The September 2nd, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels tried trading for A.J. Burnett, the AL West race is over and much more…
The Story: The Angels tried to trade for A.J. Burnett.
The Monkey Says: And failed because they wanted him to decline his 2015 player option. That seems like a lot to ask for a guy who already was likely reticent to play on the West Coast. I suppose it can’t hurt to ask though. What this really shows is just how terrified the Angels were of taking on money in 2015, even though Burnett is a very solid pitcher. The Halos obviously never found any deal that met their financial demands and will handle the final month of the season with a patchwork of pitchers for the fifth starter.
The Story: The AL West race is already over.
The Monkey Says: Not really, but the Halos obviously have a huge advantage, which actually makes it easier for them to justify not trade for additional pitching help.
The Story: Cory Rasmus was optioned to Triple-A with Grant Green recalled to the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Rasmus had options left and the 10-day waiting period doesn’t apply in September, so he’ll be called up again as soon as today. Green was just recalled for more bench depth.
The Story: Michael Roth was recalled with Efren Navarro sent down to the minors.
The Monkey Says: What I just said about Rasmus applies to Navarro here. Roth was called up as part of Scioscia’s bullpen day strategy. He should remain with the team for the rest of the season.
The Story: Dane De La Rosa was outrighted off the 40-man roster.
The Monkey Says: His days with the Angels might be over after the season. The roster spot cleared now appears to be occupied by Shawn O’Malley, but there has been no formal announcement yet.
The Story: The Angels remain cautious despite their big lead in the AL West.
The Monkey Says: There are unlikely but completely plausible scenarios on which the Angels can still blow this, so they are right to be cautious. Anyone who lived through the 1995 Angels season knows to be cautious as well.
The Story: There will be no rest down the stretch for the Angels bullpen.
The Monkey Says: Actually, there might be more than you think since they can call up modestly useful relievers like Bedrosian, Pestano and Kohn to help out. They should also get Joe Thatcher back and already have recalled Roth and Herrera. That gives Scioscia the luxury to use some of the lesser arms in lopsided games. Those bullpen day starts could negate a lot of that though. In fact, with the Angels now in control of the AL West, they might be better off going with a traditional starter for the final four times through the rotation just to try and preserve the bullpen.
The Story: Albert Pujols is earning rave reviews for his defense.
The Monkey Says: Now that he’s healthy, he’s back to being a very good defender. Despite that, I’d like to see the Angels use him at DH as much as possible down the stretch to make sure he’s fresh for the post-season.
The Story: The A’s dropped their protest of Thursday night’s game.
The Monkey Says: Instead, their manager protested his own teams quality of play. That series went really well for them, all in all.
The Story: Bob Melvin called his own team “pathetic” after their loss on Sunday.
The Monkey Says: This is what I was talking about. Apparently, he ripped the A’s a new one in a closed door meeting after the game and then went out and told the media just how much he thinks they suck, too. Like I said, really a great series for them.
The Story: The Angels and A’s is becoming a real rivalry.
The Monkey Says: I don’t know. It has felt like that for quite some time, yet it never seems to fully break through. I just don’t think there is anything that has happened to create the sustained animosity that the true rivalries thrive on.
The Story: The Angels have increased the length and number of their pre-game and pre-series meetings.
The Monkey Says: In any workplace, meetings suck, but it turns out that they are kind of necessary and helpful when done right.
The Story: Why Mike Trout, and the rest of baseball, is having trouble with pitches up in the zone.
The Monkey Says: This basically answers the question of why teams continue to even mess with him down in the zone. They just can’t help it because it is what they’ve been taught.
The Story: Mike Trout is the MVP but it is closer than you want to admit.
The Monkey Says: The WAR-based arguments are starting to work against Trout now, but he’s still ahead in fWAR and quite close in rWAR and leads substantially in WARP. It is the sort of thing newspaper writers hate, but those diverging measures got to show that you have to allow for some margin for error in making the assessment. Much of that margin favors Trout still.
The Story: Baseball is dying because nobody would recognize Mike Trout in a bar.
The Monkey Says: Columnists have been proclaiming the death of baseball for decades, literally. Either the death is painfully slow or baseball is that cockroach that can’t be killed and will probably survive a nuclear holocaust.
The Story: Darin Erstad and Troy Percival as coaches.
The Monkey Says: This isn’t going to help the almost constant demand each off-season that Butcher be replaced by Percival. However, I would like to use this to start demanding that Erstad replace Disarcina.
The Story: The Angels extended their affiliation with the Orem Owlz through 2016.
The Monkey Says: The Owlz have never been with another franchise. The Burlington Bees also extended their affiliation with the Angels, so their short-season teams are well set for the next two years.