The July 7th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels trying to acquire Angels trying to acquire Joaquin Benoit, Salas activated, Trout the only Angel All-Star, Richards in Final Vote and much more…
The Story: The Angels and Tigers are both trying to get Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.
The Monkey Says: Benoit would be ideal for the Halos as he has proven success in the AL and also doesn’t necessarily need to be the closer. The Tigers’ pursuit will only serve to drive the price up, but as Benoit is not a rental, he wasn’t going to be cheap to begin with.
The Story: Mike Trout will be the starting centerfielder for the AL All-Star team.
The Monkey Says: He was the only Angel to make the team… so far at least.
The Story: Garrett Richards is in the Final Vote to make the All-Star team.
The Monkey Says: He will face Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, Dallas Keuchel and Corey Kluber. All five are very deserving, Richards will probably finish fourth, maybe third. Angels fans just don’t turn out the vote in these things, but Detroit and Cleveland fans usually do. That being said, he still has a good shot to be named to the team eventually as some players will drop out due to injury (real or imagined) or because they will pitch the Sunday before the game.
The Story: Mike Trout declined to participate in the Home Run Derby.
The Monkey Says: As expected, but a relief nonetheless.
The Story: Erick Aybar was one of the top All-Star snubs.
The Monkey Says: He basically lost his spot because Jeter is on his victory lap.
The Story: The Angels activated Fernando Salas from the DL and optioned Michael Roth to Double-A.
The Monkey Says: Roth served his purpose as a long man for one game and now Salas is ready enough to return, so Roth, now that he got used up, was sent out to make way.
The Story: Rich Hill was designated for assignment.
The Monkey Says: The acquisition of Joe Thatcher made him expendable, well, that and him not getting anyone out. The Halos will likely hope to sneak Hill through waivers and stash him in the minors, assuming Hill is amenable to such an arrangement.
The Story: Cory Rasmus was optioned to Triple-A.
The Monkey Says: Rasmus actually had a pretty good run in this recent stint in the majors. He just got caught up in the numbers game. He might be back soon though as the Halos are only carrying six relievers. They could very well call him up once his ten days are up or, more likely, after the All-Star break. That assumes they don’t acquire anyone first.
The Story: Joe Thatcher is glad to finally be coming to a winning ballclub.
The Monkey Says: Shhh! You’ll jinx it!!
The Story: A look at the prospects the Angels gave up to get Thatcher and Campana.
The Monkey Says: It is a package they shouldn’t be upset to part with, but there is real possible upside in Borenstein, though there is a lot of skepticism as well. The general consensus seems to be that this was a fair swap.
The Story: Jerry Dipoto says the Angels are not looking at trades for any part of the roster other than the bullpen.
The Monkey Says: In other words, they are content with Shoemaker and Santiago filling out the fifth starter spot. This is a sentiment he reiterated after the Thatcher trade as well. Whether you actually believe him or not is a personal choice.
The Story: What would it take to acquire Huston Street?
The Monkey Says: Pay no mind to this. Bowden believes the Angels would have to give up Kaleb Cowart and Alex Yarbrough for a few months of street, yet Cron and Yarbrough for a year and a half of David Price. Methinks he needs to re-calibrate his trade values a bit.
The Story: The Angels should stick with Joe Smith as their closer.
The Monkey Says: Actually, they should go with late inning relievers based on match-ups, which Scioscia says he is doing, but clearly isn’t.
The Story: Mike Trout says the timing of his front foot has been the key to his hot hitting.
The Monkey Says: Hey, man, whatever works.
The Story: David Freese is getting hot by hitting the ball to all fields.
The Monkey Says: I’m not sure that it is necessarily cause-and-effect though as the title suggests. Freese was hitting for average well enough the last few weeks, but he only now just started driving the ball. Of course, he has sat the last two games due to shin injuries, just to make sure he can never fully get in a groove.
The Story: Albert Pujols wants to play first base and insists he is perfectly healthy.
The Monkey Says: Scioscia has still been rotating him at DH a few times a week despite that claim. This really does just appear to be a prideful act by Pujols rather than an intelligent one. Even if he is healthy now, DHing more will help him stay healthy and shouldn’t impact his numbers at the plate. If anything, it will help.
The Story: Albert Pujols is now tied with Mel Ott for 23rd all-time in homers with 511.
The Monkey Says: Usually we hear about Mel Ott in comparison to Trout, but I guess Pujols wanted a little piece of the action this time.
The Story: Matt Shoemaker set a record for Angels pitchers with 57 strikeouts in his first ten starts.
The Monkey Says: Arbitrary endpoint records are the best. This does show the success Shoemaker has had, but it also serves to point out how Shoemaker has been striking out guys at a higher rate than he ever did in the minors.
The Story: Did the Angels really need a LOOGY?
The Monkey Says: Yes the Angels of a decade ago needed no lefty, but their overall bullpen talent was much better. Not only is this bullpen light on talent, but in demoting Kohn and trading Frieri, they now don’t have a right-handed reliever that is especially effective against lefties. Smith, Morin and Jepsen are both pretty vulnerable to lefties while Salas and Grilli have had success this year, they have not replicated that much earlier in their careers. With so many tough left-handed bats in Oakland and a Seattle lineup that is almost entirely left-handed, the Halos would be fools to not have a competent southpaw on the staff.
The Story: A scouting report of Angels relief prospect Jairo Diaz.
The Monkey Says: Morin, Bedrosian and Alvarez have gotten all the hype, but Diaz is someone who deserves some consideration as well. I doubt he gets a shot this year, but next year he could be one of the young arms called up to round out the staff.