Results tagged ‘ Brad Mills ’
The Rangers claimed left-handed starting pitcher Brad Mills off waivers from the Angels on Sunday.
Mills, 28, was out of options and had to clear waivers in order for the Angels to option him to the Minor Leagues. Mills has spent his six-year pro career pitching almost entirely in the Minors, going 41-38 with a 3.97 ERA in 112 games (106 starts). Acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for Jeff Mathis in December 2011, Mills has logged 53 1/3 innings in parts of four seasons in the Majors, posting a 7.76 ERA. He has given up four runs in six Cactus League innings this spring.
Additionally, the Angels sent outfielders Scott Cousins and Matt Young, infielder Tommy Field, catcher Luke Carlin, and pitchers Nick Maronde, Fernando Cabrera, Chad Cordero and Kevin Johnson to Minor League camp. Their spring roster is now at 35.
Maronde, the Angels’ top pitching prospect, came into came battling for a spot in the bullpen, and even though he didn’t win it, the 23-year-old left-hander will remain in that role in Double-A. Maronde was primarily a starter in the Minors, going 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA in 31 games (29 starts) in the Minors. But he pitched well as a reliever with the Angels as a September callup, giving up one run in 12 appearances (six innings) and that’s where the organization sees his future.
“He’s got to maintain his velocity a little better in the ‘pen,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I don’t think he has to go face hitters three, four times with just a fasteball slider, a changeup coming. He’s a guy that’s going to be go in in one-inning spurts and just do what you would hope a guy could posssilby pitch at the back end would do. He’s got that upsdide.”
Jerome Williams was hit around on Thursday, giving up five runs (four earned) on five hits and two walks in his two-inning stint, putting his ERA at 11.25 in four Cactus League innings. It’s early – really early – but the 31-year-old right-hander hasn’t been able to put it together just yet.
“Jerome is working really hard, but he’s just getting behind every count,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He hasn’t been able to put guys away, and that’s a tough combo if you’re not getting ahead and you’re not putting guys away.”
Scioscia believes Williams’ good stuff “is there,” he just “hasn’t brought it into a game yet.”
More from Thursday in Glendale – another Angels loss (they’re 0-5-2) you can’t take much away from …
Howie Kendrick blew up, going 3-for-3 with a single and a double off Clayton Kershaw and a solo homer off another southpaw, Ted Lilly.
Hiroyuki Kobayashi threw a scoreless inning, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one. The Japanese right-hander has given up one run in three innings this spring.
Chad Cordero, making his second spring appearance, gave up a double and a bloop single that scored a run, but also struck out two hitters.
Peter Bourjos, batting leadoff, went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts but is still batting .375 this spring.
Brad Mills, out of options, gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in two innings.
Alberto Callaspo went 0-for-3 with a couple of strikeouts and misplayed a grounder at third base – but he also made a nice diving play to his left.
Best play (that I saw)
Mark Trumbo made a nice diving stab to his right on a hard grounder in the first inning. It was the second nice play he’s made at first base – a position he could spend a lot of time at in April, given Albert Pujols’ recovery from knee surgery. He dropped a foul pop-up later in the game, but several players have had a hard time with this Arizona sun.
Josh Hamilton, asked if it’s possible that an outfield with Bourjos and Mike Trout gives up no triples all season: “It’d be close to possible, but you think of a ball being hit the wrong way or something, that’s the way this game is. But if everything worked out perfectly, then it’s a possibility.”
I wrote Wednesday about the Angels’ rotation, which is seemingly the only uncertain, less-than-stellar department of the 2013 team. The down-the-stretch trio of Zack Greinke, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana is being replaced by Jason Vargas, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton, a new trio that costs less but should put more pressure on the revamped bullpen and a stellar offense.
But here’s one other thing worth noting about this less-sexy rotation: It’ll absorb a plentiful amount of innings, perhaps more so than that of any other club in the American League.
Consider the averages of each of the five starters …
- Jered Weaver (2007-12): 200 IP
- C.J. Wilson (2010-12): 210 IP
- Vargas (2010-12): 204 IP
- Hanson (2010-12): 169 IP
- Blanton (05-12): 178 IP
Put another way: The Angels have a realistic chance of having five starters throw at least 170 innings in 2013. No other AL team was able to boast that in 2012. In fact, nine of the 14 clubs didn’t have more than two starters account for 170-plus frames (the Twins and playoff-bound Orioles only had one; the Angels, Rays and Yankees were the only ones with four).
Weaver (6.4), Wilson (6.1), Vargas (6) and Blanton (6.2) have each averaged at least six innings per start throughout their careers, while Hanson is at 5.9. So, if the quintet of Weaver, Wilson, Hanson, Vargas and Blanton stay healthy all year (a big “if” in every circumstance, of course), Angels starters will have absorbed about 991 innings combined, based on each of their career track records.
In 2012, 991 innings from a starting rotation would’ve ranked seventh in the Majors and fourth in the AL, behind only the Mariners, Yankees and Rays.
Yes, the Angels currently have just one — maybe two, if Wilson regroups — ace-like starter capable of single-handedly halting losing streaks and altering a short playoff series. But there’s something to be said about starters consistently pitching deep into games. It repeatedly gives an offense as potent as the Angels’ a chance to win, and it means a strong bullpen won’t have to account for so many innings.
It’s why Blanton doesn’t find the term “innings-eater” insulting.
“I’m fine with that, honestly,” said Blanton, who has actually averaged 198 innings since ’05 if you discount an injury-riddled 2011.
“In my personal opinion, I don’t feel like you throw 180, 190, 200 innings without being able to go deep into games. Just taking the ball every fifth day, if you weren’t getting the job done, you’d be done every five innings, and in 30 starts, that’s 150 innings. So you still have to go deep into games, and be successful enough and keep a team in the game enough to be able to rack up those innings.”
The Angels also have a little more overall starting-pitching depth than they entered with last season.
The high-upside Garrett Richards and the capable Jerome Williams, both of whom were competing for the fifth spot last spring, are now insurance policies; as are the likes of Brad Mills, Barry Enright and the two Minor League signings, Jo-Jo Reyes and Billy Buckner.
“The likelihood of having five starters go post-to-post and not miss a day is unlikely; it doesn’t happen very often,” general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “So you want to have that depth.”
Whatever the Angels’ rotation lacks in prestige is made up for in numbers — as in the number of innings absorbed and the number of viable arms.
Heading into Wednesday night, the Angels had been without their best pitcher for nearly three weeks, had seen their No. 2 starter struggle uncharacteristically (by his standards) and had stomached a mystifying start from their No. 3 man.
And still their rotation had the lowest ERA in the American League.
The Angels have plenty of pitching depth on their big league roster. Enough so that they largely relied on it even while ace Jered Weaver missed time on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Now, after receiving six shutout innings from Weaver in his return, the Angels’ staff ERA sits at 3.51 — even with Dan Haren struggling through a 3.97 ERA and Ervin Santana sporting a 5.16 mark.
The No. 1 ERA in the AL: Weaver, at 2.40.
No. 2: C.J. Wilson, at 2.44.
Then there’s Garrett Richards, the young stud who has given up two earned runs in 21 innings and stayed on board after Jerome Williams was placed on the disabled list. And there’s Williams himself, who has pitched much better than his 4.45 mark would suggest, being one of the better No. 5 starters in baseball. When Williams returns (that’s unknown, but as scary as his shortness of breath on Monday night was, at least he’s not injured, per se), the Angels will have six capable starters, possibly all in the big leagues.
That’s big because the Angels have hardly nothing in the Minors. With David Pauley being claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays, and Brad Mills and Trevor Bell on the DL, the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees have had to use relievers like Juan Rincon in the rotation to fill the void.
It’s big because in this era, even the best clubs need big time help beyond their five starters to succeed. In fact, six of the last seven World Series champions needed at least 10 starts from six guys throughout the regular season, with the ’06 Cardinals (with Jason Isringhausen as their closer and Albert Pujols as their star) needing 13 from seven different pitchers. The only exception here was the ’09 Yankees, who went to a three-man staff in the playoffs and got through the regular season with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain as full-time starters. But even they needed at least six starts from four others.
Simply put, the cliche is true — you can never have too much quality starting pitching.
The Angels, at least, have a fair amount.
** From last night: Question of the Day, on Mark Trumbo or Mike Trout for Angels MVP.
The Angels designated right-hander Rich Thompson for assignment on Saturday, recalling soft-tossing lefty Brad Mills from Triple-A Salt Lake to take his place on the roster.
Thompson gave up four runs, and the lead, in the eighth inning at Target Field on Thursday. The Angels now have 10 days to place him on waivers, trade him or release him.
“Thanks to all the Angels fans; it’s been a pleasure,” Thompson wrote on his Twitter account. “Everyone has treated me with the utmost respect, and I appreciate you all.”
Acquired in exchange for catcher Jeff Mathis in December, Mills was up with the club on Friday in case Scott Downs (now listed as day-to-day with a right ankle contusion) had to go on the DL.
Mills had a nice spring, but has almost no experience as a reliever.
— Alden Gonzalez
The Angels are adding some pitching for Friday’s series opener against the Yankees.
Right-hander David Carpenter is expected to come up to replace utility man Alexi Amarista, who would be optioned to Triple-A. If Scott Downs (right ankle) lands on the disabled list (the likely scenario), left-hander Brad Mills would be taking his place on the active roster.
Both were on the bus en route to Yankee Stadium.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Carpenter, Michael Kohn (Tommy John surgery) would be transferred to the 60-day DL.
Carpenter, who relies on a sinker-slider combination, was drafted by the Angels in the ninth round in ’09 and spent the previous three years in their system, posting a 0.57 ERA in 44 appearances for high A and Double-A in 2011.
Mills, a soft-tossing southpaw who came over from the Blue Jays in exchange for Jeff Mathis, posted a 1.23 ERA in 14 2/3 innings for the Angels this spring.
The Reds aren’t going with the DH, as originally planned, so Kendrys Morales will instead have the day off. He said he’s feeling a bit fatigued and expects to be in the lineup on Thursday, at home against the Royals …
Others pitching: Kevin Jepsen, Jason Isringhausen
Some notes from this morning …
- These are two really big days for Isringhausen. “Pitch well or go home.”
- It’s pretty much a sure thing by now that Michael Kohn (forearm strain) and Bobby Cassevah (labrum tear) will be starting the season on the disabled list. Kohn won’t start throwing again for another week. Cassevah threw all his pitches in a 25-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and said he “felt normal,” so he hopes to be activated as early as possible — which would be April 11.
- Ervin Santana will pitch in a Minor League game on Thursday, instead of throwing against the Royals in Tempe.
- Mike Scioscia on Magic Johnson, who he would run into periodically during his playing days and is part of the group that won the bidding for the Dodgers: “He’s always been a huge baseball fan, and I’m sure it’s going to be a positive.”
- Jered Weaver felt good while hurling six shutout innings in a Triple-A game at Talking Stick on Wednesday. Felt it was his best outing yet.
- Scoiscia on Yu Darvish, who he’s seen video of: “Obviously he has a variety of pitches, has good angle and looks like his command is good. That’s why he’s had success in Japan, that’s why he was coveted to come over here.”
- The plan for Morales is to play on Thursday and Friday, then Sunday and Monday. He’ll then pinch-hit on Tuesday and Wednesday at Dodger Stadium (where there’s no DH), and Scioscia feels that will be enough to have him ready for Opening Day.
Some links from Tuesday …
- Howie Kendrick to benefit from Albert Pujols‘ presence
- Brad Mills encouraged by his spring with new team
- Injuries create opportunities in Halos’ bullpen
- Trumbo makes good on first slow roller
- Amarista drives in the winning run
Some AL West links …
- Rangers set to name starting rotation
- Dustin Ackley, Ichiro Suzuki unstoppable in Mariners’ Opening Day win in Japan (yes, Opening Day)
- Brandon McCarthy pitches well, but gets no-decision in loss
And the Heat are in need of an energy boost. Yeah, tell me about it.
Brad Mills had another solid outing and Alexi Amarista hit a three-run triple in the ninth to give the Angels the victory.
Peter Bourjos went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and two runs scored to put him at .318 this spring.
Mills gave up just two runs in six innings and now has a 1.23 ERA in 14 2/3 innings this spring.
Kevin Jepsen, who’s looking like he’ll nail down a bullpen spot, had a clean seventh inning.
Likely backup catcher Bobby Wilson went 2-for-3 with a couple of RBIs.
Bobby Abreu went 0-for-2 with a walk and is now at .095 this spring (4-for-42). Yeah, um, not good.
Vernon Wells went 0-for-4 to put him at .245 in Cactus League play.
A middle-aged woman in the stands, seated a few rows behind the Angels’ dugout, was hit in the face by the flying barrel of Jorge Cantu‘s bat. She was bleeding initially, but walked out consciously before being carted to a local hospital. More should be up on SFGiants.com.
Daily Albert Pujols update: 2-for-3 with a double, but was caught stealing; now at .333 this spring.
Mills on Jeff Mathis, the man he was traded for: “I know he was a former first-rounder and other pitchers say they love throwing him. I love catchers like that, too. If I was the manager of the team, I wouldn’t care what my catcher hit. If he hit .100, but caught a heck of a game, that works for me.”
Best play (that I saw)
Mark Trumbo snared a very hard-hit line drive to his right while playing even with the third-base bag.
Some notes from this morning …
- Bobby Cassevah (slight tear in labrum) still hasn’t been able to throw his bullpen session, and now it’s looking “doubtful” that he’ll start the season off in the big leagues, manager Mike Scioscia said. With Cassevah out, and Michael Kohn shut down for a bit while nursing a forearm injury, there are definitely spots to be won in that bullpen. A big key this week: How Jason Isringhausen looks. Isringhausen is throwing a bullpen today and then will pitch on back-to-back days.
- Jered Weaver, Mike Trout and Kendrys Morales will all be seeing playing time at the Rockies/D-backs complex while the Angels are playing the Giants.
- Scioscia, on this last full week of Spring Training: “This is an important week for us as a team, and some individual players in that room. In respecting that, we’re not going to miss any steps. The tendency would be to just get out there and go through it, but we’re still doing right-side defense, we’re still doing things that are going to important for us to win games and letting that process move forward with these guys tightening up any last things we need to this week, whether it’s pitcher-catcher relationship, whatever we need. You have to let that process play out and you can’t just miss a step.”
Some Angels links …
- Dan Haren used to flying under the radar
- AL West: Two heavyweights, two contenders
- Jerome Williams sharp in spring debut
- Infielder Andrew Romine sent down
- Trout, Cassevah resume throwing
- Morales’ hot streak continues in Angels’ loss
Some AL West links …
- Rangers’ plan for crowded outfield is uncertain
- Transformed Brandon McCarthy ready for opener
- Consumate pro, Felix Hernandez strives for more
And the Miami Heat are not looking good right now. They lost a second straight game by double digits to the Pacers on Monday.
Others pitching: Hisanori Takahashi, Jordan Walden. … Jerome Williams will make spring debut in AAA game at the Athletics’ facility in Phoenix. … There will also be a Minor League intrasquad game later tonight at Tempe Diablo.
Some notes from this morning …
- Mike Trout (shoulder tendinitis) was cleared by doctors to start throwing again. He lightly tossed this morning and will DH in a Minor League game, but is 10 days to two weeks away from playing the outfield.
- Bobby Cassevah (slight labrum tear) will throw a 30-minute bullpen session today and hopes to get in a sim game later in the week. He’s still hoping to avoid a DL stint to start the year.
- Michael Kohn, who had thrown five scoreless innings so far this spring, has some tenderness in his forearm and will be shut down for a couple of days.
- Monday was Brad Mills‘ day to throw, but he was pushed back a day, just for scheduling purposes. He’ll start against the Giants in Scottsdale, with Jered Weaver pitching in a Minor League game.
Some links from Sunday …
- Wells ready to live up to high expectations
- Pujols’ homers foreshadows AL West race
- Kendrys feels strong after three straight starts
- Trumbo comfortable while bouncing around
- Jason Isringhausenhits rough patch vs Rangers
- Pujols, Jorge Cantu go deep as Angels beat Rangers
Some AL West links …
- Yu Darvish increases pitch count in intrasquad game
- A’s see 2012 as beginning of steady rise
- Back home, Ichiro Suzuki‘s presence looms large
And the Heat lost a tough one to the Thunder on Sunday, in what can very well be an NBA Finals matchup — 103-87.