Time for Free For All Friday, a time to talk about all the Angels-related topics that slipped through the cracks this week, as well as any other totally unrelated topic you feel like bringing up.
Here are a few topics for you to discuss amongst yourselves:
- So the Angels dropped hints last night that the benching of Vernon Wells last night was more than just a day off, and now they’ve gone and promoted Mike Trout. VEEEEEEEEEEEEEERY interesting. Obviously they wouldn’t promote Trout just to sit on the bench, so one has to assume that he is going to be playing at least four games per week. With Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos both playing very well right now, Wells is the guy who is clearly due to lose playing time, though I think Abreu will see reduced at-bats as well. Nobody ever knows what Scioscia is thinking when it comes to using young players, but my guess is that he will have Wells DH (or play right with Hunter DHing) against lefties with Trout in left. Against righties, he’ll probably mix-and-match Vernon and Trout based on how they are playing, with Trout being favored.
- The one question I have about the recent promotions of Conger and Trout is: why now? Does this mean they are giving up on the season and trying to assess their youngsters? Or does it mean they are getting truly desperate? And if it is a desperation move, why didn’t they do it BEFORE the Texas series when it could’ve made a bigger impact?
- I have to comment on the now completed Angels-Rangers series, not that I haven’t done that already. Even with the Angels winning the final game, it was still a demoralizing series and more or less ended their season. In a way, I kind of wish they had lost that final game because now they are six games out instead of eight, which is a significant difference. Why is that exactly? Because now I can’t give up on the season even though I know I am going to end up being disappointed in the end. That six games back number is just so tantalizing to me because I know that the Angels have, you guessed it, six games left against the Rangers this season. That means all they have to do is match whatever the Rangers do the rest of the way and then win those six games against them and they will tie them for the division. That whole series of events is highly improbable, I know, but it also isn’t impossible. KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!
- I’ve been watching a lot of MLB.TV lately and they ALWAYS run these commercials for the MLB Umpire Camp. My favorite part is where they claim you can “learn from the best.” It cracks me up every single time. I almost want to go just to see if Country Joe West teaches a special clinic in picking fights with players and making yourself bigger than the game.
- Jose Bautista has an OPS of 1.092, the highest in the majors, while Jeff Mathis (.483) and Bobby Wilson (.515) combine to have a .998 OPS. This is very impressive for Joey Bats and a real embarrassment for Mathis, Wilson and Mike Scioscia. If Lyle Spencer wants to know why people are so eager to replace Mathis, that is why. I will give him this though, Mathis is no longer the worst hitting catcher in baseball. It turns out that Drew Butera has a .464 OPS, the lowest amongst catchers with at least 150 plate appearances. Of course, move that threshold up to 230 plate appearances and Mathis has the worst OPS in baseball, tied with Brandon Inge… who was designated for assignment by the Tigers earlier this year. Hint. Hint.
- Finally, there will be some changes coming to this site the rest of the year. I’ve decided I need to spend a little more time writing for The Outside Corner, Bloguin’s baseball blog. It is a great opportunity for me and I need to commit to it more. What that means to you the reader is that there will be less content here on a daily basis. I promise there will always be the Halo Headlines and at least some kind of feature post each day, maybe two, plus the game previews and recaps, but those might be trimmed down some. So, it won’t be a big decline in content, but it will be a decline. I might try and add more writers again to fill the void, but that be more of a priority before next season.
- One final thing, I know we have had, well… a few issues with grammars, typos, etc., especially in the last few weeks. Some of you have complained, and rightly so. Please know that we are aware and will do our best going forward.
UPDATE: Turns out Wells is going to the DL, likely as a result of his crash into the wall Wednesday night, so I guess that solves that problem for the time being.
UN-UPDATE: Well, those reports were wrong, Wells is still active. Horacio Ramirez got the boot. What a tease.
Or just feel free to bring up a topic of your own. I don’t really care (as long as you keep it clean) because it’s Friday.