May 22nd, 2013
Josh Hamilton had a pretty special night at the plate on his special day.
Final Score: Angels 12, Mariners 0
Halos Daily Player of the Game: Can I pick the whole team? No? Well, then Michael Nelson Trout (4-for-5, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI, SB, hit for cycle)
For the first time all season, everything seemed to click for the Angels.
On Tuesday night, the Angels completed a 12-0 romping of the Seattle Mariners in the first of a two-game series. The offense was firing on all cylinders, Jerome Williams was fabulous, and the defense didn’t make any errors. Overall, Tuesday night’s display was a perfect storm for the team, as they finally played like the group they were supposed to be entering the season. Now if only this could be an everyday occurrence…
The Angels didn’t take long to get on the board. Erick Aybar led off the bottom of the first with a double, and one batter later Albert Pujols singled him in for a 1-0 lead. Josh Hamilton, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday (he had hit .240/.309/.460 over the previous 365 days), launched a two-run shot to left-center in the next at-bat to increase the lead to 3-0.
May 21st, 2013
Kyle Seager, eating tongue.
Even the most optimistic Angels fans can’t like their team’s chances now, not after a 3-4 week against a soft schedule. In their 13-game stretch against sub-.500 teams (except the Royals, who were above .500 when they played last week) that began on May 7, the Angels have floundered to a 6-7 record. Meanwhile, their 11 1/2 game division deficit is the third largest in baseball, better than only the Marlins and fellow AL West bottom feeder, the Astros.
The question, then, is whether the Angels should become sellers at the trade deadline in a couple months. Unless they right the ship in the next several weeks, they will pretty obviously be playing useless games in August and September. Although Texas’ division lead is all but insurmountable for the Halos, they’re only seven games out of a wild card spot, a small enough hole that they could convince themselves to hold on to useful parts at the deadline. (Seven games doesn’t sound too bad, until you realize they would have to leapfrog nearly the whole effing league.)
May 20th, 2013
Angels left-hander Michael Roth has gone from a college star, who scouts thought had a minute chance to contribute at the big league level, to a key part of the Angels’ bullpen in less than a year.
Obviously, the Angels have one of the worst bullpens in baseball. The group, which has been coined as the “blowpen” or “buLOLpen” by some, ranks 25th in the majors in bullpen ERA. But even with a thin relief crop, Roth’s climb to the majors has been nothing short of fascinating. For one, Roth pitched just 31 innings in the minors before making his debut with the Angels. He posted a 3.48 ERA in 14 appearances between the Rookie level Orem Owlz and Double-A Arkansas Travelers. However, in those 31 games, Roth managed to allow 28 hits while walking 14 batters and striking out 25, for a rather lackluster K/BB ratio of 1.79 and WHIP of 1.36. While not horrible, those numbers are underwhelming considering how advanced Roth was thought to be coming out of college.
For the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, Roth tore up the SEC (widely regarded as the best conference in college baseball) during his four-year tenure, including a dominant 2011 season in which he went 14-3 with a 1.06 ERA. He entered the 2012 draft as a lightly regarded potential LOOGY who was likely to go off the board between the fifth and tenth rounds as a senior who would sign for under slot.
May 20th, 2013
Final Score: Angels 6, White Sox 2
Halos Daily Player of the Game: Jason Vargas (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 6 SO, 3 BB)
Apple Valley High School graduate Jason Vargas stood on the pitcher’s mound on a sunny Southern California Sunday afternoon and did what Jerry Dipoto expected he would do for the Angels: pitch deep into the game and give the Angels’ offense a chance to win.
May 20th, 2013
In this week’s Monday Morning Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Parks has some positive things to say about Angels prospect Cam Bedrosian.
He has started to show signs of life. The ultimate projection might be closer to seventh-inning reliever than impact starter, but you can’t ignore the stuff; his fastball is routinely working 92-96 with a 78-82 mph breaking ball that profiles as a solid-average offering.
Bedrosian has struggled since the Angels took him with the 29th overall pick back in 2010, but it’s encouraging to see some “signs of life” as Parks puts it.