Scioscia on Trout, the rotation, Pujols, etc. …

Mike SciosciaMike Scioscia addressed the media from the site of the Winter Meetings on Wednesday. Here are the highlights …

On Tuesday’s trade, in which the Angels acquired Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago for Mark Trumbo …

I think it’s a big step in the right direction. It’s always tough to ‑‑ when you’re trying to find pitching and to have to lose a piece as important to us as Mark Trumbo was.  It’s a little easier to sign a guy like Joe Smith, who we signed as a free agent. But our deficiencies, I think, were very evident, probably for the last couple of years on the pitching side, to be able to have starters that can get you to your game and have the lead and hold those leads. And we were very poor at that for the last couple of seasons and we paid a huge price for it.  Hopefully we’re working back for that direction.

On whether the Angels still need to add to the rotation via free agency …

I don’t think Jerry [Dipoto] is done as far as trying to find pitching depth and adding to the rotation. He has a lot of things on the table that he’s looking at. And if we’re able to acquire someone, it’d probably be important; if we don’t, I think we’re in a much more solid side on the pitching end than we were for most season last year.

On Albert Pujols’ progress …

He’s swinging the bat. He’s taking batting practice. He feels very strong physically. I really feel that he’s going to be the healthiest he’s been, certainly from what he’s been out here with us, probably a couple of years before that in St. Louis where he was banged up. I think the foot will be a non-issue.  And I think that he’ll take a lot of pressure off of his knee that kind of went hand-in-hand with having his foot issue. I’m going to be really surprised if he’s not the healthiest he’s been in a number of years.  And that obviously is an important piece of what we need.

On the expectations for Josh Hamilton …

I think Josh is going to move back to left field and just stay in left field. And I think he’ll be more comfortable with that aspect as opposed to switching him to right field. But I do feel, from the way he finished up the second half of last season and made some adjustments, that he understands what his role is a little more, what our team is about and what he can bring. And Josh is going to have a big year for us next year.

On what kind of bat fits in the DH spot …

I think there’s a number of ways to go because we have versatility with a guy like Kole Calhoun that can play first base. It can be on the defensive side, a corner outfield and first base, to a player that might be just restricted to a DH spot or a leftfield spot.  And so as far as the bat being left‑handed or right‑handed, I think you’re always happy to add left‑handed depth in your lineup. But there’s also, as we go through the whole exercise of looking at rosters and possibilities, there’s also a role for a right‑handed bat that can fit very nice.

On whether Pujols will still need a lot of time at DH …

I think we’ll probably be proactive with that and do it on a hopefully preventative basis. Albert is at his best when he’s playing first base. We’re a better team when he can play first base and bring that defensive component to our team. We’ll look at that first and just try to manage the health issue of how he feels on a daily basis. I do think we’ll use him DH days just to keep him fresh, as we will a lot of our guys. But I don’t think that he needs to be pigeonholed. And it’s not in our best interest as a team to pigeonhole him in the DH, because I think he’s going to be healthy and ready to play first.

On where C.J. Cron fits in …

I think C.J. is a guy that is working his way on to our depth chart.  As far as breaking Spring Training and making our team, that might be a bit of a stretch.  But I think we’re very comfortable with the fact that at some point next year, if he makes the same improvement that he made this year in the Fall League to where he was during the season this year to the Fall League, and in winter ball he’s swinging the bat well down in the Dominican.  He will be in our depth chart, no doubt.

On whether the Angels can reach 93-94 wins …

If you analyze on the offensive side our season last year, although maybe we underachieved because maybe some guys were struggling a little. Still we scored enough runs to reach our goal. I think it’s real clear we’re going to be ‑‑ to go down very deep on the layers of our club to understand, our starters didn’t pitch at a certain point in the game, some of our starters, C.J. Wilson had a terrific season.  Some guys struggled to get us there.  Missed Jered Weaver for a long time. I think there are components on our club that will come together.  And we’re very comfortable in the challenge of bridging that gap that you’re talking about in getting there.  It’s definitely something we can achieve.  And I think what Boston did is a great indication, two years ago, of what they did last year.  I think we have the same potential to hopefully do what they did.

On Mike Trout’s first two years …

He’s done things that most players at that progression of Mike Trout are in Double‑A doing, and he’s doing them at a Major League level, or triple League level, getting their first taste.  He’s been around a couple of years, and realize he’s not even 23.  He’s ‑‑ this guy is just a kid. So I didn’t see Ken Griffey Jr. up close when he came up in Seattle when he was 19 and obviously had his Hall of Fame career.  So I can’t say a guy like this has never been around, because I think there are some instances of guys that did it. But I can only say from a personal perspective, I’ve never seen anyone this young that is this ‑‑ that has this much poise and the ability to do the things that Mike can do on a baseball field.  I just haven’t seen it.  It’s going to be hopefully fun to watch for the next 15 or 20 years.

On where Mike Trout fits in the lineup …

I think a number of things for Mike Trout, if you look at what his potential is and what is the potential of the team, he has the capability of scoring a hundred‑plus runs and driving in a hundred‑plus runs for the season if we set the table well enough for him. I think in the American League in the lead‑off spot, where in the National League if you’re always having pitchers bunting, he might get more RBI opportunities in the 1 hole.  That’s tougher to do, because your on‑base guys usually aren’t 8th or 9th in the American League. So you have to look at that, factor that in as far as who do you want hitting in front of him?  Some higher on‑base guys like Calhoun and [J.B.] Shuck at times in front of Trout last year, his RBI chances totally picked up when we moved him to the 2 hole, if you look at the raw numbers of it. So I think that his future is definitely anywhere 2, 3 or 4 in the lineup.  Where he ends up this year, I just think that from a leadoff spot it’s always sexy to talk about that type of leadoff hitter.  But I don’t know if it’s as functional for Mike or our team if you’re not setting the table for him.  So that’s probably why it bodes better for him to hit at least 2 and see where it goes from there.

On Masahiro Tanaka …

Yes, I have seen his video.  I think he’s a unique talent and you can see why he’s coveted.  And there will certainly be a lot of interest in Major League Baseball, if all the details are ironed out that he can come over.  I think much like a lot of the Japanese pitchers we’ve seen over the years, particularly in the recent past with [Yu] Darvish, there was a lot of talent in Japan, and he’s certainly on the top of the list.

Alden

22 Comments

I think you are right.i think they will get a arm like garza or price.

Seattle’s going nuts.Fourth place for us next year.Oh,wait,what is Houston up too?

Seattle still has a ways to go. Houston still sucks. We are getting better — esp if we can land Garza or Tanaka. So stop your sniveling!

Use your head mofu and pay attention.They still might get cruz and Choo.We need to move .

Nonsense. You don’t get better by reacting to what the other guys do. You do it by shoring up where needed. We’ve been improving in a number of ways – a healthy Pujols, an adjusting Hamilton, Calhoun’s OBP at the top of the order, a lock down bullpen, two back end starters (big improvement over Blanton and Hanson), etc. If they go after Tanaka or Garza, they could easily be 20 wins better than last year with all the improvements. Chill mofu! LMAO

As soon as all those things happen,I WILL chill..fool.

Are you always this whiny, Carlos? Or do you just not understand baseball?

Oh,I defer tom your superior knowledge moron.It’s called experience,and being a fan of this team for 50 years .Especially the last three sad ones.Take off your rose colored glasses.

50 years my arse. I doubt you’re even 15 years old with all the whining and name calling.

If you’re telling me that the last 3 years have been EVEN CLOSE to the saddest in the history of this franchise, you’ve just lost what little credibility you had. If you had half a clue about how to construct a winning ball club, you’d know that 1) this club is FINALLY moving in the right direction (stockpiling young talent), and 2) picking up splashy names is no guarantee that you’re actually improving the team. Seattle has a so far picked up one elite hitter and two very flawed ones. Houston just overpaid for quite possibly the most mediocre “ace” in baseball. Meanwhile, Pujols will be back (I know from experience of suffering the same exact injury), Hamilton will not suck as badly, we got a real 3B, and our pitching needs are finally being addressed.

Worry if you like, but I see no reason. No rose-colored glasses here, just a little objectivity and understanding of the game.

Dude,you are the one that started with the personal attacks.i was just stating my opinion.But all you low life fans that think you know more than anybody else have to make personal attacks And take everything personally.Screw you,you son of a bitch,and screw this forum.Now,I’m name calling.

All us low life fans? What do you know about us fans? Who exactly are you to judge? Carlos, how do I put this: you’re an infantile little girl. You whine and bitch on a public forum, displaying your ignorance and shortsightedness for all to see. You have absolutely no facts to support your inconsolable whining, and no one really wants to hear it. When someone calls you on your ignorance and explains the facts, you immediately fall to profanities and name calling, because you know you haven’t a leg to stand on. Your misconduct tells everyone all they need to know about your (lack of) character. Now do us all a favor and go crawl back under your rock — and while you’re at it, go find yourself another team.

A few days ago, when Dipoto said Trumbo was NOT on the market, we knew, Trumbo was gone. Moreno/DiPoto NEVER, ever tell it straight. Ask Torii Hunter!

It wouldn’t matter who the angels traded for or signed, you critics would rip it to shreds. At least we have an owner who is willing to spend. That has not always been the case. Do you think these owners and GMs are going to map out exactly who they are going to go after and with what resources? That would be dumb. Don’t you think plans change, sometimes in a very short time? Give these guys a chance to retool the team. So far, so good.

Agreed. For once, it seems Arte has FINALLY decided to let his FO do their jobs. It’s just too bad that it took such spectacular failure on his part to quit playing fantasy baseball with the franchise. Getting the ship right may hurt a bit (Trumbo), but it’s necessary if we want to field a sustainably winning team. And from what I’ve seen so far, I think DiPoto is more than capable of getting it done.

One or two to reerebmm, that is.

Scioscia is now going to be held accountable if the season is a disaster again. The weak farm system might have to do with firing Eddie Bane who drafted Mike Trout.

Again added pitching great. Angels however have the most ineffective pitching coach in baseball. Butcher needs to go in favor of a professional who can communicate. Other wise we repeat the disasters of Kazmir, Jepson, Walden ,Rodney and Blanton.

That’s not a right direction,it’s a step back.This move was orchestrated,so D-Backs can get quality for 5.20 ERA disaster in Tyler Skaggs.DiPoto is jumping with joy,that his D-Back got a blockbuster deal with the dumb Arte-sans in Anaheim.If we really wanted SP with high ERAs,don’t we already have Blanton? Skaggs is the new Blanton.How on earth trade a guy with potential of 100+ R and close to 30HR for a garbage that is about to implode in 2014.And when Pujols goes on DL,who’s gonna punch in the runs now ?

The new Blanton? You do know that Skaggs is only 22 right? And that the 5+ ERA you’re talking about is only through 13 starts (7 last year and 6 in 2012). Skaggs was the Angels’ top pitching prospect before trading him and Corbin to AZ for Haren a few years ago. Yea, he still has a lot of work to do but there’s so much upside. Trumbo’s also overrated. I love the Mark but other than homeruns and rbis, his stats look terrible. The Angels easily got the better end of the trade.

Agreed100%. Anyone who thinks Skaggs bears any resemblance to Blanton, while at the same time bemoaning what a complete player we traded away, simply doesn’t understand the game. I like Trumbo, but we easily match his production if Kole Calhoun can maintain his level of play. Different kind of production, but I would argue better. And Skaggs (and Santiago) are already better than anyone we trotted out there this year, nit named Weaver or Wilson. And these kids will only get better. There’s a reason the baseball experts like this trade for us.

Moreno told the LA TIMES that he is a Baseball expert!

Do I really need to point out that the experts of which I speak come from all over baseball — not just our FO???

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