The April 28th, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Morin called up, Smith installed as closer and much more…
The Story: The Angels added Mike Morin to the active roster.
The Monkey Says: Finally, the Angels make an aggressive promotion to address the bullpen. Granted, it hasn’t been quite as bad lately, but Morin is someone who could quickly become a factor in high leverage situations. With Frieri out of that mix for the time being, it is worth getting Morin an audition to see if he is ready to start contributing. To make room for Morin, the Angels demoted Brennan Boesch, who they obviously never should’ve called up anyway since they barely used him. One has to imagine they won’t go with eight relievers for long, so Grant Green (my best guess) could be up next series.
The Story: To make room for Morin on the 40-man roster, Michael Roth was designated for assignment.
The Monkey Says: Roth is a low ceiling guy who has been dreadful so far in Double-A this year, but still, this is a surprise. The Angels don’t really have the kind of rotation depth to be dumping someone like Roth, which is more an indictment on the farm system than a compliment to Roth.
The Story: Joe Smith is sorry that his promotion to closer came at Ernesto Frieri’s expense.
The Monkey Says: If it is any consolation, Scioscia has made it pretty clear that he wants Frieri to win the job back, so Smith may not be closer for very long.
The Story: Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett both felt fine after throwing simulated games on Thursday.
The Monkey Says: Neither appear to be close to a return, but hey, progress, right?
The Story: A change in batting stance appears to have triggered Erick Aybar’s recent hot streak.
The Monkey Says: Life with a competent hitting coach is pretty cool sometimes. Now, who can I speak to about the pitching coach situation?
The Story: The Angels and city of Anaheim remain at a stalemate in stadium renovation talks.
The Monkey Says: It sounds like the city will make a move soon, but it may not be a move for the better. Don’t be surprised if we see Moreno kicking the tires on a more LA-centric site again in the near future.
The Story: Howie Kendrick is one of many players pleased with the change to the transfer rule.
The Monkey Says: A shocking display of progressiveness from the commissioner’s office. Too bad that the transfer rule hurt the Angels twice before it got changed.
The Story: Mike Scioscia is not worried about Mike Trout’s strikeout rate.
The Monkey Says: It is a small sample, but I believe this is a symptom of Trout’s pre-season decision to try and be more aggressive in run scoring situations. He might be getting himself a bit out of his game and expanding his strike zone. Hopefully, he course corrects before long.
The Story: The Angels pitching staff is throwing a historically low percentage of first-pitch strikes.
The Monkey Says: That will almost certainly even itself out some, but it remains to be seen how much it will even out. Definitely worth keeping an eye, at the least.
The Story: Albert Pujols is reminding us of his prime.
The Monkey Says: For now, I hate to be cynical, but I am pretty concerned that Pujols will tail off again as we get into the season and it becomes harder and harder for him to stay healthy.
The Story: Albert Pujols says it is too early for him to talk about participating in the Home Run Derby.
The Monkey Says: Yeah, it is. Seriously, it isn’t even the end of April yet. Why are we talking about this?
The Story: A look at why Albert Pujols’ 500th homer flew under the radar.
The Monkey Says: How quickly he closed in on and overtook the 500 mark definitely had a lot to do with it. I’m not so sure I buy the Easter weekend excuse as much. I think he hit the real nail on the head though that Pujols coming off of such a terrible 2013 season took a lot of shine off his star, making the achievement far less of a media event than it once would’ve been.
The Story: Baseball is finally remembering how good Albert Pujols can be.
The Monkey Says: The 500th homer might have actually helped that, even if it didn’t get the massive media coverage, it didn’t go totally unnoticed.
The Story: The smartest spending teams in sports.
The Monkey Says: The Angels rank 102nd. There are only 122 teams in the rankings. Sooo… yeah.
The Story: Properly arranged, the logos on the hats of AL West teams spells “A-S-S-H-A-T.”
The Monkey Says: This completely blew my mind.