Results tagged ‘ Andre Ethier ’
I wrote earlier today about first-year GM Billy Eppler keeping his options open and why he’ll probably rely heavily on a loaded free-agent class.
The Angels enter the offseason with up to six needs for their Major League club: catcher, second base, third base, utility infield, left field and a back-end reliever, ideally a lefty. They could also opt to sign a front-line starter, but that’s more of a luxury than an actual need. They have starting pitching depth. But signing an attractive free-agent starter (David Price, Zack Greinke, Jordan Zimmermann, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, etc.) could free Eppler up to trade from that starting-pitching depth and fill other needs.
Below is a look at some of the more attractive free-agent and (potential) trade options at each of the Angels’ positions of need. You’ll probably notice right away that I didn’t include Matt Wieters among catchers. I just don’t expect them to bid so high for him.
(* indicates they were given a qualifying offer)
Free agents: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Brayan Pena, Dioner Navarro, Alex Avila, Geovany Soto
Trades: Stephen Vogt (OAK), Jonathan Lucroy (MIL), Wilson Ramos (WAS), Gary Sanchez (NYY)
Free agents: Howie Kendrick*, Daniel Murphy*, Ben Zobrist, Chase Utley
Trades: Neil Walker (PIT), Brandon Phillips (CIN), Aaron Hill (ARI), Hanser Alberto (TEX)
Free agents: David Freese, Juan Uribe, Mark Reynolds,Casey McGehee
Trades: Trevor Plouffe (MIN), Yunel Escobar (WAS), Todd Frazier (CIN), Martin Prado (MIA)
Free agents: Sean Rodriguez, Mike Aviles, Asdrubal Cabrera, Cliff Pennington, Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew
Trades: Jed Lowrie (HOU)
Free agents: Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton*, Jason Heyward*, Alex Gordon*, Gerardo Parra, Colby Rasmus*, Nori Aoki
Trades: Preston Tucker (HOU), Brett Gardner (NYY), Josh Reddick (OAK), Jay Bruce (CIN), Yasiel Puig (LAD), Carl Crawford (LAD), Andre Ethier (LAD), David Peralta (ARI)
Free agents: Tony Sipp, Antonio Bastardo, Matt Thornton, Oliver Perez, Neal Cotts, Rich Hill
Trades: Mike Dunn (MIA)
I wrote recently about the Angels’ own prestigious “Big Three” of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton — how they could potentially hold up historically and in this era.
But how do they hold up in 2013? There’s little debate that the Angels now have the most talented and celebrated lineup trio in baseball, giving them arguably the game’s most potent offense. But I was a little stunned that their 2012 stats didn’t show it.
In fact, when combining each of their OPS from 2012, the Angels’ trio ranked third, behind those of the Tigers and Reds. Below is the top 15, based on combined OPS of the top three current players in each lineup (minimum is 400 plate appearances) …
- Tigers (Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson): 2.795
- Reds (Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce): 2.759
- Angels (Trout, Pujols, Hamilton): 2.752
- Brewers (Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart): 2.729
- Red Sox (David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli*): 2.635
- Blue Jays (Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera): 2.627
- Cardinals (Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina): 2.627
- Rangers (Adrian Beltre, David Murphy, A.J. Pierzynski): 2.607
- Rockies (Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Tyler Colvin): 2.602
- Pirates (Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez): 2.569
- D-backs (Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kubel): 2.565
- Yankees (Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira): 2.547
- Twins (Josh Willingham, Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit): 2.532
- Giants (Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt): 2.527
- Dodgers (Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez): 2.524
* Napoli’s deal still hasn’t been finalized.
** A special thanks to all of you for making this blog the 10th-most popular among MLB.com beat writers in 2012. You’re the whipped cream on my sundae.
The scene shifts for the Freeway Series tonight, with the Angels hosting the second leg and looking to build on an 11-4 mark against the crosstown-rival Dodgers over their last 15 games. Mike Scioscia, on the significance of it all: “I don’t think there really is as far as our clubhouse or anybody in their clubhouse, but I do know the media and the fans obviously have more interest in a game because of the geographical rivalry that’s here, with the two teams being so close. But for us, it’s another game. They’re a good team, we have to do things well if we’re going to beat them, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”
Pitching: RH Chad Billingsley (4-5, 3.75 ERA)
Pitching: RH Dan Haren (4-7, 3.96 ERA)
Some pregame notes …
- Jerome Williams (breathing problems) has been medically cleared to do everything, meaning he can begin the process of long-tossing, then getting in bullpen sessions, being stretched out and ultimately returning to the Angels’ pitching staff. Will that be as a starter or a reliever? That remains to be seen. But Scioscia said he’s received no indication from the medical staff that Williams would not be allowed to start.
- Chris Iannetta (wrist surgery and forearm strain) will restart his throwing program Saturday, but is still a ways away from getting in a rehab assignment.
- Scioscia, on how Weaver’s feeling after his Wednesday start: “He feels really good. I think he feels just some normal stiffness you would get from going out there and pitching, nothing connected at all with what put him on the disabled list, so that’s encouraging.”
- Every Angels starter will be on at least six days’ rest coming up, which can be good (it’s a long season) and bad (starters for the most part hate breaking routing). “I think long term it’s a good thing, for guys to maybe catch their breath,” Scioscia said. “Some guys aren’t sharp historically on six days, and some guys are very good on six days. There’s no rhyme or reason or one thing you can point to that’s going to make your staff better, but especially this time of year, these guys have been grinding a lot.”
- Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri have the best combined ERA of any Major League relief tandem, at 0.66 (or four runs in 54 2/3 innings). Minimum for this was 20 innings per player.
- Erick Aybar is on a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .417 over his last 10 games.
Some Angels.com links from Thursday …
- Jean Segura to represent Angels in Futures Game
- Angels Draft pick Michael Roth nearly perfect in CWS win
- Preview, on the Haren-Billingsley matchup
- Blog post on the Angels’ starting-pitching depth
Some AL West links …
- Mike Bauman: Roy Oswalt resuming career on his own terms
- Walk-off homer by Yoenis Cespedes caps A’s win
- The Mariners’ top prospects will pitch in the Futures Game
And in case you missed it, MY HEAT WON THE ‘SHIP!
OK, at the start of the year, how many of you had the Dodgers sporting the better record by the time these two kicked off their annual Freeway Series? Come on, be honest. The Angels, at least, have been looking a lot more like the team many expected them to be, coming off a three-game sweep of the Rockies, winning nine straight road games and sporting a Major League-best 14-4 record since May 22. The Dodgers just completed a 7-3 road trip — though they got no-hit by the Mariners in one of those games — and own baseball’s best record despite the absence of superstar Matt Kemp.
Here are the lineups for their first meeting at Dodger Stadium …
Some pregame notes …
- The Angels signed 11 of their Draft picks, including third-round right-handed reliever R.J. Alvarez.
- Trout, Torii were named AL Co-Players of the Week.
- Pujols is fifth in All-Star Game voting at first base, with no other Angels really in the running to start.
- Kendrys Morales is expected to start at first base tomorrow.
- Jered Weaver threw off the front part of the mound today. If he feels fine tomorrow, he’ll have a full bullpen. After that, he could be one bullpen and one sim game away from returning.
- Chris Iannetta, who had a setback a couple days ago with his forearm, is back doing baseball activities now. He’s expected to get back into games in the middle of the week, with manager Mike Scioscia thinking he’ll need four or five rehab games behind the plate before being activated.
- Bobby Wilson (concussion) has been cleared for baseball activities and hopes to be back over the weekend.
Some Angels links from Sunday …
- Trout, Trumbo power Angels to sweep
- Notebook, on (not) reeling in Trout, Bourjos’ status and riding the momentum
- Richards look to keep making case for rotation
Some AL West links …
- Alexi Ogando‘s status unknown following MRI
- Brandon League could return to the Mariners’ closers role
- Athletics Inbox, on the closer situation and a bunch of other stuff
And in case you hadn’t heard … The Heat are in the NBA Finals!!! (sorry)
OK, so Mike Scioscia made it official today with his rotation — Jered Weaver first, Dan Haren second, Ervin Santana third and C.J. Wilson fourth. No surprises there considering how they’ve lined up all spring, though the decision to put Santana in front of Wilson is interesting considering CJ’s track record and the money he’s making (more on that later).
But looking ahead just a little here, the order does bring up an interesting question: Will Wilson take the mound in Arlington from May 11-13, in the first series between the two division rivals?
That depends on what Scioscia does with his off days. We already know he’ll use the April 10 off day to skip the fifth starter, which would mean Jerome Williams or Garrett Richards won’t be needed until April 15 at Yankee Stadium. Scioscia will have two other off days before the Rangers series: April 23 and May 10.
If he keeps the fifth starter through both of those off days, Wilson would line up to take the mound at his old stomping grounds in the series opener on Friday, May 11.
But, if he uses the April 23 off day to skip the fourth starter, then CJ wouldn’t take the mound in that series at all. The key date to watch will be April 26. If the rotation comes back to the top and Weaver starts that game, C.J. won’t line up against Texas. If the 5th starter takes the ball that day, then he pitches on May 11.
Let’s see what happens.
Now, on to today’s lineups …
Some links from Wednesday …
- Humble Weaver is true lead dog for Angels
- Santana turns in solid effort in tune up
- Scioscia looking for better days from Jason Isringhausen
- Versatile Alexi Amarista impressing
Some AL West links …
- Nelson Cruz and Mike Adams got dinged up in Mexico City
- Mariners option Charlie Furbush and Carlos Peguero to set roster
- Dallas Braden has injection, recovery pushed back
And the Heat came through against the 76ers last night, even without Dwyane Wade. Now if they could only do that on the road.
Leading up to Opening Day, I’ll roll out an All-Star team for each of the six divisions in baseball — that includes a manager, a starting nine (with a DH also for the National League), three starters and two relievers. One catch: Each team must have at least one representative, and the skipper doesn’t count. Feel free to submit your own lineups below. I’d love to see how yours differ.
Tim Lincecum, SFG
Matt Cain, SFG
SP: RH Jamey Wright
SP: RH Dan Haren
Some notes from this morning …
- Big day for the Angels fans who decide to make it out to The Big A tonight. It’ll be their first time seeing Morales since that fateful May 29, 2010, game that saw him suffer a broken left ankle on a walk-off grand slam. And, of course, it’ll be their first time ever watching Pujols in an Angels uniform. Pujols, on the pressure of living up to his new contract: “I’ve been feeling pressure for 12 1/2 years, 13 years since being a professional. To tell you the truth, there’s [three] times that I feel pressure — my first at-bat in Spring Training, my first at-bat Opening Day and first at-bat in the playoffs. The rest is just baseball.”
- No more Gatorade at the Angel Stadium clubhouses and dugouts. It’s all — from the coolers to the cups to the towels — “Oh Yeah!”, a nutritional company Pujols is a major spokesman for.
- Big night for bullpen sages LaTroy Hawkins (Kansas State fan because his godson, Elijah Johnson, plays for the team) and Scott Downs (who played at the University of Kentucky). Both are rocking their gear, neither is scheduled to pitch today and both are hoping they can watch a little bit of the action from the clubhouse TVs.
- Mike Scioscia, on the decision to slot C.J. Wilson as the No. 4 starter (though that hasn’t been officially declared yet): “If you have an abundance of lefties, you might want to break it up. You’re certainly breaking up length with a guy who’s not going to get deep enough, but that’s definitely not the issue we’re dealing with here. Maybe the No. 5 guy, if we have a guy who doesn’t have a lot of length we would have length surrounding him. The way this was set up is really the versatility to move who ever’s in the fourth spot forward if we had to, and it gave us a way to get a good look at the start of the season. Once the season starts, there’s no 1, 2, 3 and 4. We have four guys who are front-end-of-the-rotation guys, so that’s the way we’re going to look at it.”
Some links from Sunday …
- With Pujols and C.J., Angels are aiming high in 2012
- Freeway Series signals dawn of new season
- Kendrys’ recovery nears long-sought end
- Jered Weaver awaits Opening Day fate
- Fifth starter between Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams continues
- Blog post on the potential dilemma between the two final roster decisions
- Weaver endures rough ending to spring slate
Some AL West links …
- The Rangers have finalized their bench
- Weary A’s adjusting to exhibitions after Japan trip
- Scary moment for the Mariners, as Jesus Montero was drilled in the head
And the Miami Heat’s road struggles continue. On Sunday, they got torched by the Celtics at The Garden.
With this being the final week of Spring Training (crazy, right?), I figured it’d be justified to take a look at all 30 clubs and examine where they stand, what they need and where it looks like they’ll finish heading into the 2010 season. So, leading up to Opening Night between the Red Sox and Yankees, I’ll touch on one of the six divisions each day Monday-Saturday. Today, Day 5, we look at the National League West …