The June 30th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Pujols dealing with groin issue, Frieri-Grilli trade reaction and much more…
The Story: Albert Pujols is being slowed (literally) by a swollen lymph node in his groin.
The Monkey Says: First off, gross. Second, I’m so glad we are back at a point where Pujols and the coaching staff feel compelled to assure the public that his malady is not affecting his hitting. That’s just him getting old and declining, which is somehow supposed to make us feel better.
The Story: Jason Grilli believe he fixed a mechanical flaw right before the Pirates traded him.
The Monkey Says: Lucky for the Angels! Or not, because it might not be true. However, the idea that maybe he is a quick mechanical fix away from being effective again is really the only justification for this trade being of equal value. Both guys are struggling mightily, but the Angels got a guy with no years of control left after this one and in his late-thirties with a recent injury history.
The Story: Jerry Dipoto says the Angels are not done acquiring bullpen help, but Grilli might close if Scioscia deems it so.
The Monkey Says: Even if Grilli does magically get good again, they still need a lefty and maybe even another solid middle reliever. As for Grilli closing, it is probably “when” not “if.” With Scioscia involved, the veteran with closing experience is always going to be who he wants closing. Scioscia already seems to be trying to force the issue as it is.
The Story: Who got the better side of the Frieri-Grilli trade?
The Monkey Says: As I mentioned before, from a sheer long-term control standpoint, the Pirates got more value here.
The Story: A sabermetric look at the Grilli-Frieri trade.
The Monkey Says: The odds of a Grilli resurgence get more discouraging with every article.
The Story: No matter where he lands, Jason Grilli never gives up.
The Monkey Says: I don’t like this piece, but it does suggest another angle. Frieri had gotten pretty sullen in recent weeks by most accounts, but Grilli appears to be your classic gritty “never say die” veteran. This deal might well have been motivated by team chemistry or just wanting to punt on Frieri’s declining confidence.
The Story: Tyler Skaggs will likely return to the rotation on Wednesday.
The Monkey Says: They haven’t announced it officially yet, but they also haven’t said who he will bump from the rotation. I think the best option is to go with Santiago to see what he can do over the next three weeks as his success (or lack thereof) will then influence where the Angels use their assets at the trade deadline.
The Story: Efren Navarro was optioned and Michael Kohn promoted over the weekend.
The Monkey Says: Kohn wasn’t exactly lighting it up in Salt Lake, but that is always a hard read to make unless you are watching the games in person. Kohn did have a stretch to start the year where he was pretty dominant, but he is just so inconsistent. Hopefully he is back on track now because he can serve as a bit of a psuedo-lefty until the Angels actually acquire a real one.
The Story: Checking in on expected run differentials.
The Monkey Says: According to this, the Angels should have a much better record and run differential. Without diving to deep into it, I’d say the ridiculously bad bullpen has been a major reason for both of those shortcomings.
The Story: A look at how Matt Shoemaker went from undrafted to reaching the majors.
The Monkey Says: Not to get all mushy on you, but this is a pretty great story.
The Story: The Angels bats are turning the corner with runners in scoring position.
The Monkey Says: Of course they are, because hitting with RISP is not generally considered to be an actual skill. There are some approach elements to be sure, but that is a split that should fall in line with the overall numbers for the team. Sometimes it just takes a bit for the numbers to even out.
The Story: The best rookie seasons of all time.
The Monkey Says: Guess who made the list for the Angels? If you guessed Brandon Wood, you are wrong and probably suffering from dementia.
The Story: Trying to trade for David Price.
The Monkey Says: The Angels offer is declined, but I actually think it is one that at least has a remote chance. The Angels don’t have much of a farm system, but Skaggs and Conger are players the Rays might really go for if they intend to contend next season. I suspect the pot would need to be sweetened with a pitcher better than Nate Smith (maybe Clevinger or McGowin?) and another prospect. That’s a lot to give up though and leaves the Angels with very little ammunition otherwise.
The Story: Jered Weaver and Garrett Richards are both among pitchers who throw a lot of fastballs the first time through the order then offspeed stuff after that.
The Monkey Says: That’s just funny to see because there might not be two different pitchers than Weaver and Richards. I actually wonder though if that might not be what has allowed Richards to have so much success this year compared to the past.
The Story: Jack Reynor might play Josh Hamilton in the feature film based on Hamilton’s life.
The Monkey Says: This isn’t going to convince me to see the new Transformers movie, sorry. Nice try, Michael Bay.