The September 2nd, 2015 edition of Los Angeles Angels news including Scioscia doesn’t plan to influence GM search, Angels call up nine players and much more…
The Story: Mike Scioscia doesn’t plan to influence the GM search.
The Monkey Says: Yeah, sure. You got it, buddy. I realize Scioscia has to say that in order to make the position more attractive, but even if Scioscia isn’t actively involved with finding a new GM, his presence will have a major influence. Also, there is a fair amount of subtext in these quotes that makes it abundantly clear that he was “not on the same page” as Jerry Dipoto and that he didn’t think Dipoto subscribed to “our” baseball philosophy, even though it is the GM that is supposed to set that philosophy.
The Story: The Angels called up 9 players as part of the September roster expansion.
The Monkey Says: Four of the “call-ups” were Freese, Featherston, Cowgill and Rasmus coming off the DL. Joining them is Matt Joyce, who was killing it in Triple-A but still probably won’t see much action. The bullpen gets help with Mike Morin and Wesley Wright. Nick Tropeano will probably be a swingman in the ‘pen but will surely get at least a start or two before the season is done. Jett Bandy gets the distinction of becoming the third catcher. There will be more reinforcements coming up later in the year once all the minor league seasons wrap up.
The Story: The Angels designated Alfredo Marte and Drew Rucinski for assignment.
The Monkey Says: Remember in spring training when we all thought Rucinski was going to be a thing? Yeah, we really need to stop putting any credence into spring training performance.
The Story: Johnny Giavotella isn’t making much progress from his illness.
The Monkey Says: It sounds like him missing the rest of the season is a real possibility. It remains a mystery what is ailing him and that mystery is only made more weird by the fact that two Royals players came down with the chicken pox. Those illnesses have been disclosed despite not being baseball-related, yet Johnny’s remains concealed. I don’t point that out to be sensational or prying, but rather out of concern that something more serious might have befallen Giavotella. Whatever the case, expect to see a lot of Taylor Featherston at second over the next month.
The Story: The Angels are expanding their GM search.
The Monkey Says: Not much new here other than confirmation that they’re done interviewing internal candidates. Shaikin also throws more cold water on the Bud Black speculation. We’ll have a lengthy look at which GM candidates will be on the Angels’ radar and how well they fit.
The Story: The Angels are sending Greg Mahle, Alan Busenitz, Harrison Cooney, Eric Aguilera, Ryan Etsell, Stephen McGee, Caleb Adams and Chad Hinshaw to the Arizona Fall League.
The Monkey Says: Mahle and Hinshaw are the headlines of this list, but they barely stack up with the rest of the premier prospects that the AFL is known for. Aguilera and Adams are worth some interest too, the rest are just roster filler. Notably absent is Sean Newcomb, likely out of concern for keeping his workload down.
The Story: Why Mike Trout ain’t right.
The Monkey Says: No actual answer is given, more just speculation that it was a combination of flukes and slumps and some degree of injury, which all actually makes sense if you read it. Whatever was hindering Trout, it seems to be behind him now.
The Story: Mike Trout, injury and an August decline.
The Monkey Says: Another pass at the same problem. This shines some light on how Trout might’ve been protecting his injury by changing his pitch selection, but that infers a lot into his mindset. It could just as easily be him getting in his own head about picking a perfect pitch because he feels like he needs to hit a homer every time up because of how terrible the rest of the offense is.
The Story: Mike Scioscia (sort of) makes the list of managers on the hot seat headed into the final month.
The Monkey Says: I’m pretty sure he’s safe, but if September is anything like August, Moreno has to at least think about whether or not Scioscia should stick around. There’s always Scioscia’s opt-out looming too, but that’s more his choice than him being on the hot seat.
The Story: Hector Santiago’s second half struggles remain a mystery.
The Monkey Says: There’s no mystery. His mechanics have always been terrible and his stuff is average across the board. If there’s a mystery, it is how the hell was he so good in the first half?
The Story: Roberto Baldoquin made the Baseball Prospectus list of players that they are giving up on.
The Monkey Says: Damn, that’s harsh.