Halos Daily

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Angels Acquire Gordon Beckham from White Sox

August 21st, 2014
Five years ago, Gordon Beckham was really good.

Five years ago, Gordon Beckham was really good.

In the wake of Garrett Richards’ devastating injury, the Angels decided it was time to shore up the… infield?

On Thursday, the Angels acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the Chicago White Sox, as Eric Kay, the club’s director of communications, announced on Twitter. In exchange for Beckham, the Angels will send either a player to be named later or cash to the White Sox. Beckham will join the team on Saturday in Oakland in time for game two of the club’s pivotal weekend series against the Athletics.

Per MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez, the Angels initially claimed Beckham off waivers, meaning all other AL clubs passed on him, as the Angels hold the best record in the league, and are subsequently at the bottom of the waiver order.

Beckham is far from an impact player, and has struggled with the White Sox this season. In 422 plate appearances, he has slashed just .221/.263/.336 with a 62 wRC+ and -0.5 fWAR, though Baseball-Reference pegs his WAR at a more palatable 0.3. He comes rather cheaply, with less than $1 million remaining on his $4.175 million salary for this season, and isn’t eligible for free agency until after next season, though he is a non-tender candidate this winter as an arbitration-eligible player. 

Halos Take Series From Rangers En Route to First Place

August 18th, 2014

Game 1: Angels 5, Rangers 4 | Game 2: Angels 5, Rangers 4 | Game 3: Rangers 3, Angels 2

Runs Scored = 12
Runs Allowed = 11

YTD Record: 72-50 | 1st (tied) in AL West

Up Next: Monday @ Boston

RangersSeries3

It’s a nice view from the top.

For the first time in three years, the Angels are pacing the AL West at a meaningful point in the season. All it took was four and a half months of some of the best baseball in Angels history and a well-timed cold streak from the Athletics.

And while Sunday’s loss means that the Halos’ division hold remains a shared one, it still represents a point of celebration. With today’s postseason format, a division title means much more than it did when the Angels capitalized on a Wild Card berth in 2002 that ultimately led to a World Series victory. Teams can no longer simply waltz into October without having claimed their division crown, because the recently implemented one-game playoff between the now two Wild Card teams amounts to little more than a coin flip match. Simply put, first place means that the Angels would avoid having to play a single crapshoot game just to play a series of crapshoot games.

Sure, this may not last (the A’s still look like the superior team), as the Angels are probably still more likely to be playing in a one game playoff rather than receiving a first round bye, but it sure is nice to see the Halos atop the standings, even if it is just for the time being.

On to the recapping…

Halos Offense Continues to Struggle, Narrowly Avoids Sweep at Hands of Red Sox

August 11th, 2014

Game 1: Red Sox 4, Angels 2 | Game 2: Angels 5, Red Sox 4 (F/19) | Game 3: Red Sox 3, Angels 1

Runs Scored = 8
Runs Allowed = 11

YTD Record: 68-49 | 2nd in AL West

Up Next: Tuesday vs. Philadelphia

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Things just haven’t been the same since the All-Star break.

The Halos headed into the midsummer classic sporting a 57-37 record, but have gone just 11-12 since. The Angels have watched as the Athletics made a monster deadline splash, and expanded their lead in the AL West to four games, while the Mariners played well too.

Surprisingly, the root of the Angels’ struggles over the past month or so has been the offense. The Halos’ lineup has been an asset this season, ranking among baseball’s best in a number of categories, including WAR (1st), wRC+ (1st), and wOBA (4th). However, since the All-Star break, the lineup as a whole has hit just .223/.285/.339, with every position player sans Mike Trout sporting an OPS below .750. The only other Angels’ regulars with an OPS above .700 in that span are David Freese (.717) and Albert Pujols (.741).

The Angels’ troubles continued this weekend, as the Red Sox pitching staff, despite having traded Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, and Andrew Miller all within the past couple weeks, held the club to just eight runs. The weekend really couldn’t have gone any worse, and by series end, the Red Sox were one magical home run away from completing a sweep…

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

MarinersSeries4

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.

Halos Daily

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