeff Mathis of our hands, it is Houston, a franchise that invested countless years into Brad Ausmus, an excellent defensive catcher who was almost as bad offensively as Mathis.  Don’t get your hopes up though as the Astros have been linked to Jesus Flores for awhile now and it would be an upset if they don’t wind up with him.

The Story: The emergence of Mark Trumbo and redundance of Brandon Wood could soon cost Wood his roster spot.

The Monkey Says: There is nothing earth-shattering here, but it time to seriously start talking about this now.  Trumbo continues to pound the ball while Wood hasn’t done much at all yet.  If Woody doesn’t start showing some signs of life in the next week or two, the Halos really are going to have no choice but to cut him loose via waivers or trade.  Honestly, the only real saving grace for Wood would be if Callaspo or Morales aren’t healthy enough to start the season.

The Story: Tim Salmon is in Brandon Wood’s corner.

The Monkey Says: The Angels value Salmon’s opinion, but probably not enough to have it make a difference in what they do with Wood.  But thanks for trying, Tim.

The Story: Kevin Jepsen is trying to develop a closer’s mentality.

The Monkey Says: He is trying to get more aggressive at the behest of Troy Percival, so that is a pretty good start.  I hope it works out for Jepsen, as I am slowly being convinced that he is really the best man for the closer’s job, at least until Jordan Walden proves he is ready.

The Story: Chris Pettit is having an impressive spring.

The Monkey Says: Not going to argue with that, but Pettit isn’t going to make the Opening Day roster.  The guy probably has a future on the Angel bench, but he hasn’t played real baseball in over a year due to injury, so he is going to need at least a few months before he really gets back on the radar.  I suspect that at some point in 2012 he’ll be given a shot to beat out Reggie Willits for the reserve outfielder spot.

The Story: Mike Scioscia says Hank Conger is still in the mix at the catcher’s spot.

The Monkey Says: Yet.  Hank’s defense has been good enough for Sosh’s standards thus far, but his bat has some catching up to do.  I don’t even think he has to tear the cover off the ball or anything, the Halos know Hank can hit, they just need to see him break out of this slump to justify keeping him.  I don’t think they will do that, but it at least remains a possibility.

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.