Results tagged ‘ Arte Moreno ’
SP: RH Wade Davis (2-3, 5.86 ERA)
SP: RH Barry Enright (0-1, 11.37)
- There was thought Ryan Madson could join the Angels before the end of the week, after making his second and final rehab appearance for Class A Inland Empire on Wednesday or Thursday. That is no longer the case. The Angels prefer to slow down his rehab and have him pitch at Triple-A Salt Lake before being activated. This isn’t really a setback, though. Madson continues to feel good, having just the normal soreness pitchers go through, but he’d been going very aggressive in hopes of coming back as soon as possible — throwing off a mound with intensity every other day — and the Angels feel it’d be best if they slowed him down and ease him into the Majors. “I respect that,” Madson said. I’d expect Madson to start pitching in Triple-A by the end of the week. How long will he be there? Mike Scioscia said: “If everything goes the way we anticipate, not very long at all.” Madson threw out “a couple weeks.” Scioscia, when told that, said: “I don’t know if it’s going to take a couple weeks. It might or it might not. We want to make sure that he’s ready to go and his rehab sticks when it goes.”
- Earlier today, Angels owner Arte Moreno publicly backed Scioscia, saying there’s “zero” chance he’ll be dismissed. Sciosica’s reaction: “Arte has always been very supportive. Arte knows how hard I take the non-performance of this team and how we need to get there. It hits me as hard as it hits Arte and it hits Jerry [Dipoto], and I know Arte realizes that. We’re going to take this challenge and hopefully start moving forward and getting the wins that we need to get ourselves in the position we want to. That’s the bottom line is winning, and we’re going to work towards that.”
- Some other injury notes: Jered Weaver (broken left elbow) came out of his Tuesday bullpen session feeling fine and is still scheduled to throw an 80-pitch, up-and-down ‘pen (meaning 20 pitches, sit down, 20 pitches, sit down, and so on) on Friday. The next step after that would be a rehab assignment. … Sean Burnett (left forearm tightness) is expected to throw his first bullpen session on Thursday. … Peter Bourjos (left hamstring strain) has been riding the elliptical, playing catch, doing some aquatic exercises and getting in some lunges, but there’s still no date for when he can run on the field. … Kevin Jepsen (strained lat) was scheduled to throw his third bullpen session today. … Still no timetable for when Tommy Hanson (restricted list) will be back, but he has been throwing.
Well, there you have it.
FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi caught Arte Moreno at the Owners Meetings in New York and asked him about Mike Scioscia‘s oft-speculated-upon status as manager of the Angels. Moreno’s response: “Mike has zero problems, OK? This is his 14th year. Mike goes beyond what he does on the field. He’s a good person. He’s a good person in the community, a very good baseball guy. You don’t have to ask me. You just ask other managers, other baseball people.”
As for the job status of general manager Jerry Dipoto, Moreno told FOXSports.com: “We have had zero discussions on anything other than who is going to be healthy enough to play. Jerry’s been here a year and a half. There are a lot of underlying things we need to fix and adjust in the organization.”
What does all this mean?
Well, not much, really. Scioscia is under contract through 2018, as Morosi pointed out, and there’s no way his boss would ever go on record to say his job status is in jeopardy in the first place. If nothing else, though, it at least quells the outside speculation of whether or not he’ll be retained. And that can only help a manager do his job.
The big question is still what Moreno does, if anything, if the Angels fall short of the playoffs for a fourth straight season.
Right now, regardless of the Angels’ 15-24 record, it’s mid-May, there’s a whole lot of season left and it doesn’t seem very prudent to make a big staff change. As Albert Pujols pointed out, it’s on the players to perform up to their reputations.
“Right now,” Moreno told the site, “in Mike’s job, I have no questions about Mike.”
What can fix the Angels???? — @VivaJRC
I hate for the first QOTD of the season to come under such tumultuous times, but, well, this is probably as good a time as any.
The answer to that question is very simple: The starters need to be better. They have a Major League-worst 6.07 ERA and have pitched into the seventh inning only once all season, putting the offense behind early on an almost-nightly basis and gutting a bullpen that’s already thin.
The solution? It has to come in-house, at least for now. The Angels have some payroll flexibility after trading Vernon Wells, but teams don’t make trades in April — not for big-name players, anyway. It’s too early. Newcomers Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas and Joe Blanton may not boast the resumes of, say, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, but they have reputations for pitching deep into games, and they’re simply not doing that. The three of them are a combined 1-6 with a 7.36 ERA in 40 1/3 innings so far. They simply have to be better.
I’ve been getting a lot of the predictable, fire-and-brimstone tweets and e-mails recently — FIRE BUTCHER!!! FIRE SCIOSCIA!!! — and if this team continues to underachieve, there’s no telling what Arte Moreno will do.
But would that actually solve anything right now?
Come Monday, Jered Weaver will be making his fourth straight Opening Day start, Josh Hamilton‘s reunion tour will begin and the Angels will (once again) try to cash in on the grand expectations they carry into the season.
Before that happens, here’s a station-to-station look at where they stand heading into what should be a very fun 2013 …
Position players: I don’t see a way this team won’t be among the top three in runs scored in the American League this season. From mid-May to the end of the season last year, when Mike Trout arrived in more ways than one and Albert Pujols remembered he’s Albert Freakin’ Pujols, the Angels led the Majors in runs per game. And that was without Hamilton, mind you. The Angels have three dynamic speed guys (Peter Bourjos-Trout-Erick Aybar) and three lethal power hitters (Pujols-Hamilton-Mark Trumbo) all conveniently lining up together. The rest of the guys (Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo, Chris Iannetta) don’t need to be anything more than themselves for the Angels to be an offensive juggernaut. Defensively, Trout-Bourjos-Hamilton could be the best defensive outfield in baseball (which tailors perfectly to their flyball-heavy pitching staff) and the infield is solid at every position.
Starters: Angels starters got their necessary work this spring, but just barely. Spring Training may not teach us much, but it certainly didn’t quell any apprehensions about this rotation. Everyone except the no-walks Joe Blanton struggled at some point, with Weaver, Jason Vargas and Tommy Hanson all bringing temporary concerns that they wouldn’t have enough stamina heading into the regular season. But they do, and most importantly, they’re all healthy. Are they good enough to match one of the best offenses in baseball? No. Will they be adequate enough to eat innings (so the ‘pen doesn’t get worn out) and keep the Angels in games (with the lineup taking care of the rest)? That’s the plan. The key: C.J. Wilson, the $77.5 million No. 2 starter who should be a lot better than his 2012 second half.
Relievers: The Angels are deeper here, with or without Ryan Madson (who is still on track to return in late April or early May, barring another setback). They’ve added arguably the best free-agent lefty available in Sean Burnett, will have a full season of Ernesto Frieri, are banking on Kevin Jepsen‘s last three months being no fluke and, along with Scott Downs, seemingly have four formidable options to protect leads late in games. There’s also the high-upside Garrett Richards, coming off a great spring, the hard-throwing Mark Lowe, who the Angels have targeted since November, and the veteran Jerome Williams. Many will point to last year’s 22 blown saves as the biggest reason the Angels ultimately missed the playoffs, and this year, they’re better in the ‘pen. But that’s on paper. Relievers are a very unpredictable species.
Reserves: If all their everyday players stay healthy, this won’t be much of a factor, particularly in the AL. Chances are, though, injuries will happen. And given that, the Angels took a step back with regards to their bench (though if you’re going to pick one area to downgrade, this would be it). Without Vernon Wells, they don’t have any real power threat in reserve — besides Hank Conger, but he’s the backup catcher — and are pretty darn young. Andrew Romine takes over for the seasoned Maicer Izturis and Conger, awfully talented but coming off a spring soured by throwing woes, has spent most of the last three years in Triple-A. Contact-hitting lefty outfielder J.B. Shuck is the third player on this bench making his first Opening Day roster. The last reserve, veteran infielder Brendan Harris, hasn’t been in the big leagues since 2010.
Depth: The Angels’ farm system is dead last in all of baseball, according to ESPN and Baseball America. But those in the organization will tell you that mostly has to do with pitching; their position-player talent is just fine. Furthermore, the Angels’ front office is confident they’ve built more depth in the upper levels to serve as insurance in 2013. The Triple-A roster has several players with Major League experience, such as Luis Rodriguez, Tommy Field, Scott Cousins, Trent Oeltjen, Chris Snyder (possibly), John Hester, Luke Carlin, Mitch Stetter and Fernando Cabrera. But with Richards’ length shortened in the ‘pen, and Williams’ workload unpredictable as a swing man, where do the Angels turn if something happens to one of their starters? Barry Enright, Billy Buckner, Matt Shoemaker and the young A.J. Schugel figure to make up the Salt Lake Bees’ rotation.
Financials: The Angels’ payroll sits under $150 million, thanks to the Yankees taking on $11.5 million of Wells’ 2013 salary in the recent trade. The deal also bought them some luxury tax flexibility. Prior to the deal, the Angels’ Competitive Balance Tax payroll — which takes into account the average annual value of all 40-man roster salaries, plus benefits and performance bonuses at the end of the season — was $178 million, the threshold at which first-time offenders are taxed 17.5 percent by Major League Baseball. Now, it’s about $172M, giving them some flexibility to take on salary in an in-season trade. Last year, after acquiring Zack Greinke, their CBT payroll was at $178 million, which affected their pursuit of some necessary relief-pitching help.
Underlying theme: Expectations can do some funny things, and it’ll be interesting to see how the magnitude of it all will play into how the Angels go about — and react to — their second year under the microscope. Will it affect them out of the gate? Will it bring turmoil in the clubhouse, especially now that Torii Hunter is gone? Can it cause more tension between Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia, who have their philosophical differences and were at odds at times last season? And what will it lead Arte Moreno to do if they miss the playoffs for a fourth straight season?
In addition to Trumbo at DH, how much time do you think he will get a first base and right field, giving Pujols and Hamilton a day to rest their legs? (Stephen H., San Luis Obispo)
Plenty. And if I had to pin a number on it, I’d say there’s a very good chance — even if everyone stays healthy — that Trumbo spends about half his time playing the field. If he’s hitting, he’ll be in the lineup for all the Angels’ Interleague games. For a good chunk of April, with Pujols in the early stages of his return from offseason knee surgery, he figures to play plenty of first base. With Wells gone, he’s also the fourth outfielder. And fundamentally, with so much money tied to Hamilton and Pujols long-term, Scioscia will get them off their feet as often as necessary now that he has a revolving door at DH (that wasn’t very feasible with Kendrys Morales there last year).
Do you see the day when the Angels move Trout down in the batting order and put Bourjos, if he can cut it, in the leadoff spot? (Albert H., Los Angeles)
I do. Scioscia continues to say Trout profiles better in the middle of the order, the reason being that you want your best hitter to be in as many RBI situations as possible. The makeup of the Angels’ lineup right now — with Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo in the middle of the order, and no clear solution in the leadoff spot just yet — means Trout is the best fit to bat first. You can argue that the Angels’ everyday lineup doesn’t figure to change much any time soon, with almost everyone in the books long term. But Trout is the kind of player you construct a lineup around, and his bat figures to eventually become too potent to not put in the 3 spot.
Is this the year the Angels finally get back to the playoffs and make a deep run? (Samuel M., Tempe, Ariz.)
Who knows. I do think that, on paper, they are the best team in the AL West and should win the division. Once you get in the playoffs, it’s a crapshoot. The sample size is too small. But 162 games is not a small sample size, and if the Angels stay healthy, there is no excuse for not taking the division crown. The Rangers’ lineup took a step back, replacing Hamilton with Lance Berkman, and the pitching staff won’t have Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis or Joakim Soria to start the season. The A’s are deep, but will need a lot of guys to over-perform again. It’s nice to see the Mariners spending money, but they still have holes and concerns all over the place. And the Astros are a last-place team. But who am I kidding — predicting a baseball season is a foolish act.
Now, at last, we can see how it all plays out on the field.
Everything is fuzzy this time of year, with the start of Spring Training around the corner and the regular-season grind still about six weeks away.
But looking at the Angels’ roster, two things seem certain: The offense is very potent and the starting pitching is quite questionable.
Funny thing is, it could’ve easily been in reverse, or perhaps a little more balanced. In fact, there were two instances this offseason when general manager Jerry Dipoto reached a fork in the road and made a decision that, perceivably, worked to improve the offense and sacrificed some starting pitching.
With pitchers and catchers reporting to Tempe, Ariz., in three days, I thought it’d be a good time to look at those two crucial decisions. I’m not suggesting they were the wrong choices; I just feel they’re worth examining. Because depending on where the Angels are come October, they may be something to point to.
Here they are …
Josh Hamilton over Zack Greinke: When Dipoto scoffed at Greinke’s concrete contractual demands on Day 1 of the Winter Meetings, we thought it signaled the return to a payroll in the $135- to $140-million range. What we didn’t find out until a few weeks later was that at a certain price point, Dipoto preferred Hamilton over Greinke, and that Hamilton — at least in the words of several members of the Angels’ front office — was the one guy owner Arte Moreno was willing to “blow up” the budget for, putting it back at about $150 million.
Greinke wound up getting an average annual value of $24.5 million on a six-year deal with the Dodgers; Hamilton got a $25 million AAV on a five-year deal. Yes, it adds up to $22 million more in total value for Greinke, but I don’t think that was the main motivating factor here. Dipoto’s thinking was that signing Hamilton was a two-for-one — it improved their offense and allowed them to improve a pitching staff that at that point could use it.
But Greinke is, in many ways, an ace; a guy who would’ve continued to form a standout one-two punch with Jered Weaver at the top of the rotation, which always sets up nicely for the playoffs.
Not trading Mark Trumbo and/or Peter Bourjos: In some ways, this was yet another offense-for-pitching sacrifice by the Angels’ front office. By trading Kendrys Morales to the Mariners for lefty starter Jason Vargas — two pending free agents — the lineup would be more fluid. Trumbo would be the designated hitter most days, but would also readily fill in at first base and right field to give Hamilton and Albert Pujols a blow. That’s big, given the amount of money owed to those two 30-something sluggers, and it’s a big improvement over what was mostly a cluttered position-player roster last spring.
But what if trading Trumbo and/or Bourjos, two cost-controlled outfielders teams covet more than Morales, could’ve landed the Angels an even better, cost-controlled, top-of-the-rotation starter — maybe a Jeremy Hellickson-type?
Shortly after flipping Morales for Vargas, and keeping Trumbo and Bourjos, Dipoto said: “That was very much a part of the plan. Dating back to the start of this offseason, and even as we were trailing towards the end of the 2012 season, it’s been a priority for us to keep as much of our young nucleus in place as possible.”
Maybe it was, and maybe Dipoto also didn’t like the potential returns he was seeing for Trumbo/Bourjos. Whatever the case, the Angels head into the 2013 season with arguably the best lineup in baseball, but a far less heralded rotation — though, to be fair, also one that eats innings and tailors very well to its surroundings with lots of fly-ball pitchers.
Come October, we’ll know how those decisions really worked out.
The Angels declined to tender Torii Hunter a $13.3 million qualifying offer today. It’s an expected move, yes, but it’s also a sign of how far apart the two sides are. Frankly, they’re far. Very far. And Hunter is starting to realize that it may not work out. But he’s also holding out hope.
Here’s what he said when reached by phone today …
On not receiving a qualifying offer …
I figured they wouldn’t. I’m not surprised. They have so much going on with Vernon Wells’ contract and they have to wheel and deal. I mean, all is not lost. There’s still a chance that I can be there, so we’ll see what happens. But right now, it’s the business side of baseball and my agent, Larry Reynolds, and I, we’re going to just come up with a game plan because it’s also a business for me. This is my business, this is my company, this is my job – me. And I have to take care of that company, so that’s what I’m going to do to the best of my availability.
On having to move on …
Moving on doesn’t mean I have to stray away from the Angels. Yeah, I have to move on. I have to go out there and see what’s out there for me. But as a free agent, the Angels are a part of that, too. Like I said, there’s still love in my heart for the Angels. Don’t get it twisted. But I have to be ready to take care of my company, which is me.
On how it’s gone …
Just individually – I love the Angels’ organization, I love the fans, I love my teammates, I love my manager. So, of course, I want to be there and you’ve been hearing about that all season. But it’s just not working out. It didn’t work out today. But all is not lost.
On the confidence level for a return …
It’s pretty low. … But you know, like I said, all is not lost and you never know. [Owner] Arte [Moreno] knows what he’s doing, he’s a business man, and when you think something’s not going to happen with him, it happens. I still think there’s a shot, but at the same time, there’s going to be a lot of teams with shots. I have to do that.
On playing on a winning team …
My plan is to win no matter what, and if I’m on a winning team, of course I’m going to try to get with a ballclub that’s trying to win. That’s the plan.
On playing center field …
I will be in shape for center field. … Don’t get it twisted, because a lot of people look into the numbers, I can play the outfield no matter where it is. I can play it no matter what. So any team asks me to play anywhere, I can play it, no matter what. And I’d probably be a lot better than normal.
Should the Angels sign Torii Hunter again? — @rlara1092
If you’re asking me … SURE! But I’m biased. Because I — like every other member of the media — simply love having Hunter around because he’s so great to talk to and he’s such a great person. That, along with the fact he’s still very productive for his age, is a leader in the clubhouse, Arte Moreno loves him and, as Hunter will openly say, he’s willing to take less money and a lesser role to come back here, are all reasons why the Angels would want to bring him back. Right now, though, it’s hard for me to see that happening unless either Peter Bourjos or Vernon Wells are moved. Simply put, if the Angels already have four outfielders on the roster, they’d probably prefer to allocate their money elsewhere. Just my speculation, though.
Yeah, it’s only Spring Training, but make no mistake — today is a big day for recovering slugger Kendrys Morales, as Thursday’s lineups show …
Also pitching: Blaine Hardy, Ethan Hollingsworth, Tommy Hottovy, Zach Miner, Sean O’Sullivan
Also pitching: Scott Downs, Hisanori Takahashi, Jason Isringhausen
Some notes from this morning …
- While manager Mike Scioscia admitted it’s “nice” to finally be able to write Morales’ name in a lineup again, he was quick to point out that he still has some hurdles to clear. Such as … “It’s not going to help us doing it twice a week, it’s going to help us doing it six days a week. So there’s some hurdles that he needs to clear. As far as getting to this point, where we can see him again and be able to evaluate him, I think we’ were very, very confident it was going to happen at some point. Now, how the stamina aspect and how he responds after – he responded well going first-to-home the other day. How he responds to that is going to be something we’re going to have to feel for.”
- Jerome Williams (left hamstring) has enough time to make it back to be the fifth starter by April 15, but he can’t have a single hiccup. He’s going to get the start on Monday — yes, the start, not come in relief behind Garrett Richards — and that would line him up to have exactly four spring starts before the game at Yankee Stadium, which is what Scioscia previously said is the minimum he needs this spring.
- The Angels, don’t forget, have a doubleheader tomorrow, with a day game at the Brewers’ facility and a night game at the Indians’ complex. Dan Haren will pitch the day game vs Zack Greinke.
- Scioscia hasn’t made a final decision yet, but it looks very likely that C.J. Wilson will not start against the Rangers on Sunday, instead pitching in a Minor League game to get his innings in. Yu Darvish will also not pitch against the Angels this weekend. A little gamesmanship? Scioscia downplayed that. “It’s not who we play. We’re getting our own team ready, and if it’s going to help our pitcher get ready to pitch in a Major League game because of things he needs to do with the infield or the catcher or the pitcher-catcher relationship. There’s a lot that goes into where a guy pitches.”
- No final decision yet from Jeremy Moore, but hip surgery still seems likely.
Some links from Wednesday …
- The first Spring Training version of the Inbox, on Mark Trumbo, Bobby Abreu, Aybar, etc.
- Richards continues to make case for rotation
- Mike Trout, Iannetta see action in Minors game
- Angels reassign Kole Calhoun, Ryan Brasier and Efren Navarro
- Arte Moreno interviewed by GQ
Some AL West links …
- Neftali Feliz isn’t concerned about his shoulder
- Yes, the A’s have already departed to Japan to start their season
- The Mariners have set their rotation, and Hisashi Iwakuma won’t be part of it
And the Miami Heat added some much-needed size and toughness with the signing of Ronny Turiaf.
Among the highlights, Moreno said the Angels never did a background check on Albert Pujols‘ listed age (32) — and wouldn’t.
“We would never go there,” Moreno told GQ. “He’s been in the United States since he was 16. Somebody starts checking on your age, you start wondering, ‘Do we really want to have a relationship like this?’”
Asked about Pujols holding up through the tenure of his 10-year, $240 million contract, Moreno said: “We don’t look at one player, we look at 25 on the roster or nine on the field, and you just say: If he plays within these averages for our team, his averages are so much higher than anyone else’s that is playing right now. If you do have some erosion — let’s call it seven to 10 years of solid production, not superstar production — look what it still does for a franchise.”
As for the thought of him making $30 million as a 41-year-old ballplayer?
“Someone else asked me this, and I said, ‘I’ll tell you something: If he’s healthy enough and he’s playing for us, then I’m gonna just say, ‘Merry Christmas to all baseball fans,’ because we get to see one of the best players of our generation coming to bat,” Moreno responded.
Asked what allowed the Angels to commit so much to Pujols after not being able to reel in the likes of Carl Crawford and Mark Teixeira for less money, Moreno explained: “We’d just signed an 18-plus-year [TV deal, reportedly for $1.5 billion], through ’30, we have no debt, and we have a payroll that gives us all the flexibility to make the decisions we want to make. Still, I don’t think in a perfect world we really thought Albert was going to be available. They just won a championship in St. Louis, he had been there 11 years, and you think they’re gonna make a deal.”
Moreno was also asked about the less-successful 2010 offseason, when the Angels basically swapped a much-improved Mike Napoli for a diminished Vernon Wells. The Angels’ owner said his baseball people moved Napoli partly because they “felt Napoli’s arm was not gonna hold up for a season.”
“He was arbitration eligible, and the number he was asking for and what our people felt the value was,” Moreno added. “… Napoli caught less games for Texas than he caught for us the year before. I think [Rangers manager Ron] Washington did a great job [with] him. With Vernon, we felt that if he hits his average of 25 home runs, 80 to 90-plus RBIs, bats .260 to .280, you end up with a good player for four years at $16-plus million a year, [and] you’re not having to pay [a free agent for] a longer period of time. The book’s not closed on Vernon, you know. But that was the thought process.”
One of Jean Segura‘s biggest mentors on the Angels’ big league club is actually the man some believe he can one day replace.
Shortstop Erick Aybar, a pending free agent who still hasn’t agreed to a contract extension, is actually pretty tight with Segura, a 21-year-old developing shortstop who has a lot of raw talent but still needs plenty of games under his belt before being big league ready. They both hail from the Dominican, and while Aybar lives a little too far (a two-hour drive) for them to regularly train together in the offseason, Segura counts on Aybar (seven years his senior) for advice throughout the year.
“I get along well with him,” Segura said in Spanish. “I have a lot of respect for him and we talk very often. He’s always giving me advice.”
Segura, the Angels’ No. 2 prospect, is in his second big league camp and will probably start the season in Double-A. He’s deceivingly fast, has really grown as a hitter, boasts a great arm and overall has a world of talent. But he still needs to grow as a shortstop and, most importantly, he has to stay healthy after missing big chunks of 2009 (broken ankle and finger) and 2011 (torn hamstring) due to injury.
As for what his conversations have been like with Aybar this year?
“We’ve just talked about the game, about our training, about how you need to have a positive mindset when you’re injured,” Segura said. “Thankfully he’s there for me, because he’s a guy who knows how to have success in this league.”
Some notes from Monday, the Angels’ first full-workout day …
- Bobby Abreu addressed the media regarding his previous comments on preferring a trade if he isn’t an everyday player. Abreu didn’t really back off on his desire to continue to play every day, but he seemed content with the compromise of roughly 400 plate appearances this season. The prevailing question: Is that number realistic? More on Abreu here.
- Albert Pujols is already turning some heads. Today, he hit some pretty hard line drives against lefty Brad Mills while hitting in the main field in his first live-BP session. It was a rather uneventful workout today, sure. But at this point in the spring, pitchers are usually ahead of the hitters because they’ve been throwing for about a week. I think Albert can start the regular season right now if he wanted to.
- Peter Bourjos doesn’t feel like his right-hip injury will be a problem this season, but he plans on having surgery to get it cleaned up next offseason. He would’ve done it this past fall, but he didn’t realize it was an ongoing problem until around mid-November. At that point, surgery would’ve backed him up in Spring Training. Just not worth it, doctors felt.
- Speaking of Segura’s injuries, the young shortstop feels he might’ve addressed the hamstring issues that bothered him in 2011 with the simplicity of an insole.
- Owner Arte Moreno said on The Jim Rome Show that the “El Hombre” billboards probably won’t be part of the club’s marketing campaign any longer.
- Kendrys Morales went from running in a straight line to making cuts on the outfield grass. Mesmerizing, I know. But any step is a big one for him at this point. Mike Scioscia said he’ll continue that for about two weeks, then start running the bases, then get in games (he hopes).
- As for Scioscia, he was back after fighting what he believed was some food poisoning on Sunday. He was his normal self — as evidenced by his usual snark towards us media members.
- An interesting site on the backfields today: Uber-prospect Mike Trout taking live batting practice off new starter C.J. Wilson. Sure, Trout was only tracking pitches and didn’t even swing the bat. But still.
- Don’t go looking for Mark Trumbo tomorrow. He’ll be in Los Angeles, getting his right foot re-imaged in hopes of progressing towards full baseball activities. He told me he’s feeling really good going in.
- And my Heat didn’t do so well in All-Star Game Weekend from Orlando. James Jones and Mario Chalmers didn’t win the 3-Point Shootout on Saturday, and while LeBron James (36 points) and Dwyane Wade (triple-double) put up numbers in Sunday’s main event, they didn’t come through in the end. (Hey, it’s just an All-Star Game, OK!) LeBron had a costly turnover when they were trailing by two and Wade missed the 3-pointer that would’ve won them the game at the buzzer. … Yes, I’m a Heat fan. Big Heat fan. Sorry.
With full workouts now underway, look for daily updates here. I plan on featuring a different prospect every weekday, providing some analysis on the weekends and constantly trying to summarize the day as efficiently as possible. Tell your friends.