As if the in-house issues weren’t bad enough …

Ervin SantanaThe baseball gods are doing the on-field equivalent of trolling the Angels right now. It’s not just that they’re 11-20, with Josh Hamilton slumping and every facet of their team — starting pitching, relief pitching, baserunning, defense, production — in a rut through the first five weeks of the season. It’s that so many of the players they’ve discarded recently are, well, thriving.

See for yourself …

RF Torii Hunter (offered little more than a $5 million base salary, plus incentives, this offseason before he inked a two-year, $26 million deal with the Tigers): .361/.406/.479 slash line through his first 27 games in the No. 2 spot for first-place Detroit.

LF Vernon Wells (dealt to the Yankees for the financial relief of getting under the Competitive Balance Tax payroll, with New York picking up $13.9 million of the $42 million owed to him over the next two seasons): .280/.339/.486 with six homers team while batting mostly third — yes, third — for an injury-riddled Yankees team that’s somehow six games over .500.

SP Ervin Santana (essentially given to the Royals because the Angels weren’t going to exercise his $13 million option for 2013): 3-1, 2.00 ERA with 31 strikeouts and five walks in 36 innings for a Kansas City team that — of course — is 17-11.

SS Jean Segura (traded alongside Ariel Pena and John Hellweg for Zack Greinke last July): .333/.380/.523, with a league-leading three triples and one very interesting sequence on the basepaths.

RP Jordan Walden (dealt straight up to the Braves for Tommy Hanson in November): 2.92 ERA, with 14 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

RP LaTroy Hawkins (unsigned as a free agent): 2.77 ERA, 1.23 WHIP in 13 innings for the Mets.

SP Patrick Corbin (dealt — by then-Arizona interim GM Jerry Dipoto — to the Angels along with Tyler Skaggs, Rafael Rodriguez and Joe Saunders in exchange for Dan Haren in July 2010): 4-0, 1.85 ERA in six starts.

What does all this mean to the Angels? Well nothing, of course. In fact, in my mind, almost all of these moves were justified (you could certainly argue in favor of bringing Hunter back and using the additional funds on pitching). The fact anyone would take on that much for Wells was flat-out shocking; it made little sense to pay Santana $13 million for 2013 given how his 2012 season went; I’ll do Walden-for-Hanson any day of the week; the Greinke trade was a good one considering Dipoto didn’t have to give up Peter Bourjos and/or Garrett Richards, and he would’ve been applauded for it had they made the playoffs last year; and, well, there was little reason to give a 40-year-old Hawkins a guaranteed contract, or a likely shot at winning a bullpen spot, given the group the Angels had going into Spring Training.

But still …

Unrelated subject (well, sort of): Here’s a look at who’s shining, and who isn’t, in the Angels’ system so far …

HOT

INF Luis Rodriguez (AAA): .314/.344/.496, 4 HR, 24 RBI
RP Jeremy Berg (AAA): 1.65 ERA, 13 SO, 1 BB, 16 1/3 IP
SP Austin Wood (A+): 2.41 ERA, 4 GS, 17 SO, 9 BB, 18 2/3 IP

NOT

RP Mitch Stetter (AAA): 5.56 ERA, 11 1/3 IP, 12 SO, 10 BB
SP A.J. Schugel (AAA): 0-1, 6.21 ERA, 6 GS, 30 SO, 14 BB, 29 IP
OF Randal Grichuk (AA): .186/.262/.351, 2 HR, 7 RBI

Alden

10 Comments

How could you leave Mark Sappington off the HOT list? 5-0 ,1.73 ERA, 41 2/3 IP, 15 BB, 40 SO.

Simply because I listed him in the first installment and wanted to note others this time.

This just shows how bad a manager Scioscia and how terrible pitching coach Mike Butcher are.

Hey Alden- can’t place the blame totally on Scioscia, players and their current performance on the field has contributed to the current state of the Angels. Also, the GM is partially to blame for some of the deals he made since he took over the position. Everybody knows he can’t win with straight offense, you need pitching to keep you in those close games when some of those overpriced players are not performing to their contract. I don’t understand why owners continue to pay these players after their best years are beyond them…Pujols and Hamilton are good examples. The money should have gone to players who are going to produce…Trout, and Trumbo are good examples. History tells the story, pay player a big contract and you are lucky to get a taste what they did the first 5 to 7 years of their career. I’am sure you can think of dozen players without looking it up who did’nt live up to their new deal. I grew up 10 mins from the stadium and have been a diehard fan for years. The Angels need to shake it up!!!

Hi there Aaron. I’m sorry to hear about the problems w/ your cards and apzgloioe for the mistakes. Because we pull numbers straight from Twitter, when their counts are off so are ours I’d love to get you some new cards w/ the correct stats. I sent you a message on Twitter to get your next order on us!

Tell Brandon Sisk that Santana came here for free,,,

Alden I think what this shows is that Management both on field and in the office is simply not doing their jobs well enough to field a club which plays to its ability. All of the examples of players leaving then thriving really says that on field Scioscia is not creating a positive winning culture which promote a winning attitude. V Wells took way too much heat over the past few years and the manager must find ways to protect his players and keep them focused and motivated. Scoioscia hastnt done that. Now Wells is playing lights out for the hated Yankees In short Sosh has become Lazy on the job. It also shows that the talent needed to win has been here but the true issue with regard to our front office is talent evaluation, and roster construction which Jerry Dipoto certainly has not proven himself. We simply didn’t need more bats to fix this roster, clearly pitching had to be adressed, we will see in the long run how well Mr Dipoto has done. Santana needed to be fixed and Butcher wasn’t abled to get done. Tori should have been brought back, but was allowed to walk. I’m ok with Kendrys for Vargas but win 1 lose 3 doesn’t work well from your GM .
But what bothers me most of all is that we don’t seem to recognize talent in our own system and we continue to make trades that help others. This has to stop. how would Pat Corbin and Tyler Skaggs look in our rotation now ? instead we”re running Jerome Williams, Blanton or Roth out there to get blasted every 5th day.

The real problem here is ownership. ever since Arte took over, this team has done nothing but FAIL. Arte Moreno you mean well but you dont know jack about baseball. your being showed up by the A’s of all teams. maybe you should sell the team and go invest in something you know like Carne Asada!.

Racist prick

I agree that most those deals were defensible with the exception of 2, one for Reagans, one for DiPoto.
1) The Dan Haren Trade. Dan Haren was a very good pitcher and was a great get for the team, but we gave up to much for him. At that time, he and Joe Saunders were almost identical stat wise. Joe was younger and under team control for 2 more seasons, iirc. Arizona was salary dumping. That trade should only have been Saunders and 1 of the minor league guys, not a 4 for 1 swap.
2) When everyone else was shouting about dumping Santana and keeping Haren, I was saying the opposite. Ervin Santana is a very serviceable #3 starter, and can, on his good days beat a number 1 opposing pitcher. He is up and down a, but still consistently had a 4ish ERA and won 12+ games. He had a bad 2012.
I don’t think we need to get rid of Scioscia, but I do think we need to take a serious look at Butcher. When I watch or listen to the broadcast and hear Gubiscza or Langston saying, “ok, he has him setup for this pitch, but whatever you do, don’t get smart and try to do this” and the next pitch is right in the spot they said don’t do multiple times, then something is wrong with the philosophy. It’s not just one pitcher or one catcher, so it has to be being taught wrong. I would love for them to call Hershiser or even give Gubiscza a shot at being pitching coach.

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