The June 23rd, 2014 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Raul Ibanez released, Trout gets his own shoe and much more…
The Story: Raul Ibanez released a statement after he was released by the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Lest you think it was something where he called the Angels out, it was quite the opposite. Raul, classy as ever, thanked the organization and, in a refreshing twist in modern sports, took full responsibility for his inability to perform. This is probably the end of the road for Ibanez, but he handled it about as well as you could imagine.
The Story: Mike Trout gets his own shoe from Nike.
The Monkey Says: This is really only notable because he is only the second MLB player to get a dedicated shoe from Nike. The first was last generation’s wunderkind, Ken Griffey Junior.
The Story: Cam Bedrosian was sent down with Efren Navarro and David Carpenter getting called up.
The Monkey Says: With moves like this and the Ibanez signing, I always wonder if the moves were handed down by Dipoto against the wishes of Scioscia or if they were made mutually. I can certainly see a scenario where Dipoto might act in order to takeaway from Scioscia two bad things that he can’t resist, but I also have a hard time believing a manager of Scioscia’s stature would take very kindly to that. As for the moves, Bedrosian will get another chance before long, so don’t fret. Carpenter is a groundball specialist, but not likely a big impact guy. Navarro has gotten some playing time since being promoted, but doesn’t figure to hang around when Tyler Skaggs gets activated.
The Story: Tyler Skaggs threw a simulated game and appears to be on track to join the Angels when they play Kansas City this week.
The Monkey Says: Who he will replace in the rotation is unknown. Matt Shoemaker is coming off two straight sparkling performances and Hector Santiago could help the beleaguered bullpen, so that certainly seems tempting at this juncture.
The Story: The Angels “make sense” as a suitor for David Price.
The Monkey Says: I don’t think the Angels have the goods to get price, but they might if they throw in Tyler Skaggs. That would be ballsy, but if Hector Santiago or Matt Shoemaker really establish themselves before the deadline, Skaggs is a major piece that the Rays should find attractive since they figure to want to contend against next year.
The Story: Buster Olney says the Angels will focus on relief pitching at the trade deadline.
The Monkey Says: Huston Street is a popular name being thrown around right now. He has been terrific this year, but he will be expensive and I’m not sure Dipoto likes the idea of expensive relievers all that much. I don’t either, but at a point this bullpen is so bad that it might be worth just biting that bullet and going for it just so you know that you didn’t shoot yourself in the foot on principle.
The Story: Don Baylor expects to rejoin the Angels full-time by the end of the month.
The Monkey Says: Great news! Perhaps he can get Pujols going and remind David Freese how to actually drive the ball.
The Story: Mike Trout tries not to think when he is at the plate.
The Monkey Says: Yet no batter appears to be better at making in-game adjustments at the plate. He’s so good at it, he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it. He’s just a baseball savant.
The Story: Josh Hamilton is finally feeling comfortable as an Angel.
The Monkey Says: Yet another guy who has a lot more going on mentally than he or anyone else realizes. It is crazy to think that all of Hamilton’s struggles the year and a half prior to this season were in his head, but that certainly appears to be the case. Baseball is weird.
The Story: Garrett Richards is defying all the sabermetric projections.
The Monkey Says: Which is why I just keep waiting for the bottom to fall out. Watching him, I don’t see a reason to panic. He had an crazy low BABIP early in the season, but it has normalized now and he is still dominating. His great stuff is just finally starting to work for him. Sometimes things just click for a guy and there isn’t any projection system that can predict that.
The Story: Has the decline of Albert Pujols taken hold again?
The Monkey Says: Earlier in the month I pointed out that his numbers and batted ball profile are out of whack, so I think he can bounceback some. However, the thing with his back and the fact that his running looks labored again makes me think that his health is deteriorating again. If that is the case, all bets are off. It will be just like last year where he will produce the weeks he feels good and won’t the weeks he feels bad. We just have to hope there are more good weeks than bad weeks. This is where having C.J. Cron around to play first base more frequently could be a big help.
The Story: Trade deadline preview of the LA Angels.
The Monkey Says: I would also add to this that the Angels might show interest in a lefty bat either as a platoonmate for C.J. Cron or just to have a lefty bat on the bench. A lot of that will be dictated by how Cron performs playing full-time over the next few weeks. If he struggles, expect to hear a lot about Seth Smith and Matt Joyce. Otherwise, it will be random utility guys like Conor Gillaspie.