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Boxscore Breakdown #86: Come back soon – Angels 11, Astros 5

Not content with their excellent comeback win the night before, the Halos came back again in this one, only with a lot more style. This marks their 25th come-from-behind victory on the year, leading the majors. The problem is I can’t tell if that is a good sign in that they are capable of coming […]

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Boxscore Breakdown #85: Fireworks – Angels 7, Astros 6

The Angels used to do Big Bang Friday, a fireworks show after every Friday home game (it is now the Saturday Night Spectacular). I used to kind of hate that gimmick because it meant there would be fireworks even if the Halos lost. That isn’t something worth celebrating. You know what is? This: Oh, sure, […]

TRADE ALERT: Angels get their LOOGY, acquire Joe Thatcher from D’Backs

Jerry Dipoto has been looking for a left-handed reliever for his bullpen for months and finally seems to have found his man:

Thatcher isn’t exactly a household name, but he has been one of the better LOOGYs in baseball the last three years. In 24 innings of work for Arizona this year, he has fanned 25 batters while walking just three all while limiting lefties to a .285 wOBA. For his career, lefties have a .274 wOBA and righties just .307, so he isn’t entirely useless if he has to pitch without the platoon advantage. He’ll immediately slot in to late inning work for the Halos, likely costing newly acquired Rich Hill his roster spot. He’s also just a rental.

The Angels also got outfielder Tony Campana in the deal… for some reason. The Halos have no shortage of outfielders in the majors and minors, so it is a bit odd that they had Campana thrown in here. My best guess is that Campana, who has 66 steals in 239 career games, is being picked up as a base-stealing specialist for when rosters expand in September, or maybe sooner.

Now, for who the Angels gave up. Outfielder Zach Borenstein is the big piece here that everyone will focus on. He put up huge numbers in High-A last season to be named the Angels Minor League Player of the Year (for whatever that is worth). This year though, he had middling numbers in Double-A before being promoted to Triple-A where he fell on his face. There were already some who were skeptical of his ability to hit advanced pitching in addition to defensive questions, and this year has done nothing to change that. Still, he’s got big power and could be a player if he can manage to fix some of his flaws. For more on Borenstein, check out MWAH’s prospect profile from our pre-season prospect countdown where he ranked #15.

As for Joey Krehbiel, he’s a solid low minors relief prospect, but nobody the Halos figure to lose sleep over losing, even if he eventually makes it to the majors.

Oh, and, Billy Beane, how do you like this as a response to your little “Samardzija and Hammel” trade, huh? Yeah, me too. I know, it is kind of embarrassing.

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Boxscore Breakdown #84: Back on track – Angels 5, Astros 2

Home cooking is so nice. The Angels return to the Big A and resume winning. Matt Shoemaker resumes pitching decently. David Freese resumes remembering what to do with that weirdly-shapen piece of wood in his hands. Josh Hamilton resumes being unable to hit lefties. OK, so they aren’t all good things, but at least the […]


Series Preview: Angels vs. Astros vs. Tweaks

As is often the case with series preview (or in the past, game previews), I am changing the format a bit. I don’t have a great reason other than boredom. Once the Angels play a team for the third or fourth time in a season, there isn’t much new to say based on the old […]

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

What do the Angels see in Jason Grilli?

Last week, Jerry Dipoto made the bold decision to trade Ernesto Frieri for Jason Grilli. I call it a bold decision because that’s the closest thing to a positive adjective I can come up with for that deal. Puzzling. Odd. Desperate. These all work much better but aren’t well-suited for polite company. Now, I am […]

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Boxscore Breakdown #83: All wet – White Sox 3, Angels 2

The White Sox finally discovered the secret to beating the Angels: get them wet. Apparently that saps them of all their might. Their offense gets soggy and useless. Their bullpen gets waterlogged and ineffective. Oh, right, the bullpen is like that all the time. I guess it just affects the offense again. Run Expectancy Rundown […]

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Boxscore Breakdown #82: Let’s win two – Angels 7, White Sox 5

The Angels played two games. They won two games. I am now recapping the second of those two games. I don’t feel particularly into it, so this is the best I can do for a whimsical intro. Sorry. Run Expectancy Rundown Two GIDPs? Seriously, Albert Pujols. I’m trying to defend you, but that isn’t going […]

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Boxscore Breakdown #81: Poor scheduling – Angels 8, White Sox 4

I know that this wasn’t a planned doubleheader, but they still botched up the scheduling for it big time. First off, they set the first game to start pretty late. They were assuring that the second game would start at a pretty late time for the locals in Chicago and also allowing themselves barely any […]

Angels acquire LHP Rich Hill from Boston

Ladies and gentlemen, the Angels bullpen has a lefty again… sort of:

Not exactly a blockbuster acquisition for Jerry Dipoto, but also not a risky one either as Hill was acquired for a little bit of cash, probably just whatever Arte Moreno had in his wallet at the time.

Hill has been kicking around the bigs since 2005, but was converted to relief in 2010 and only then did he start to experience modest success. Very modest as his ERA as a reliever is 4.44 but he does boast 11.0 K/9 and 3.13 FIP. The problem is that his walk rate is 5.78 BB/9. That might explain why he had been whiling away at Triple-A for the BoSox all year.

The Halos have been searching for a left-handed specialist for their bullpen all year and Hill will get a shot at claiming that role, though he isn’t especially effective against left-handed hitters. If he takes the role and runs with it, the Angels will have solved a problem for cheap. If not, Dipoto will have to jump back into the trade market later this month.