Results tagged ‘ Corey Hart ’

Ernesto Frieri and the long ball …

Ernesto FrieriIt’s early — early enough for sample sizes to be very, very deceiving — but Ernesto Frieri‘s home-run rate has more than tripled.

Nats shortstop Ian Desmond led off the ninth inning of a three-run Angels lead on Monday night with a homer to left center — a 462-foot bomb that was the second longest in Nationals Park history — that went for Frieri’s fourth home run allowed in 8 1/3 innings. His home-runs-per-nine-innings rate is now 4.32, after being a relatively high 1.32 from 2012-13 (the Major League average was 0.99 in that span).

But Angels manager Mike Scioscia sees a silver lining.

“I think it’s pretty clear with Ernie that the balls that have been hit out of the park have been mistakes,” Scioscia said. “It’s not like he’s making good pitches and they’re hitting home runs.”

The ball Desmond hit out on Monday was an 0-1 fastball that was supposed to be low and away but ran middle-in. The one Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak hit out on April 2 was an 0-2 fastball that wasn’t quite high enough. The one Corey Hart followed up with immediately thereafter was a 3-2, chest-high fastball — a pitch that was supposed to be low and away. And the one A’s catcher John Jaso crushed to win the game on April 14 was a 1-2 fastball that grooved right down the middle.

“If they’re hitting good pitches, and they’re hitting them out of the park, and it’s where you’re trying to go with pitches,” Scioscia said, “I think you have a lot more work to do than if it’s a matter of you making a few more mistakes than you used to and they haven’t missed them.”

Yes, Frieri (5.40 ERA, 2-for-3 in saves) has missed his location with all four of the homers. But they’ve all come on his go-to fastball, a pitch hitters were supposed to have a harder time squaring up now that he’s added a changeup and slider.

The lineups for the second of a three-game series …

Angels (9-10)

J.B. Shuck, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
David Freese, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Tyler Skaggs, SP

Nationals (11-9)

Denard Span, CF
Danny Espinosa, 2B
Jayson Werth, RF
Anthony Rendon, 3B
Ian Desmond, SS
Bryce Harper, LF
Tyler Moore, 1B
Sandy Leon, C
Taylor Jordan SP

Alden

How Angels’ ‘Big 3′ stacks up in 2013 …

Josh Hamilton

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. 

Alden 

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