The August 18th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Josh Hamilton ‘not the same player’, Richards won’t start on short rest and much more…
The Story: Mike Scioscia says Josh Hamilton is “not the same player” that he was in Texas.
The Monkey Says: Scioscia thinks Hamilton has lost his confidence, which is pretty hard to argue with. As a result, Hamilton was just given one of Scioscia’s infamous “mental days off.” I’m not sure it is going to help. Hamilton might have confidence issues, but he also has very real issues with not being able to hit the absurd number of off-speed pitches that he is being thrown. It is hard to see how he can fix one of those problems without fixing the other. The question is which one does he have to fix first?
The Story: The Angels have no intention of starting Garrett Richards on short rest so he can face Oakland this weekend.
The Monkey Says: Good, because that would have been colossally stupid. Those are important games, but not as important as not screwing up their best pitcher who has already surpassed his career-high for innings pitched in a season.
The Story: Mike Morin was activated from the disabled list with Vinnie Pestano being sent back down to Triple-A.
The Monkey Says: Pestano made only one appearance in his brief stay. He’ll be back in September.
The Story: Alfredo Griffin admires Albert Pujols’ courage for playing through injury.
The Monkey Says: That he admires Pujols isn’t the story so much as Griffin essentially confirming what we’ve all suspected all season long: that Pujols isn’t 100% healthy and likely never will be again.
The Story: David Freese is encouraged by his performance the last few months.
The Monkey Says: Freese has been much better lately and his numbers are nearly back to where they were in 2013, but that was a down year for him. The big thing that even he admits is still missing is his power. That’s kind of a concern, but also not as Freese’s power has been somewhat overestimated based on what is looking more like an outlier season in 2012. He should still have more pop than this, but I’m not sold he’s more than a .140 ISO-guy.
The Story: C.J. Wilson is finally commanding his changeup.
The Monkey Says: Or so he says. Wilson trusts his changeup more, but he shouldn’t. His average allowed on the pitch is .259, which is fine as is the 20% whiff rate. The problem is the .190 ISO the pitch has produced. It is better results than he was getting with the cutter he replaced, but the results suggest he should probably just bag both pitches altogether.
The Story: Jason Grilli tells the story of how he was inspired to comeback after a major knee injury.
The Monkey Says: I never knew that Grilli had been that bad off. Good for him.
The Story: The LA Times readers chose the all-time Angels and Dodgers teams.
The Monkey Says: Not too bad, Angels fans.
The Story: Five Angels to watch down the stretch.
The Monkey Says: You could really just drop that down to Hamilton and Wilson and I don’t think anyone would complain.
The Story: Joe Posnanski ranks all 30 MLB ballparks.
The Monkey Says: I haven’t been to enough parks to judge the rankings, but I don’t have a major problem with where the Big A rates. For an ancient stadium, it is pretty nice, but you can also really sense the age sometimes. In particular, the amenities have always fallen a bit short of what is now standard in the best ballparks nowadays.