The May 27th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Hamilton suffers setback, Burnett returns, Shoemaker sent down and much more…
The Story: Josh Hamilton suffered a bone bruise to his injured thumb, setting back his rehab by a few days.
The Monkey Says: He’ll take BP on Wednesday and re-start his rehab assignment if all goes well. Look for him to be activated early next week assuming there are no further setbacks.
The Story: Sean Burnett was activated from the disabled list.
The Monkey Says: It has been about one year since Burnett pitched in the majors, but he made two brief appearances over the weekend. He still needs time to round back into form, so don’t be surprised to see Scioscia use him as a specialist for the next little while.
The Story: Matt Shoemaker was sent down to Triple-A so the Angels could call up Wade LeBlanc to serve as bullpen depth.
The Monkey Says: Or so they claim, the bullpen was taxed from the extra innings game, but they had conveniently cleared a 40-man roster spot already. Shoemaker deserves to remain in the rotation, but he, once again, got caught up in a numbers game. Assuming LeBlanc is not forced into relief action, he should start the finale of the Seattle series. For what it is worth, LeBlanc has looked great in the minors this year, especially in recent weeks, so he might be able to hold his own in his spot start.
The Story: Collin Cowgill will continue to get playing time but won’t platoon with Kole Calhoun.
The Monkey Says: I wrote about this last week. The Angels should try to keep Cowgill in the lineup enough so that he doesn’t get rusty and can do that by having him sub for Calhoun against the toughest of lefties and playing the field on days where Hamilton needs to DH.
The Story: Dane De La Rosa is still rehabbing but not ready to rejoin the big league club.
The Monkey Says: The results aren’t there in the minors and it sounds like they are waiting for his velocity to tick up another notch before they bring him back. There is no particular rush to get him back in the mix, so letting him work out his issues in the minors is more than sensible.
The Story: The Angels are getting excellent results from their catching platoon.
The Monkey Says: Scioscia took a few weeks to settle into it, but once he did, the results were too good to ignore, at least offensively. Iannetta is still a dreadful receiver and Conger still has throwing issues, but they are optimizing their offensive strengths so well, that it more than accounts for what they are giving away defensively.
The Story: Mike Trout isn’t worried about his first real slump.
The Monkey Says: Nor should he be because that slump appears to be over now. Be afraid, American League. Be very afraid.
The Story: The fan that caught Albert Pujols’ 500th homer and gave it back ended up getting plenty of cool rewards anyway.
The Monkey Says: Those were some cool experiences, but I’m still of the mind that if I could’ve auctioned off the ball and gotten enough money to fund at least one year of college for my kids, I’d have taken that route.
The Story: The Angels are tied for the most comeback wins in the majors.
The Monkey Says: That’s a stat that both excites and scares me. It excites me because it shows how strong their offense is and how they aren’t one of those teams that is screwed as soon as they fall behind. However, it also tells me that they are falling behind a lot and their comeback luck may not stay so strong all year long.
The Story: Ian Stewart began his rehab assignment at Triple-A over the weekend.
The Monkey Says: It is cute that they still call it a rehab assignment when everyone knows that he is going to be sent right down to Triple-A the second he comes off the DL.
The Story: The Angels are playing like playoff contenders.
The Monkey Says: And that was with one-third of their lineup on the shelf and Trout slumping. Turns out having a solid rotation really helps a lot. Who knew?