The Angels are (finally) going to honor Jim Fregosi this series. That’s great.
However, I am not that old. I never saw Fregosi play so, I’m not all that invested in the when, where and how of honoring Fregosi. I realize he was the first real “star” the Angels ever had, but that’s just what I’ve been told, so my appreciation goes so far. I wanted to remedy that, so took a look back at Fregosi’s Angel career to try and gain perspective. Here is what I discovered:
While Fregosi was a seven-time All-Star with the Halos, his numbers were not really all that great. That is until you remember that he was a shortstop and that back in the day, hitting was kind of optional for a shortstop. The fact that he hit 18 homers as a shortstop in 1964 was kind of crazy. Even still, his value ultimately came from his glove. That’s how he ended up leading the Angels in career WAR for position players. He’s sixth all-time in offensive runs above average, but he is third in defensive runs above average.
Weirder still is that Fregosi only won one Gold Glove and made 20+ errors every single year. I’m sure error scoring was different back then, but that still seems like a lot. If anything though it goes to show how good people thought he was defensively. Of course, there was no UZR or DRS back then, so it could all just be narrative. Maybe Fregosi wasn’t good defensively or maybe he was amazing and underappreciated.
What does this all add up to? For me, it makes me wish I knew more about Fregosi. Statistically, he’s the best Angels position player ever (for now). It seems like I should appreciate him more. At least now I realize that and that’s a start.
LAST TIME ON ANGELS VS. PHILLIES…
The Angels don’t often play the Phillies, but when they do, they usually win. The two teams have met eight times in history and the Halos have won seven of them. That includes two games in Philadelphia earlier this year, both of which the Halos came out the victor.
GHOST OF ANGELS PAST
Our old pink-gloved friend returns to Anaheim. He’s on his third team this year and actually making his Phillies debut, so he’s got all different kinds of motivation to pitch well. Whether or not he is capable of doing that remains to be seen. Judging by the fact that he is on his third team this year, the evidence strongly suggests he is not capable of doing that. Then again, the Angels offense hasn’t exactly been a house of fire lately.
TUESDAY, 8/12: C.J. Wilson vs. Jerome Williams
Amazingly, Wilson has faced Grady Sizemore more than any other Phillie. It is also amazing that Sizemore is even on a team’s active roster. I can only assume that those numbers were compiled when Grady’s body still worked properly, which is good news because he was the only Phillie that had any success against Wilson. Regardless, Sizemore isn’t likely to face Wilson due to the platoon he is in.
Unsurprisingly, the Angels have pounded Williams. Of special note though is that Josh Hamilton has faced Jerome 11 times and cranked three homers off of him. That’s a perfect remedy for whatever is ailing Josh… I hope.
WEDNESDAY, 8/13: Jered Weaver vs. A.J. Burnett
The three Phillies that have actually faced Weaver a fair amount have all hit for power against him. Somehow Reid Brignac has homered off of Jered, which kind of blows my mind.
The Angels have a good history against Burnett as well. Albert Pujols has homered off of him twice in their history. Of more recent interest was the game Burnett threw against the Halos back in May. He barely made it through five innings against an Angels lineup that was starting Luis Jimenez, Grant Green, Efren Navarro, Raul Ibanez and no DH. Even with the recent offensive slump by the Angels, Burnett stands to face a more potent lineup this time around.
OK, let’s try this again. I’ve been predicting sweeps, but the Angels haven’t come through. However, with this being a mini-series, I think they can pull it off this time. So… sweep! Please?
UNOFFICIAL PREDICTION (so don’t hold me to it)
The Angels will combine to hit five homers in the two games.