Results tagged ‘ Efren Navarro ’
The Angels are playing good baseball, with 17 wins in their last 23 games and 11 victories in their last 17 road contests. But the first-place A’s are rolling, too. They just swept the Rangers in Texas, expanding their AL West lead to 6 1/2 games, and have won eight of their last nine. Today, they got Yoenis Cespedes and Jarrod Parker back after both were scratched on Sunday. Just the Angels’ luck …
SP: LH C.J. Wilson (16-6, 3.44 ERA)
SP: RH Parker (11-6, 3.55 ERA)
- Now that the Minor League playoffs are over, the Angels were finally able to make their call-ups. Right-handers Tommy Hanson, Matt Shoemaker and Robert Coello have joined the pitching staff, with infielder Tommy Field and first baseman Efren Navarro also coming up. Surprisingly, no lefty relievers. To make room on the 40-man roster for Navarro and Shoemaker, Peter Bourjos (wrist) and Kevin Jepsen (appendicitis) were transferred to the 60-day DL.
- No decision yet on what Hanson’s role will essentially be. I’d think the Angels would like to at least get one more look at him as a starting pitcher, considering the tender decision they face with him in December, but the five starters in their rotation are pitching well and Mike Scioscia said he hasn’t really seen him put it together in Triple-A the way he did when he came off the DL on July 23, when his fastball was reaching the mid-90s. That, however, may be an unrealistic expectation.
- Coello, who hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since June 9, said his shoulder is fine now after battling some inflammation. He got a cortisone shot in the shoulder and a PRP shot in the elbow and is looking to finish strong.
- Ernesto Frieri is “most likely not available” after his six-out save against the Astros on Sunday.
- Chris Iannetta won American League Player of the Week honors, then moved to the bench. Scioscia liked Conger’s lefty bat vs. Parker.
- Jered Weaver was named the Angels nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
As part of winning the Player’s Choice Award for the American League’s Outstanding Rookie, the Major League Baseball Players Association offered to reward $20,000 to a foundation of his choice. Trout chose the Millville High School baseball program, where he starred as a Thunderbolt before being the Angels’ first-round pick in 2009.
Millville baseball coach Roy Hallenbeck said he’s going to “try to make it stretch as long as we can,” but the team has already purchased new gray uniforms and alternate tops, and on Friday, they finished sodding the field in anticipation for the start of practice in March.
Don’t worry, there’s more coming.
In January, BODYARMOR SuperDrink, the company that signed Trout to its first major endorsement deal, decided to get involved, too.
“Mike was on board from the beginning,” Hallenbeck said, “and every time I talk to those guys [at BODYARMOR], they say he brings it up all the time. He’s really excited about that project working out and helping us out.”
BODYARMOR hasn’t said exactly how much they plan to contribute, but their involvement — which could include sprucing up the press box, adding a big net behind home plate, providing “L” screens and, most importantly, renovating the batting cages — was recently approved by the board of education.
By the end of March, Hallenbeck believes, everything will be finished.
And by early June, the field will be rededicated to bear Trout’s name.
“There’s no major construction differences,” Hallenbeck said, “but it’s just going to be adding a lot of really nice bells and whistles to what we already have.”
With Cactus League games starting on Saturday, here are some notes to get you caught up on the first 11 days of camp …
- Ryan Madson had a setback after a Feb. 1 bullpen session and is taking it slow. He won’t be ready by Opening Day and there’s a chance he won’t pitch in any Spring Training games in March, but the Angels are hopeful they’ll have him at some point in the early portion of the season.
- Albert Pujols is still working his way back from arthroscopic right knee surgery. Don’t expect him to appear in games until mid-March.
- The early start of camp has prompted Angels manager Mike Scioscia to change things up a bit, with no intrasquad games, very little live batting practice and plenty of rest for the regulars. The starting pitchers won’t start until March 1, which makes it even harder to find bodies for the split-squad opener. The elimination of the third-to-first move has also forced Scioscia to tinker.
- Josh Hamilton came in lighter than normal, maintaining his end-of-season weight of 225 thanks to a healthier diet. Trout did the opposite.
- Hamilton can expect to hear loud boos when he returns to Texas on April 5, thanks to some comments he made on TV.
- Here’s what we know about the lineup: Trout will lead off, Pujols will bat third, Hamilton will bat fourth and Trumbo — at least at the start — will bat fifth. It may be a revolving door between Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar in the No. 2 spot, with Chris Iannetta and Peter Bourjos hitting lower in the lineup.
- Scioscia doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to fully commit to Bourjos as his starting center fielder, continuing to leave the door open for Vernon Wells to get some playing time in left field, which would move Trout to center. But some of that may be the Angels’ skipper trying to be sensitive to Wells’ situation. Scioscia has also said Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams are fighting for spots in the rotation, even though the five are already set.
- The Angels have two big lingering free agents in Jason Vargas and Scott Downs.
- Ernesto Frieri is trying to add a cutter, and thinks it can do wonders.
- Sean Burnett is dealing with a back ailment, but it isn’t expected to hinder him much. Michael Kohn is looking great after Tommy John surgery. Veteran relievers Tony Pena (setback after Tommy John) and Mitch Stetter (bulging disk) are working themselves back slowly, currently throwing off flat ground. First base prospect C.J. Cron (shoulder surgery) is doing everything but throwing and is targeting Opening Day, in Double-A.
- Kendrick and C.J. Wilson don’t expect to be hindered by offseason elbow surgery.
- Two reclamation projects are currently working out in Minor League camp — former Nationals closer Chad Cordero and former A’s first-round pick Ben Fritz.
- Aybar (Dominican Republic), reliever Fernando Cabrera (Puerto Rico) and first baseman Efren Navarro (Mexico) will leave camp early to take part in the World Baseball Classic.
- The Angels have a new partnership with Ticketmaster. Individual tickets go on sale tomorrow.
- In case you missed them, here are stories on Trout, Pujols, Wells, Bourjos, Jered Weaver, the new rotation trio, The Big Three, Trumbo, Hamilton, Omar Vizquel, Chris Iannetta, Hank Conger, Scott Cousins, Bill Hall, Randal Grichuk, Kaleb Cowart, Kole Calhoun, Bobby Cassevah, Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Travis Witherspoon.
- For a breakdown of the Angels’ Spring Training roster, click here. … For the videos we’ve put together, click here. … For photos, click here.
The Angels announced 21 non-roster invitees who will be joining those on the 40-man roster in Spring Training. Here’s a look at who’s coming to camp …
Pitchers: Billy Buckner, Kevin Johnson, Tony Pena, Jo-Jo Reyes, A.J. Schugel, Mitch Stetter
Catchers: Jett Bandy, Luke Carlin, Carlos Ramirez, Zach Wright
Infielders: Kaleb Cowart, Brendan Harris, Taylor Lindsey, Efren Navarro, Luis Rodriguez, Eric Stamets, Alex Yarbrough
Outfielders: Randal Grichuk, Trent Oeltjen, J.B. Shuck, Matt Young
* Note that veteran reliever Fernando Cabrera will also be in big league camp when his contract his official.
Here’s the 40-man roster, in case you’re wondering who else is joining them.
Pitchers report Feb. 11, position players report Feb. 14.
Winter ball, at least the less-celebrated part, will soon come to an end. The schedule in the Dominican Republic ends Dec. 21, with Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela wrapping up on the 30th. Then, in early February, the champion from each nation plays in the ever-popular Caribbean Series, which will take place in Hermosillo, Mexico, in 2013 (and yours truly will attend).
Here’s a look at how some notable Angels players have fared in winter ball …
MLB SS Erick Aybar: .286 BA (14-for-49), 5 RBI
MLB OF Kole Calhoun: .236 BA (17-for-72), 3 HR, 13 RBI — finished 11/17
AAA 1B Efren Navarro: .185 BA (17-for-92), 1 HR, 15 RBI
AAA 3B Luis Jimenez: .248 BA (27-for-109), 1 HR, 12 RBI
OF Trent Oeltjen (signed to Minors deal): .227 BA (10-for-44), 1 HR, 3 RBI — finished 10/27
AAA RP Ryan Brasier: 2.45 ERA, 12 SV, 27 SO, 8 BB, 25 2/3 IP — finished 12/5
INF Luis Rodriguez (signed to Minors deal): .273 BA (42-for-154), 1 HR, 18 RBI
RP Brandon Sisk (acquired for Ervin Santana): 3 ER, 2 2/3 IP, 3 G — finished 10/18
AAA SP Matt Shoemaker: 1-2, 3.21 ERA, 7 GS, 25 SO, 8 BB, 33 2/3 IP — finished 11/17
By 8:59 p.m. PT today, teams must set their 40-man rosters in anticipation for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. This is when teams choose whether or not to “protect” their eligible players from being taken in that Draft, which takes place at the end of each year’s Winter Meetings (this one being Dec. 6, in Nashville, Tenn.).
For those unfamiliar with the process, here’s a quick primer …
Players who signed after age 18 and have been in the Minors for four years, or players who signed at 18 or younger and have been in the Minors for five years, are eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft if not on the 40-man roster. Now, it’s very rare that teams will find success through the Rule 5 Draft (Josh Hamilton, Johan Santana and Dan Uggla are among very few success stories) because, frankly, there’s a reason players are left exposed despite being in a system so long. Any player taken in the Rule 5 Draft costs $50,000. That player, then, must remain on the drafting team’s active Major League roster during the following season or be offered back to the original club for $25,000.
The Angels’ 40-man roster is currently at 31, so there’s some wiggle room (though the Angels must keep space for all the pitching they want to acquire this offseason). Also, an important side note: Any player who signs a Minor League deal before the Rule 5 Draft can be taken, regardless of his service time. That means each of the players the Angels signed this offseason are eligible if left off. As for guys who have been in their system for a while? Here are some names to watch …
* Travis Witherspoon, a 23-year-old center fielder who hit .268 with a .350 on-base percentage, 13 homers and 34 RBIs in high A and Double-A this season.
* Carlos Ramirez, 24, who posted a .205/.312/.276 slash line in 85 Double-A games. Ramirez, like Witherspoon, played in the Arizona Fall League.
* Orangel Arenas, a 23-year-old right-hander who went 5-11 with a 5.26 ERA in 27 games (24 starts) in Double-A.
* Matt Shoemaker, who’s 26 and went 11-10 with a 5.65 ERA in 29 Triple-A starts.
* Ryan Brasier, a 25-year-old right-handed reliever who posted a 4.37 ERA and 13 saves in 59 2/3 Triple-A innings.
* Efren Navarro, a 26-year-old lefty-hitting first baseman who won a Minor League Gold Glove in 2011 and posted a .294/.336/.403 slash line in Triple-A.
* Matt Long, a 25-year-old lefty-hitting outfielder who posted a .282/.350/.462 slash line with 23 steals in Double-A and Triple-A.
* Jeremy Berg, 26, posted a 3.75 ERA in 74 1/3 innings at Double-A and Triple-A.
For now, center fielder Peter Bourjos will not be playing Winter Ball. He was planning on getting some reps for a Dominican team in December, but that fell through. Below are those in the Angels organization who currently are playing. The league in the Dominican Republic runs until Dec. 21, while the ones in Venezuela and Mexico go until Dec. 30. The Caribbean Series — pinning the league champs in the Dominican, Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico — gets going in early February …
AAA RP Ryan Brasier (Mexico)
AAA OF Kole Calhoun (Dominican Republic)
AAA 1B Efren Navarrro (Dominican Republic)
AAA SP Matt Shoemaker (Venezuela)
A+ RP Baudilio Lopez (Venezuela)
RK SP Jairo Diaz (Venezuela)
DOSL RP Alexis Campos (Venezuela)
DOSL C Gabriel Santana (Venezuela)
DOSL OF Luis Tovar (Venezuela)
For updates on the Arizona Fall League and Caribbean Leagues, click here.
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.
Mark Trumbo (right foot) finally made his way onto the Angels’ lineup on Wednesday, but he won’t hit because he hasn’t run the bases yet. That’s why he’s in the No. 9 spot. (And the way the Angels’ starting lineup has hit in those first two games, he may only play one inning.)
Here’s the rest of the lineups ..
Erick Aybar, SS
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Bobby Abreu, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Chris Iannetta, C
Peter Bourjos, CF
Hank Conger, DH
Efren Navarro, 1B
SP: RH Jered Weaver (others: Loek Van Mil, Matt Shoemaker, Jordan Walden, Francisco Rodriguez)
Some notes from the morning …
- Trumbo will run the bases after his game, and manager Mike Scioscia said it shouldn’t take more than three or four more days until he’s in full swing. “I think definitely by the weekend he’s going to be able to hit in games,” Scioscia said.
- Mike Trout caught the bug that’s been floating around the Angels clubhouse, and it could be a week until he makes his Cactus League debut.
- LaTroy Hawkins is scheduled to pitch in a game later this week, and Jason Isringhausen isn’t too far away from that.
- Scioscia on the Angels drawing 14 walks: “Early in camp, I’m really surprised at how well our guys are seeing the ball. And when that meets a guy who’s a little erratic, that forces some walks and I think that’s what we’re seeing.”
- Jeremy Moore came into camp with a little tightness in his hip, but he’s been cleared to start running and should run the bases soon. “Hopefully we’ll see Jeremy here in a short amount of time,” Scioscia said.
And some links from Tuesday …
- Strikeouts are cool. But getting hitters to roll over in the Majors is a lot cooler than striking them out in the Minors. Garrett Richards learned that.
- Angels score early once again.
- Jorge Cantu determined to show what he can do.
- Trumbo’s two major hurdles in his third base transition: slow rollers and balls hit to his left.
- Jordan Walden wants fans to suggest some entrance music.
- After back-to-back losses, Chris Bosh returned and the Heat scorched the Nets. But Dwyane Wade tweaked his ankle.
Efren Navarro, American-born but of Mexican descent, wanted to hone his craft in the winter leagues this offseason. But he couldn’t get into a Mexican team, so instead, he spent 1 1/2 months playing in the Dominican Republic.
“It was definitely a learning experience,” Navarro said. “The fans. They’re rowdy. The food out there, too, was a little different. It was different. It was good. I actually liked the food out there, the chicken and rice.
Navarro, 25, got his first taste of the big leagues last season via an eight-game stint with the Angels. He kind of had a breakout year in the Minors, batting .317 with 12 homers and 73 RBIs while winning a Gold Glove for Triple-A Salt Lake, but he’s got very little hope trying to crack a roster that has Albert Pujols, Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo as first basemen.
That aside, Navarro is just focusing on getting better and letting the chips fall where they may. That included a 27-game stint with the Aguilas, for whom he batted .227 with four homers and 13 RBIs. In the Dominican, Navarro got his first taste of Dominican food (“We ate that, like, every day,” he said), went to a local Chili’s and TGI Friday’s when he wanted American food (yep, they had those there) and was put up in a pretty nice hotel. All good.
“When I did a couple interviews out there, they were like, ‘We’re here with the Cuban Efren Navarro,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, no, I’m Mexican,’” Navarro said. “I actually had a couple of interviews like that — ‘We’re here with the Puerto Rican Efren Navarro.’ ‘Panamanian.’”
Some notes from Wednesday …
- Manager Mike Scioscia has quite the juggling act this spring, with the situations of Trumbo, Morales, Bobby Abreu, Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis all uncertain. How does he plan to juggle it?
- Trumbo was medically cleared for full-on baseball activities.
- More good news: Morales’ progress has been good so far.
- Being a No. 2 hitter should be a pretty sweet gig on the Angels this year. Could the beneficiary be Howie Kendrick?
- Hank Conger quickly learned from Bengie Molina, the veteran catcher who was a guest instructor in Angels camp. Molina taught him Tuesday how to quietly shift his body for certain pitches so hitters don’t notice.
- Jorge Cantu‘s Minor League contract includes a May 1 opt-out.
- I’m doing a live Angels chat on MLB.com at noon MT tomorrow. Stop on by if you get a chance.
- And the Heat open up the unofficial second half against the Trailblazers on TNT.