Dipoto: ‘We are not a buyer, we are not a seller’
The Angels notched a season-high 14 runs, cranked out 16 hits and beat the first-place Tigers on Tuesday night. But one win can do very little to alter the harsh reality that still faces the Angels, at nine games below .500 and 10 1/2 games out of first place. Asked in a small media scrum on Wednesday about the most frustrating part of these first 12 weeks, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto couldn’t pinpoint one.
“It’s a compilation of events, truthfully,” he said. “We have not performed to our ability in a lot of different ways, and we have a half-season to turn it around. And whether that affects 2013, ’14 or beyond, we need to correct, or adjust, in the areas that we’ve struggled. And that goes for a lot of different elements of the game. It’s the way we’ve run the bases, it’s the way we’ve picked up the ball and thrown it over, it’s the way we’ve pitched the ball, it’s the way we’ve executed offensively and the inconsistencies. All those things. We have to get better at them.”
Here are some more notes from our conversation with the second-year GM …
- The non-waiver Trade Deadline looms. It’s still exactly five weeks away, but the Angels could seemingly take two very drastic paths. If they go on a long winning streak, maybe they’re “buyers.” If they continue to struggle, or even stay the course, perhaps they’re “sellers.” Dipoto, however, intimated that neither would be the case, saying: “I don’t see drastic paths. We have a roster of veteran players, most of whom are under club control, a very talented offensive club, pitching staff is evolving, some pending free agents, many others under club control. We’ll assess as we go.”
- More on the July 31 Deadline: “We are not a buyer, we are not a seller. We’re the Angels, who are sitting here trying to win a game today. Our sense of urgency has to be today, tomorrow and every day.”
- On whether at some point he needs to start thinking about 2014 and beyond, Dipoto said: “I’m always thinking about 2014 and 2015. There is no dramatic point in time, there is no single day. That’s how I think every day — how can we maximize our talent level today and for years to come?”
- On his confidence that Josh Hamilton (.214/.269/.382) can bounce back: “The back of his baseball card says there’s a pretty good chance that will happen, so my confidence level is really good.”
- Asked about extending Mike Trout to a long-term contract, Dipoto side-stepped, saying only: “Mike has been a stud.”
- On whether he expects Ryan Madson, still limited to throwing off flat ground, to be a contributor this season: “I have no idea. It’s rehab. He’s rehabbing from surgery. This is our exposure to Ryan Madson, three or four months of his rehabilitation. I don’t know I could bet on any one of the thousands of players who have had Tommy John surgery to come back with 100 percent certainty to look like how they did before or contribute. There is risk, for elements of upside. It remains to be seen whether well see that upside, but we are confident Ryan is working hard and doing the things he needs to do to maximize his changes of providing that for us.”
- On whether he’ll reassess signing players to big contracts in the future: “There’s risk involved in every deal you do. The additions that we’ve made, we’re glad we’ve made. We’ll have the opportunity over time to watch this play out. We’ve had a disappointing first half, no doubt about it. Everybody here is frustrated by the performance to date. Our challenge is now to move forward, and like I said, we have an awful lot of talent in that clubhouse. I’m not going to sit here and assess future offseasons. You don’t know what opportunities are going to be in front of you. At the time, you measure the risk and make the right decisions. There are no black and white answers in this game, or in life.”
- Jason Vargas‘ surgery to remove his blood clot was “successful.” He’ll be shut down from throwing for two weeks, as expected, and then will start building back arm strength thereafter.
- In other news, Howie Kendrick has his first day off of the season and Peter Bourjos is not in the lineup, still battling a swollen left thumb. Mike Scioscia expects him back on Wednesday.