The February 18th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Madson to resume throwing, Angels won't change clubhouse alcohol policy for Hamilton and much more…
The Monkey Says: The sooner the better, obviously. He'll still likely start the season on the DL, but the quicker he gets back on track in his throwing program, the more likely it is that he will only miss the minimum number of days.
The Monkey Says: Good. They shouldn't change anything just to cater to one guy, even if that guy has a problem with alcohol. Texas had the same "beer only" policy in place and it was never a problem. Frankly, if they thought he couldn't even be in the same room as beer, they shouldn't have signed him. The real issue for me if they changed the policy would be that they changed it to appease a star player when they didn't change the policy after the tragic death of Nick Adenhart. I agree with not changing the policy after Adenhart's death, but it would have been a slap in the face of his memory if they ended up altering it because of Hamilton.
The Monkey Says: He claims to be at 9% body fat and that he anticipates shedding about ten pounds in camp anyway, which would put him just five pounds heavier than he was to end the season. That sound great and all, but I'd sure feel a lot better about this whole development if Andruw Jones never existed as the ultimate cautionary tale for super-athletic outfielders who have success at a very young age and then ate their way into irrelevancy. Granted, Trout seems to have a much better attitude and work ethic than Jones ever had, but things change. For example, Trout used to have a neck. Now he doesn't.
The Monkey Says: This via a press release from the Department of the Obvious.
The Monkey Says: This takes place of the StubHub deal MLB has. The Angels say this will save season ticket holders money as the service fee to sellers is 5% instead of 15% with StubHub. What I'm guessing they aren't telling us is that Ticketmaster offsets that reduction in seller fee by hammering buyers with all kinds of bullshit fees on their end. I don't know much about StubHub, but I do know that Ticketmaster is NEVER the good guy in these sorts of things.
The Story: Vernon Wells has revamped his swing… again.
The Monkey Says: Let's hope it works for him, but let's also hope he doesn't get much of a chance to prove it one way or the other.
The Monkey Says: Maybe Scioscia is just trying to challenge Peter so he doesn't take a full-time role for granted, but he is certainly leaving himself a lot of wiggle room to start messing with his playing time at the first sign of struggles.
The Monkey Says: As any addict knows, admitting you have a problem is the first step. However, as I mentioned before, Hamilton isn't all that streaky aside from 2012. He hadn't had a month of a sub-.800 OPS since 2009 before he went in the tank in the middle of 2012. That is the kind of streakiness I can live with.
The Monkey Says: That .400 OBP is so much more important to me than the power. Trout makes this offense go by getting on base and creating havoc with his legs. He is the reason that pitchers are going to gear Pujols and Hamilton. Not because they are great hitters, but because they are great hitters that they have to constantly face with a runner on base.
The Monkey Says: Some people think battery chemistry is overblown, but I know there were those that blamed Iannetta's lack of a relationship with the pitching staff for some of the struggles they had. True or not, it is something that has to at least have some effect on the game, so the earlier he works through all these issues with the new guys the better.
The Monkey Says: That sure sounds like more than a "nuisance." That lack of range of motion may even explain why he struggled to drive or lift the ball. Or maybe I am just hoping that is the reason because I'd like him to fix those issues this season.
The Monkey Says: I'll be curious to see how that goes for him as he did have a little bit of a rep for being a guy who would complain. I guess it is good that he is vocal, but that is also the sign of a guy who isn't really accountable to himself, which is a big deal when you are trying to lead a whole team.
The Story: Travis Witherspoon has great potential.
The Monkey Says: I don't know about "great" potential as Spoon has some concerning contact issues, but his athleticism is a clear attraction. I still don't see why he can only get comped to other African-American outfielders though.
The Monkey Says: Well, that certainly doesn't make me feel very good, even if it is just one sample. I have to think the Angels' system, which is arguably the worst in baseball this season, has a bit more upside than that fateful 2004 Astros class, but after Cowart, Maronde and Cron, it gets VERY shaky. Heck, I'm not even that sure Cron is going to amount to much and Maronde might only be LOOGY or fifth starter.
The Monkey Says: This one was pretty much a no-brainer.