April 11th, 2014
The 31-year-old right-hander posted a 2.99 FIP and 1.1 WAR in 2013
The Angels have officially reinstated reliever Dane De La Rosa from the disabled list, the team has announced. In a corresponding move, the club will option 24-year-old southpaw Nick Maronde to Triple-A Salt Lake City.
De La Rosa has been on the DL since late March recovering from forearm inflammation. The 31-year-old was acquired in a trade with the Rays last March and was excellent last season as the team’s primary set-up man once injuries and poor performances struck the rest of the bullpen. He posted a 2.86 ERA and 8.1 K/9 in just over 72 innings pitched, while showing a reverse platoon split, limiting left-handed batters to just a .475 OPS.
Maronde, the Angels’ 3rd round pick in the 2011 draft, has made four appearances this season, striking out five and allowing just one earned run in three innings pitched. He figures to be one of the first names called upon were another injury to crop up. By optioning Maronde, the Angels are now one of just two teams without a left-handed reliever currently on their 25-man active roster.
De La Rosa should prove a huge boost to an Angels’ bullpen that is currently last in baseball with a 5.95 FIP. Most of the bullpen’s early undoing has been at the fault of the home run, as they are allowing a league-worst 2.63 HR/9 and 26.9% HR/FB.
April 10th, 2014
Game 1: Mariners 5, Angels 3 | Game 2: Angels 2, Mariners 0
Runs Scored = 5
Runs Against = 5
YTD Record: 4-5 | 3rd in AL West
Up Next: Friday vs. NYM
On Wednesday the Angels won their first game of the season against Not The Astros, earning a split against the division rival Mariners. The big news of the series, though, was Josh Hamilton losing a thumb war to first base when he slid into the bag rather than run through. You’re not supposed to do that. Hamilton, enjoying maybe his first hot streak as an Angel, will miss 6-8 weeks while recovering from thumb surgery. The Angels are not very deep, so left field will be managed by JB Shuck and Colin Cowgill, which in terms of platoons will likely be as successful as Willem Dafoe.
Don’t worry, he comes back and fathers Jame Franco.
What follows are my stray thoughts while watching the games:
April 9th, 2014
This is what stupid looks like.
Josh Hamilton dove headfirst into first base like an idiot Tuesday night (see: above), and as a result will spend the next 6-8 weeks paying for it on the disabled list. Why? Because the slide not only caused a full tear of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left thumb–an injury he may have been able to play through; Dustin Pedroia did all of last year–but also tore the joint capsule underneath the ligament. Hamilton will undergo surgery to repair the tears “in the coming days,” per Alden Gonzalez, then will sit on the sidelines until at least early June.
The injury is incredibly frustrating for the Angels on several levels. Losing Hamilton for any amount of time will hurt, of course, as will relying on J.B. Shuck in left, but first and foremost among the frustrations is the fact that the whole situation was immensely avoidable. For ages now, everyone on the planet has known that sliding Superman-style into first base is both unnecessarily dangerous and NOT IN ANY WAY ADVANTAGEOUS. Hell, both broadcast teams talked about how reckless the slide was while Hamilton was doing it. Why the Angels and every other team don’t have a policy forbidding1 it is beyond me.
The only reasoning I’ve ever heard someone make for diving into first base that made something close to resembling sense was as a means to trick the umpire into thinking the runner got to the base sooner. The idea being that while the ump can listen out for a foot hitting the bag, he has a harder time pinpointing when the hand/fingers touch the base. Which is good and all, except that THEY HAVE REPLAY NOW. The argument is now completely invalid, meaning there is absolutely no reason to ever dive into first base.
And, yet, here we are.
I realize that baseball players generally aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, but is it really too much to ask for them to not do this one thing? I mean, it’s not as though Hamilton had to reach into the far recesses of his mind to come up with an example of that ending badly. For chrissakes, Yasiel Puig did the same thing just down the street A WEEK AGO.
The proverbial icing on the cake: After hurting himself–costing the Halos their best chance at a ninth-inning comeback Tuesday night–Hamilton frankly stated that he’d do it again.
1 Nick Punto gets a special exemption because who cares, he’s Nick Punto.
April 8th, 2014
Another LOOGY goes down
For the second consecutive year, the Angels have acquired a lefty reliever over the winter only to have him undergo Tommy John surgery before ever taking the mound in the regular season. Last season it was Brandon Sisk — acquired in the Ervin Santana debacle — and this time around it’s Rule 5 pick Brian Moran.
Moran, 25, was the odds on favorite to take over the lefty specialist role in the Angels bullpen when he arrived at camp this spring — at least until Sean Burnett returned, which, let’s be honest, may never happen — but made it through only four Tempe appearances before being sidelined with “elbow inflammation.” The team evidently tried to see if simple rest would alleviate the issue, giving him two weeks off then limiting him to throwing off of flat ground when he started a throwing program April 1, but apparently it didn’t help. If anything, the inflammation subsiding probably just gave the doctor a clearer view of the UCL tear, which will invariably sideline him for at least a calendar year.
April 8th, 2014
Game 1: Angels 11 – Astros 1 | Game 2: Angels 5 – Astros 1
Game 3: Angels 4 – Astros 7 | Game 4: Angels 9 – Astros 1
Runs Scored = 29
Runs Against = 10
YTD Record: 3-4 | 3rd in AL West
Up Next: Two Games @ Seattle Mariners
One of the key objectives for the Angels last season was to take advantage of the Houston Astros and win as many games as they could against them, as the AL West title could have very well gone to the team who beat up the most on the divisional newcomers. Suffice it to say, the Angels were not successful in achieving this goal as they sported a 9-10 losing record against the Astros last year. The Halos may sing a different tune this year, as they took the first series against the ‘stros three games to one on the strength of their starting pitching and the hot bats of Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick.