The May 12th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Santiago demoted to bullpen, Efren Navarro called up, Stewart injured and much more…
The Story: Hector Santiago has been demoted to the bullpen.
The Monkey Says: It is framed as a temporary assignment, and that may be true, but that might only really be because they have no better option to replace him. They actually haven’t named his replacement yet, but it will almost assuredly be Matt Shoemaker. Santiago appears to have both mechanical and mental issues right now though. That could take some time to work out, but he might actually thrive in the bullpen to the point where the Angels might think twice about returning him to the rotation if Shoemaker (or someone else) proves to be a capable starter.
The Story: Efren Navarro was called up to be part of a platoon in left field.
The Monkey Says: I don’t think Navarro has much of a future, but he played well both at the plate and in the field this weekend. He is going to be headed back to the minors when Calhoun and Hamilton get healthy, but if he can do some damage before the league figures him out, that’s all the Angels really need.
The Story: Ian Stewart might be headed to the DL after being hit in the wrist with a pitch.
The Monkey Says: If that happens, Luis Jimenez will be called up, either way it isn’t a big loss as Stewart was mostly just striking out. I’d still like to see Grant Green get some time there, but that might not work with him having to play part-time in left field as well.
The Story: Sean Burnett and Dane De La Rosa both had encouraging rehab appearances over the weekend.
The Monkey Says: Burnett got shelled, but the mere fact that he got into a game is a huge victory. De La Rosa was thought to be headed back to the majors this weekend, but his outings must not be as encouraging as the Angels hoped. The reports I have seen are that De La Rosa’s stuff looks fine, but his velocity is still below where the team would like it.
The Story: The Angels released Robert Carson.
The Monkey Says: They claimed him off waivers in the offseason, but he could barely find the plate in Triple-A, so the Halos moved on now that they have a new LOOGY of the month in Brooks Raley.
The Story: Thus far the Freese-Bourjos trade hasn’t worked out well for either team.
The Monkey Says: Fernando Salas might actually be doing the best out of anyone in the deal and that isn’t saying much. Actually, that is an overstatement, obviously. Bourjos isn’t hitting, but his defense is still so superlative that he is worth 0.5 WAR thus far in 2014,
The Story: Kevin Jepsen’s new arm slot is producing mixed results.
The Monkey Says: His release point is more consistent, but his breaking ball isn’t very effective. There is time for him to get things stabilized, but I don’t know if the Angels are going to give it to him as he has already fallen pretty far down the depth chart.
The Story: Garrett Richards says part of his newfound success came with learning not to overthrow the ball.
The Monkey Says: That was always a pretty obvious problem but he finally seems to have (mostly) figured it out and the Angels are better for it.
The Story: C.J. Cron believes his early 2013 struggles were because he tried too hard to work counts.
The Monkey Says: That’s a double-edged sword. Cron was letting too many good pitches go by him, but his more natural, aggressive approach is something pitchers can take advantage of and also makes it hard for him to get on base at a good clip without him hitting for a very high average. His more aggressive approach is working, for now.
The Story: C.J. Wilson gets the Answer Man treatment.
The Monkey Says: Because once a month C.J. needs to do a media availability to draw the ire of Rangers fans.