Halos Daily

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Halos Walk-Off Twice On M’s, Take Series

July 21st, 2014

Game 1: Angels 3, Mariners 2 (F/16) | Game 2: Mariners 3, Angels 2 (F/12) | Game 3: Angels 6, M’s 5

Runs Scored = 11
Runs Allowed = 10

YTD Record: 59-38 | 2nd in AL West

Up Next: Monday vs. Baltimore

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Entering the All-Star break, the Angels were the hottest team in baseball, rolling into the weekend winners of five straight and 12 of their past 14. Following an eventful few days off, things continued to roll this weekend against the Mariners, as the Halos took two of three from their division rivals. However, it wasn’t the smoothest series victory.

In all, the Angels and Mariners played 37 innings this week, twice going into extras, with the clubs splitting the two games. Friday’s game was particularly intriguing as the Angels’ bullpen miraculously held together for 10 innings.

Speaking of the Angels’ bullpen, the big news of the weekend for the Angels was the acquisition of Huston Street, who would make his Angels debut during Saturday’s game. Personally, I’m not a fan of the deal. As fickle as prospects can be, it’s tough to justify trading four of your 10 best to add 1.5 seasons of a reliever, and while Street’s pretty damn good, it’s not as if they’re adding Aroldis Chapman here (or even vintage K-Rod).

The issue isn’t as much with the future value being given up – if you want to sell the farm to win now, be my guest – but with the present value. For the quartet the Angels gave up (Jose Rondon, Taylor Lindsey, R.J. Alvarez, and Elliot Morris), they should be receiving more than just Street. Heck, I’m not even sure San Diego could get close to that much for Ian Kennedy, who is without a doubt a more valuable entity than Street. Even when talking about future value, it’s worth considering that Alvarez has a good shot at turning into what Street currently is, and both Rondon and Lindsey could end up being serviceable regulars at the big-league level, and will be incredibly cheap for at least the rest of the decade. Even Morris, the final piece of the deal, has real trade value, as I’ve received numerous positive reports on him in recent weeks.

Chances are, none of those four names reaches their ceiling, and maybe Street does maintain his current performance through the end of next season. However, I can’t help but wonder if the Angels overpaid out of pure desperation. Then again, that’s probably why I’m sitting here typing this and not cashing checks from the team itself.

Anyways, here’s how this weekend’s series went…

Halos Continue to Wreak Havoc on AL, Sweep Twins

June 27th, 2014

Game 1: Angels 8, Twins 6 | Game 2: Angels 6, Twins 2 | Game 3: Angels 6, Twins 4

Runs Scored = 20
Runs Allowed = 12

YTD Record: 44-33 | 2nd in AL West

Up Next: Friday @ Kansas City

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And the good times continue to roll.

The Angels wrapped up their six game homestand by sweeping the Minnesota Twins this week, after completing another trifecta against the Texas Rangers over the weekend. Aside from a rough C.J. Wilson start and an Ernesto Frieri blowup (who else?), the series went swimmingly for the Angels, as they outscored Minnesota by eight runs and chipped away at Oakland’s hold on the AL West to just 3.5 games. The Angels head into their weekend series against the Royals with an 89.7% chance of making the playoffs, per Baseball Prospectus.

Possibly overshadowing the series itself was the news that the Angels are showing interest in a number of big name starting pitchers, including the Rays’ David Price and Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija. While the club likely doesn’t have the pieces to acquire either of the aforementioned duo, the reports do show what direction the club could take over the next month.

Despite a rotation that performed well against the Twins (sans Wilson’s blip), and ranks in the top-third of baseball by any statistical measure, the Angels have been consistently linked to starting pitchers thus far. While the rotation isn’t the club’s most dire need (that bLOLpen doe), their pursuit of another starter is quite reasonable. With the team appearing postseason bound, it is important to consider just how their playoff rotation would stack up behind the trio of Garrett Richards, Jered Weaver, and C.J. Wilson. Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, and Hector Santiago are all viable options, but how comfortable would you be with one of them starting a potentially deciding game?

The Angels don’t need to go after a Price or Samardzija, but acquiring someone who could slot into the fourth spot of a playoff-caliber rotation would be a smart move. San Diego’s Ian Kennedy could be an option, as could Jason Hammel of the Cubs and Brandon McCarthy of the Diamondbacks. The latter pair is eligible for free agency following the season, and seemingly would not require a bounty to bring in.

2014 Draft: A Look at the Angels’ First-Round Options

June 5th, 2014

University of Evansville left-hander Kyle Freeland appears to be one of the Angels top targets for the 15th overall selection.

The last time the Angels had a first round pick, Justin Bieber was still rocking his boyish charm, Joe Paterno’s legacy was still preserved in good grace, and Mike Trout was a 19-year-old wreaking havoc on the Texas League.

2011 was a long time ago, but, fortunately, the Angels first-round drought will end tonight barring a last-minute Kendrys Morales signing. The 2014 draft class is dubbed by many to be the deepest since the hailed 2011 group. However, this draft is one that will be mainly built on pitching, as the depth of pitchers, both on the high school and collegiate side, is perhaps the best in years. On the other hand, this year’s position player crop is incredibly thin, with a pair of high-risk high school bats leading the way and a wary collection of college hitters that lacks much upside.

As Nathan noted yesterday, returns from the 15th overall pick generally haven’t been favorable, including such recent flameouts as Lance Broadway and Chris Marrero. Just 46.9% of the selections have reached the majors, with the average WAR being 11.5. The Angels are certainly hoping they get the next Chase Utley, Chris Carpenter, or Jim Rice rather than a Jason Dellaero, Kiki Jones, or Jake Skole.

The Angels’ farm system is in shambles right now, so the player selected with the club’s first pick tonight will almost certainly become the top prospect in the organization. With little help on the way, the team is likely to favor someone within reasonable proximity to the big leagues, narrowing the focus to mainly college guys (although you will notice a few high school names sprinkled in below). So far, experts are split on whether the Angels will take a hitter or a pitcher, though a pitcher makes slightly more sense given the organizational weakness at the position.

So, exactly whose name will be called when Bud Selig takes the podium to announce the Angels’ selection tonight? Here’s a few possibilities:

 

Bradley Zimmer, OF San Francisco

The brother of Royals 2012 first rounder Kyle Zimmer, Bradley Zimmer took to the field rather than the mound. As a junior at the University of San Francisco this year, Zimmer hit a robust .368/.461/.573. Zimmer is one of the few players in this year’s draft class to potentially have plus grades on both his hit and power tools, though his in-game power has been questioned, and many believe he will ultimately settle in as more of a doubles hitter.

Defensively, he’s shown the skills to play center field, but due to his size, some believe he may be forced to move to right, where his plus arm and above-average speed would still make him a strong defender. If he can stick in center, Zimmer’s bat may make him an All-Star.

Zimmer should go in the mid-first round, but could fall into the 20′s. The Angels and Diamondbacks, who pick 16th, seem to be his most likely destinations.

Angels Call Up Cam Bedrosian (Finally)

June 3rd, 2014

Welcome to the big leagues, Cam!

He’s finally here.

The arrival of Cam Bedrosian has come at last, as the Angels have reportedly called up the young right-hander in a move that was first reported by Maniac Ball. Coinciding with Bedrosian’s promotion is the reinstatement of Josh Hamilton from the DL and the optioning of Michael Kohn to Triple-A. Reliever Sean Burnett was also transferred to the 60-day disabled list, while left-hander Wade LeBlanc was claimed off waivers by the Yankees.

The 29th overall selection in the 2010 draft, Bedrosian was one of five players selected by the Angels in the first 40 picks that year. He is now the first of that quintet to reach the majors. The 22-year-old son of former NL Cy Young award winner and All-Star Steve Bedrosian, Cam underwent Tommy John surgery in 2011, and this is the first season in which he has had any kind of success at the professional level.

And man, has he been good. In 24 innings split between High-A and Double-A this season, Bedrosian has a 1.12 ERA and absurd 16.9 K/9. In all, he has struck out 45 batters and walked just eight. Simply put, Bedrosian has been one of the best relievers in baseball this year, regardless of level.

The 10th best prospect in the Angels’ system according to Baseball America entering the year, Bedrosian will get the same treatment as Mike Morin earlier this year, pitching in lower-leaverage situations to start off, as manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez. While he likely won’t get many save opportunities this season, Bedrosian has the potential to be a top-flight late-innings arm that could very well be the Angels’ closer of the future.

The Angels’ bullpen has been horrible (once again) this season, with a 4.36 staff ERA that is the third worst in baseball. The Angels have already used 22 pitchers this season, and as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times points out, they are well on their way to besting last year’s mark of 26 pitchers used.

Kohn has struggled with his mechanics in recent weeks, which is the likely reason for his demotion. On the season, he has a 3.04 ERA, but has been lackluster since the middle of May, allowing six runs in his last four inning pitched.

Angels Go Winless in Oakland

June 2nd, 2014

Game 1: Athletics 9, Angels 5 | Game 2: Athletics 11, Angels 3 | Game 3: Athletics 6, Angels 3

Runs Scored: 11
Runs Allowed: 26

YTD Record: 30-26 | 2nd in AL West

Up Next: Tuesday @ Houston

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Crikey! Now that was a rough weekend.

The Angels went to Oakland with the hope of catching their division rival and possibly taking control of the AL West, but they left having made the smelliest ballpark in baseball even stinkier, as the wretched scent of Angels defeat was laid on the field of the O.co Coliseum.

The weekend was ruined thanks to a trio of poor pitching efforts. Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Jered Weaver combined to allow 15 runs in less than 13 innings pitched, while issuing 9 walks and striking out just 11.

The Angels departed for Northern California with a nifty +45 run differential, but having been outscored by 15 runs this weekend, they’re down to +30. Possibly a testament of just how good the Halos have been this year, their run differential is still the third best mark in the AL behind Oakland’s absurd +115 and Detroit’s +39. Even including the National League, they’re still fourth (San Francisco has a +59).

Now 4.5 games behind Oakland (and 1.5 ahead of Texas), the Angels will travel to Houston for a three-game set against the surprisingly not-terrible Astros. Houston has now won seven of their past nine games, mostly on the back of their startlingly decent rotation. Fortunately, the Angels will be able to avoid the magnificent Dallas Keuchel this time around.

Halos Daily

Dedicated to bringing you top notch Angels analysis!