Results tagged ‘ Indians ’
The Angels are on the verge of falling out of the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but it looks the organization will extend its streak of consecutive years drawing three million fans to the ballpark.
The announced attendance for Friday’s game against the Mariners was 39,469, putting Angel Stadium at 2,823,874 for the season with five home games remaining (two against the Mariners, three against the Athletics). That means the Angels would have to average more than 35,225 the rest of the way to reach 3,000,000 fans for an 11th straight season.
Their average for the season: 37,125 (eighth in the Majors).
The last time the Angels didn’t draw three million fans during their 81 home dates was 2002, when they won the World Series and elevated the interest level of baseball in Orange County. When you consider how difficult it is for playoff teams like the Rays, A’s and Indians to draw 20,000 a night, it’s pretty impressive that the Angels would reach three million fans when they’ve been out of the playoff mix for basically the entire year.
But that’s four straight years without a playoff gate, after back-to-back blockbuster offseasons. And keep in mind that the attendance figures are bloated because of the season tickets that were purchased before the start of the season (that’s why paid attendance and actual attendance doesn’t always seem to match up). Next year is when the Angels could really see a drop-off.
Here are the year-to-year averages during the three-million-fans-a-year streak, with the Major League rank in parenthesis …
2003: 37,791 (5th)
2004: 41,675 (3rd)
2005: 42,033 (4th)
2006: 42,059 (5th)
2007: 41,551 (5th)
2008: 41,194 (6th)
2009: 40,004 (5th)
2010: 40,133 (5th)
2011: 39,090 (5th)
2012: 37,799 (7th)
Mike Trout was out of the lineup for a second straight day on Tuesday because of a tight right hamstring that forced him to exit Sunday’s game in the sixth inning. Trout got treatment on Monday and said then that the hamstring was feeling “a lot better,” though he was still “a little sore.”
This is the third start Trout misses this year, including June 30 in Houston (when he was also nursing a sore right hamstring).
Trout is batting .333/.430/.574 in 122 games. If he doesn’t get a plate appearance in the second of a three-game series against the Indians, his 40-game on-base streak — the longest active streak in the Majors — will remain intact.
Here’s the full lineup …
J.B. Shuck, LF
Erick Aybar, SS
Josh Hamilton, DH
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Kole Calhoun, RF
Chris Nelson, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Grant Green, 2B
Peter Bourjos, CF
SP: LH C.. Wilson
UPDATE, 5 PM PT: Trout said the hamstring “feels a lot better than it was,” but said he doesn’t want to be out there thinking about it. Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t want him playing until he can run the bases, and Trout can’t do that yet. He’s hopeful of playing on Wednesday, but that’s also up in the air.
Some other pregame notes …
- Howie Kendrick is running, but hasn’t been able to run yet. Still no timetable of his return. He’s in baseball activities, but still has to be comfortable running before getting activated.
- Bourjos is hitless in 12 at-bats since returning from a fractured right wrist, but Scioscia said he doesn’t have any physical limitations. He’s just working to get his timing back.
- Asked about the rotation order coming out of the Thursday off day, Scioscia said he’s “going to make some adjustments.”
Michael Kohn appeared in his 52nd game of the season on Monday night, if you count the Minor Leagues. That’s 13 off his career high, with six weeks left to go in the season, for a guy who’s fresh off Tommy John surgery.
The Angels are mindful of that, of course. Which is why at some point, it’ll be time to pull back the reigns and give him more time between appearances.
Right now, though, they really can’t.
“After Sept. 1, we’re going to have more options to monitor some guys,” Mike Scioscia said. “Right now, there’s really no roster flexibility. We have [Mike] Trout who’s down; it’s tough to get another pitcher here. [Pitching coach Mike Butcher] is really diligent about just the day-to-day monitoring of these guys. There’s some guys, as we said, that are tired. As far as Michael Kohn coming off Tommy John, it is something we have given consideration to and will continue to give consideration.”
Kohn — who, if you’ll recall, had Tommy John surgery one day after Ryan Madson — is probably the Angels’ Comeback Player of the Year, with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 40 1/3 innings after a scoreless seventh in Monday’s 5-2 loss to the Indians. But he has a 7.20 ERA since July 5 and has been charged with six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings this month. Ten times this season, he’s appeared in back-to-back games. And three of those times, it’s been three in a row.
Scioscia said the Angels won’t completely shut Kohn down if he’s healthy, but they’ll “monitor him a little bit and see how it goes towards this last month of the season.”
The Angels need to preserve as many viable bullpen options as possible heading into 2014 — but Kohn is also in his first full season in the big leagues.
“He’s still developing,” Scioscia said of the 27-year-old right-hander. “The thing about Michael is he’s not the finished product. So, every day you go out there to prove yourself, you gain a little more experience. And you’re seeing him develop more of an off-speed pitch, like he used tonight that helped him. You’re seeing him move forward with some things. To artificially truncate that development doesn’t make sense, but it does make sense to monitor just where he is on his innings and appearances and try to contain that as much as you can.”
UPDATE, 4:55 PM PT: Trout said he’s feeling “a lot better” but the hamstring is still “a little sore.”
Trout did not get an MRI.
“I wanted to play, but I don’t need to push it. No grabbing today. It was grabbing a little bit yesterday, but today nothing.”
Not surprisingly, Angels outfielder Mike Trout was out of the Angels lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Indians, one day after exiting with tightness in his right hamstring.
Trout suffered the injury while legging out a double in the third inning of Sunday’s 7-5 loss to the Astros. He later scored on a single from Mark Trumbo, then flied out in the bottom of the fifth and was replaced by Kole Calhoun to start the sixth. Afterwards, Trout didn’t deem the injury serious.
“I just didn’t want it to get worse,” he said. “Didn’t want to push it too much.”
The only other time Trout missed a game this season was on June 30. That was also a tight right hamstring — and also against the Astros, in Houston — but Trout said Sunday that the two are unrelated.
Here’s the full lineup …
J.B. Shuck, DH
Erick Aybar, SS
Josh Hamilton, LF
Mark Trumbo, 1B
Hank Conger, C
Chris Nelson, 3B
Kole Calhoun, RF
Grant Green, 2B
Peter Bourjos, CF
SP: RH Jered Weaver
The Angels face Scott Kazmir today. Remember him? Well, you might not recognize him because he’s, well, good again. He has a 1.93 ERA in his last nine starts and has been more than the Indians could’ve expected after obtaining him on a Minor League deal this offseason. Kazmir went 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA in 2010, had a rough spring the following season, gave up five runs in 1 2/3 innings of his 2011 regular-season debut, was charged with 30 runs in 15 1/3 innings at Triple-A Salt Lake, got released and spent the summer of 2012 struggling through a stint of independent ball.
“It’s tough to see any player go through what Scott went through,” Mike Scioscia said. “You saw first-hand. It was really rough on him, and obviously disappointing for us. For a pitcher to really just re-discover himself and pitch as well as Scott did is really just a function of a lot of hard work and determination. And he’s found it. He’s throwing the ball really well. Not quite the way he did in Tampa, but better.”
SP: RH Jered Weaver (6-5, 2.90 ERA)
SP: Kazmir (7-4, 3.89 ERA)
- In case you missed it earlier, Albert Pujols‘ ex-trainer vehemently denied on-air allegations from Jack Clark that Pujols used steroids under his watch.
- Jason Vargas felt good in his rehab outing for Triple-A Salt Lake, even though he gave up four runs and surrendered three homers in Round Rock, Texas. The lefty feels like he can start in the big leagues in his next turn, which would come Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, but Scioscia will give it a day or two to see how he responds before making a final determination.
- Howie Kendrick‘s left knee sprain hasn’t progressed the way the Angels would’ve hoped, and it looks like he’ll be placed on the DL.
Howie Kendrick (becoming a regular on this blog) went 2-for-4, giving him a hit in all 15 of his starts and putting his Cactus League batting average at .511.
Mark Trumbo went 2-for-4 with a hard lineout and played the entire game on the field, as did Vernon Wells.
Albert Pujols laced a standup double in four plate appearances.
Tommy Hanson exited for the start of the fourth with a right triceps injury. Afterwards, though, he said there’s “zero” concern and he could’ve kept pitching. The only legitimate concern would be that he didn’t get to 75 pitches and has only two spring starts left, but Mike Scioscia says he’ll be ready to start the season if he gets 75 and then 90.
Sean Burnett relieved Hanson and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in a third of an inning.
Best play (that I saw)
Kendrick ranged way to his right to make a nice backhand stab of a hard grounder and get the speedy Michael Bourn out at first with an off-balance throw to start the third inning.
Hanson, half-joking when asked about his velocity (again): “You guys love talking about velocity. It’s unbelievable. But yeah, I feel good with my command. That’s what I can control is my command and what the pitches look like coming out of my hand. I can’t control the velocity. I work hard in the weight room, I run, I do everything I possibly can do. So I’m not going to worry about that. But I can worry about my command and where those pitches are going in the strike zone. And as of right now, I feel great with that.”
Through sporadic parts of the last seven years, Albert Pujols has played through plantar fasciitis on his left foot.
“It comes and goes,” Pujols said.
And recently, the Angels’ first baseman, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, has dealt with a flare-up. Plantar fasciitis is when the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes is strained, causing it to become weak, swollen and irritated, according to WebMD. That results in pain when walking or standing, which could be annoying for baseball players.
“It’s nothing that’s going to keep me out of the lineup,” Pujols said, “because I’ve played with it the whole season before.
Pujols says he’s been more aggressive treating plantar fasciitis this spring and is wearing orthotics for the first time. Another treatment is to just cut the ligament via surgery, but Pujols isn’t sure if he’ll have to do that.
The 33-year-old played first base in a game for the first time on Tuesday, is in the lineup as the designated hitter on Wednesday and may return to first base on Thursday.
Asked how his foot feels while playing, Pujols said: “Sore, but nothing really dramatic where I would say, ‘Man, I can’t play, this is too bad.’ Right now, I’m just concentrating on getting my knee strong. I can handle the plantar fasciitis.”
Some other notes …
* Bill Hall says his right quad has healed, but the left calf continues to keep him off the field, relegated to only treatment. Hall received a platelet-rich plasma injection on the calf a couple days ago, which made it feel better but forced him to give it time to heal. Hall hasn’t appeared in a game since Feb. 27, all but guaranteeing he won’t make the team out of Opening Day. The Angels owe him a $100,000 bonus if he isn’t on the active roster by March 26. One very real possibility is that they cut him, then resign him so he starts the season in Triple-A.
* Kevin Jepsen, who hasn’t appeared in a game since March 9 because of tightness in his right triceps, was slated to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and could return to game action two days later.
* The lineup against the Indians: Trout CF, Kendrick 2B, Pujols DH, Hamilton RF, Trumbo 1B, Callaspo 3B, Wells LF, Iannetta C, Harris SS; Hanson SP.
That’s right, one day after losing to the Royals, 17-11, in a game that included 33 hits, the Angels finished with a 0-0 tie after nine full innings in Goodyear on Monday. Heading in, Angels pitchers had a 7.63 spring ERA — more than a run a game higher than anyone else in baseball …
Jered Weaver continued to look good, this time while getting stretched out to four innings. He scattered three hits, walked two, struck out six and got several swings and misses on his changeup.
Jerome Williams escaped some trouble and hurled five scoreless innings, giving up five hits, walking one and striking out six. He needed that, after giving up six runs (five earned) and two homers in his previous four frames.
Howie Kendrick went 1-for-3 and has hit safely in each of his nine Spring Training starts. He’s batting .481.
Scott Kazmir hurled four shutout innings against his former team and has thrown eight scoreless frames this spring. His velocity is up to the low-90s, his delivery looks smooth and, though it’s early, he looks nothing like the guy who flamed out with the Angels.
“What he went through for a year and a half with us was absolutely just awful,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He felt that he tried everything and just couldn’t find it. If today’s any indication, he took a step forward.”
Alberto Callaspo went 0-for-3 and is batting .190.
Best play (that I saw)
With runners on the corners, one out and both teams scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, Scioscia brought in Tommy Field and went with a five-man infield. It worked. Ryan Raburn hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Luis Jimenez, leading to an out at home plate, and Cord Phelps grounded out to second to end the game.
Kazmir, on how he feels now compared to when he last pitched in the Angels organization: “Night-and-day difference. I’m just a completely different pitcher. I guess the velocity would be different by about 10 mph.”
The ideal chip for the Angels’ next, seemingly inevitable trade for a starting pitcher is Kendrys Morales.
It’s hard to deny that. Morales is coming into his final season before free agency and — given his representation (Scott Boras) and his desire to be more than a full-time DH — will leave after 2013.
Trading him now would give the Angels an outfield foursome of Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo (with Vernon Wells‘ contract probably still lingering). Trout, Bourjos and Trumbo are still in their pre-arbitration years and all four are under club control until at least 2016. Trout (probably left field), Bourjos (center) and Hamilton (right) would make up one of the game’s best outfields — offensively and defensively — and would give the Angels somewhat of a revolving door at DH. Trumbo would get the most reps there, but his versatility would allow Hamilton and Albert Pujols, who need to stay on the field to maximize their nine-figure contracts, can start there, too, when needed.
But what kind of starting pitcher can Morales bring back?
The Angels will seemingly be selling pretty high on the 29-year-old switch-hitter. He’s coming off his first healthy season since 2009, batting .273 with 22 homers, 73 RBIs and a .787 OPS. Morales, who missed almost two full seasons with a couple of ankle surgeries, even proved he can still handle first base. Then there’s the belief that he’ll be even better in 2013, with the motivation of an expiring contract and a full season under his belt. That’s a pretty good package for a guy who will make about $4 million next year, and teams desperate for power — particularly from the left side of the plate — would no doubt love to have him.
Still, though, his market is limited, because you’d be hard-pressed to find a National League club willing to gamble on him as their everyday first baseman and because we’re at a point in the offseason when most teams no longer have big holes to fill. Of course, the Angels would love to move Wells, but I can’t imagine them getting back any significant starter for him, even if they eat the vast majority of the $42 million owed to him the next two years. They’ll also keep listening on Bourjos and Trumbo, and may pull the trigger if blown away by a top-tier, cost-controlled starter. But as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote on Twitter recently, the priority is to deal Morales for an innings-eater.
Who can they get?
Here are three potential (and purely speculative) AL fits …
Rays: I know, it’s the first place everyone goes. But Tampa Bay always seems like an ideal match because they’re (still) rich in starters and could always use offense. Right now the Rays have James Loney at first base, with somewhat of a platoon at DH with the right-handed-hitting Ryan Roberts and the left-handed-hitting Sam Fuld. Morales would give them a big upgrade, and someone who can protect Evan Longoria. But he wouldn’t get the Angels Jeremy Hellickson or Matt Moore, or probably even Alex Cobb. Maybe Jeff Niemann, who’s under club control for two more years and would cost about $3 million in arbitration in 2013? The Rays did pick up some flexibility for the rotation by signing Roberto Hernandez on Tuesday.
Orioles: They still seek a middle-of-the-order bat, have a spot open at DH and seemingly have some pitching they can afford to part ways with. Righties Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman, and lefties Zach Britton and Brian Matusz are all young with upside, but with the exception of Tillman, they all struggled last year. Would the O’s be willing to part ways with the 24-year-old Tillman, one of few bright spots in an eclectic starting staff that ranked ninth in the AL in ERA last year? And given his past inconsistencies, can the Angels do better?
Indians: They’re trying to woo free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher, but could always use more offense, and Morales could split time at DH and first base with the right-handed-hitting Mark Reynolds. What about Justin Masterson, who had a rough 2012 season but has topped 200 innings the last two years and is signed for two more years? Well, he isn’t an ace, but he’s listed as Cleveland’s No. 1 pitcher, so they’d probably be very hesitant to give him up for K-Mo. Here’s another intriguing name: Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s been a shell of himself the last couple years, but he’s been relatively healthy, will make $5.75 million in 2013 and has an $8 million option for 2014. Perhaps working with his old catcher, Chris Iannetta, can get him back on track.
The important thing to ask yourself is whether any of these guys would be an upgrade over the 24-year-old Garrett Richards, who has yet to start a full season in the Majors but has a lot of upside. Adding another starter would likely push Richards to Triple-A, with Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton making up the rest of the staff, and Jerome Williams likely returning to the long-relief role. The Angels’ front office will have some important decisions to make before Spring Training (and perhaps they’ll linger beyond that). Do they hold onto Bourjos and Trumbo, keeping their position-player roster deep but not improving the rotation a whole lot? Or do they trade one of those two — or both, or more — to land the impact starter they could still use?
The kid went to Mr. Owl to find out how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. (Big mistake.) We’ll go with Mr. History with our own inquiry.
Us: Mr. History, how many wins will it take to get the second Wild Card in the American League?
History: Let’s see … one, a-two-hoo, a-three … 88.
88. Or, more precisely, 88.24. From 1995 (the first year divisional play was actually put into practice) and 2011 (the last year before the new playoff format), that’s the average number of wins by the American League team that would’ve claimed the second Wild Card spot under this new system.
For the Angels, now a season-best 14 games over .500 while at 77-63, that means a mere 11-11 record the rest of the way. Totally do-able. But, of course, it’s not so simple. Every year, it’s different. And this year, the Orioles, Athletics and Rays — with combined payrolls of just under $200 million — have all surprised and don’t show signs of slowing down. But the Rays (tied with the Angels for third place in the AL Wild Card race) are on pace for 88 wins, the Orioles (one-game lead on the Angels for the second AL Wild Card spot) are on pace for 89 and the Athletics (2 1/2 games ahead of the Angels for the first AL Wild Card spot) are on pace for 90.
So perhaps that figure isn’t very far off.
The most wins by the team that would’ve claimed the second AL Wild Card spot over the previous 17 years is 93. For the Angels, that would mean a much more difficult 16-6 finish over their last 22 games (4 vs. OAK, 3 at KCR, 3 vs. TEX, 3 vs. CWS, 3 vs. SEA, 3 at TEX, 3 at SEA).
Here’s a year-by-year look at the above-mentioned …
2011: 90 (Red Sox)
2010: 89 (Red Sox)
2009: 87 (Rangers)
2008: 89 (Yankees)
2007: 88 (Mariners/Tigers)
2006: 90 (White Sox)
2005: 93 (Indians)
2004: 91 (Athletics)
2003: 93 (Mariners)
2002: 93 (Red Sox/Mariners)
2001: 85 (Twins)
2000: 90 (Indians)
1999: 87 (Athletics)
1998: 88 (Blue Jays)
1997: 84 (Angels)
1996: 85 (Mariners/White Sox/Red Sox)
1995: 78 (Angels)
With their 3-2 win over the Tigers on Sunday, the Angels — thanks in large part to a rotation that’s finally living up to its billing — have won six in a row, 11 of their last 12 and 15 of their last 18, after starting the second half at 14-22. Next up, they’ll face an A’s team they recently swept but is coming off its own sweep of the Mariners.