Halo Headlines: Pujols arrives in camp, Trumbo already working at third base, Walden adding a third pitch

The February 21st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Albert Pujols arrives in camp, Mark Trumbo already working at third base, Jordan Walden adding a third pitch to his repertoire and much more…

The Story: Albert Pujols speaks with the press after arriving for his first day of Angels Spring Training.

The Monkey Says: Pujols fielded a number of questions about moving on to a new team and was very thoughtful in his responses, making sure he gave St. Louis their due but also making sure it was perfectly clear that this is the place he wants to be and that he has no regrets.  More importantly, the presser and photos from his first workout finally allowed us to see him in an Angel uniform.  The most exciting moment might have been when he was taking BP with Kendrys Morales, immediately sending our imaginations reeling with the possibility of those two anchoring the middle of the order for the next several years.  The anecdote about him getting fined for his cell phone going off in the clubhouse is pretty great too.  I’m convinced it is all part of Arte Moreno’s master plan to veeeeeeeery slowly recoup some of that $250 million.

The Story: Mark Trumbo is already in camp taking fielding practice at third base.

The Monkey Says: Trumbo still isn’t going full speed, but it bodes well for him that he can already be doing real work at the position.  There were even tweets from reporters in Tempe today that Trumbo looked good, though that might have just been the reporters speaking about his general health and not his actual skill at the hot corner.

The Story: Jordan Walden is working on making his changeup part of his regular repertoire.

The Monkey Says: The ironic part of this is that Walden says he first wanted to master the fastball-slider combo first, yet here he is spending time working on his changeup even though his slider still needs to be refined.  The main reason most righties add a changeup is to better neutralize left-handed batters, but Jordan was actually more effective against lefties without a change last season.  What he really needs is a put-away pitch and his slider has the potential to be devastating if he could just be more consistent with it.  Unless he feels the slider is as polished as it is going to get, Walden shouldn’t be spending time messing around with a third pitch.

The Story: Mike Scioscia declares the fifth starter’s job an open competition.

The Monkey Says: That’s just a lie.  As I detailed yesterday, the job is really Jerome Williams’ to lose.  His only real threat is Garrett Richards, but he isn’t going to win unless he is absolutely lights out and/or Williams falls on his face.

The Story: Mike Scioscia reached out to Bobby Abreu to assure him of his role with the team.

The Monkey Says: Abreu is being a very loyal soldier, so you can’t really blame Sosh for reaching out to make sure that he stays a happy camper in light of all the trade rumors and the potential for Bobby to have almost no playing time this season.

The Story: Kendrys Morales is moving forward in his running program.

The Monkey Says: Welcome to a world where a guy running straight line sprints at half speed is considered progress.

The Story: Jered Weaver wants to add a cutter to his arsenal.

The Monkey Says: It doesn’t sound like it is going well, but Spring Training is the time of year when almost every pitcher messes around with a new pitch even though few of them actually carry it over into the regular season.

The Story: Fans are openly loving that Jeff Mathis has been replaced with Chris Iannetta.

The Monkey Says: Maybe it is just me, but I find it refreshing that a newspaper columnist is willing to spend a whole column acknowledging the bile directed towards one player.  That seems unsual to me.  Then again, maybe I am just still used to having Lyle Spencer around.

The Story: Will it Albert Pujols hit over or under .310?

The Monkey Says: When it comes to Pujols, always take the over.  (INSERT OBVIOUS AGE JOKE HERE)

The Story: The 10 best thing about being an Angels fan.

The Monkey Says: Let’s not forget secret thing #11: We aren’t the Dodgers.

The Story: Bobby Cassevah huge groundball tendency is the key to his potential success.

The Monkey Says: This is pretty great work and I 100% agree with the conclusion that Cassevah is best used as a situational pitcher facing mostly righties and coming in when a groundball is needed.  I still don’t like Bobby that much because of his iffy command, but this does show how he can remain effective if managed properly.  That means NOT promoting him to right-handed setup man, which I worry that Scioscia won’t be able to resist doing.

The Story: Vernon Wells is going to be the feel-good story of the year.

The Monkey Says: I can’t blame anyone for wanting to believe that.  I want to believe it too, but the evidence is not in his favor.  In fact, it just so happens to be Vernon’s turn to get profiled later today, so you can read for yourself exactly what I mean.

The Story: Could Mark Trumbo’s future be as a super-utility player?

The Monkey Says: That’s his best shot at a major role this season, especially since it minimizes the amount of time he’ll spend at the hot corner where he is going to be a liability, even if only a minor one.  In the future though, he is best-suited for first base, but that won’t happen with the Halos, so maybe he should really be thinking about taking over in right field someday.

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.