Results tagged ‘ Jerry DiPoto ’
Every article or blog post or tweet regarding the Angels’ offseason strategy — whether it’s the pursuit of starting pitcher or the scenario at third base or the situation regarding Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia — tends to be followed by a response very similar to this:
WHO CARES, JUST LOCK UP MIKE TROUT NOW!!!
It’s understandable, given the fact that Mike Trout is the unquestioned best player on the star-laden Angels and, at 22, may already be the best in all of baseball. The Angels, however, have not begun extension talks with Trout, sources confirmed, and were never expected to with arbitration still a full year away.
It’s all about the Competitive Balance Tax payroll.
Let me try to explain. There are two different types of payroll. There’s the actual team payroll, which is what the active players are making in that season. And then there’s the CBT payroll, which is the payroll Major League Baseball uses to tax teams that go over a certain threshold. For the Angels — and the Yankees, and all of the teams that spend big on their roster — the latter is the most important.
The CBT payroll is calculated as the average annual value of all player contracts on the 40-man roster, plus benefits.
So, for example: Albert Pujols is making $16 million in 2013, which counts towards the Angels’ payroll figure. With regards to the CBT, though, he’s making $24 million — the average annual value of the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed in December 2011.
How does this relate to Trout?
Well, let’s say the Angels sign him to a 10-year, $300 million deal (that’s just a number I’m throwing out, basically because it’s easy to divide — and perhaps because I’m thinking of Robinson Cano). Even if in that contract, Trout is making only $1 million in 2014, the figure for the CBT payroll would be the AAV of that: $30 million.
And by that point, you can forget about adding any pitching to the roster.
The CBT threshold — the number at which first-time offenders are charged a tax of 17.5 percent — is going up from $178 million to $189 million this offseason. That buys the Angels a little extra wiggle room, but they’re still awfully close to that figure. So close, in fact, that it’ll affect whether or not they extend the qualifying offer to Jason Vargas, a figure that’s close to $14 million and would allow the Angels to receive Draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. If Vargas takes it, they’d basically already be over the luxury-tax threshold.
Here’s what’s in the books for the Angels in 2014 (the first number is what the player will make that season and the second is the AAV that counts towards the CBT payroll) …
Albert Pujols: $23M, $24M
Vernon Wells (to the Yankees): $18.6M, $18.6M
Josh Hamilton: $17.4M, $25M
C.J. Wilson: $16.5M, $15.5M
Jered Weaver: $16.2M, $17M
Howie Kendrick: $9.7M, $8.375M
Erick Aybar: $8.75M, $8.75M
Joe Blanton: $7.5M, $7.5M
Chris Iannetta: $4.975M, $5.18M
Sean Burnett: $3.875M, $4M
That adds up to $126.5 million in payroll commitments, and just under $134 million for the CBT. But we’re not done. Not even close. There’s also the pending arbitration cases for eight players: Peter Bourjos, Ernesto Frieri, Juan Gutierrez, Tommy Hanson, Kevin Jepsen, Chris Nelson, Mark Trumbo and Jerome Williams.
A rough — very rough — estimate for what that would amount to: $25M (though Hanson, Williams, Nelson and Gutierrez are all non-tender candidates).
Then there’s the 25 or so other players on the 40-man roster that you have to pay (a little more than $500K each), and then there’s the benefits and bonuses for all of them, which is a rough estimate of $10M. And that puts the Angels pretty close to that $189M figure.
If you add a Trout extension, to a payroll in which Wells will be the second-highest-paid player, then they’ll have to shed payroll.
So, the logical question is: What’s the rush?
* thanks to Cot’s Contracts for providing all the info
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wouldn’t address his uncertain job status Thursday. And really, there isn’t much to say. He, like Mike Scioscia and basically everyone in the front office and coaching staff, is waiting on word from Arte Moreno on what will happen for 2014. For now, Dipoto will focus solely on what needs to be done in the offseason. A story is posted on Dipoto’s main focus: attaining cost-controlled starting pitching.
Here’s what else the second-year GM had to say in a 30-minute scrum with Angels beat writers.
On addressing third base …
“We’ll go out and look at what’s available there, whether it’s trades, secondary market, waiver wire, free agents. In an ideal world, we’ll come up with what we believe is a combination of players. I don’t think we’re going to find Brooks Robinson, but we’re going to go out and find a combination of players. Some of it might be on hand, some of it might be outside the organization that we have to go access it. But we’ll try to put together a good – I don’t want to call it a platoon, but a good timeshare at third base that works.”
On Grant Green being an answer at third base …
“I guess at the end of the day, there’s still a lot that has to be done in order to get Grant comfortable enough to play third base on a more regular basis. But as when we acquired Grant – Grant is vertatile enough … and at the very worst, we felt like what we got was an athletic guy whose got ability in the batter’s box and can get on base, who is versatile enough to move around the field.”
On Ernesto Frieri being the closer in 2014 …
“I don’t really think, ‘Who’s the ninth-inning guy?’ Ernie has been the ninth-inning guy for two years and has done a tremendous job. We’ll go out and try to add more depth. I feel like with Ernie, Dane De La Rosa, Michael Kohn, Kevin Jepsen, Sean Burnett, we have the makings of a good bullpen. … Who pitches the ninth inning is to the manager’s discretion.”
On whether Angels are doing a disservice by playing well down the stretch and not getting a higher Draft pick …
“The Draft is such an unpredictable animal. Whether you’re picking ninth, 13th, 17th, you’re going to have an opportunity to pick a good player. How many times do we [as executives throughout baseball] get the Draft right? It’s a very hard thing to do. It’s not a slam-dunk process.”
On how Peter Bourjos fits in next year …
“It depends on how he comes back from wrist surgery. He’ll have a two-month down period, rehab, have to see where he is in Spring Ttraining. Josh [Hamilton] has played very well for two months, [Mike] Trout is Trout, [Kole] Calhoun and J.B. Shuck are having good years, [Collin] Cowgill has played well. It’s an area where we are particularly deep. … Peter is definitely part of the mix. But when you have as much down time as he’s had … how much playing time he gets, where he fits in the mix, depends on how he returns from this injury and a lot of fractured playing time. It’s not easy to play with so many nagging injuries, small and major. We need to get a healthy Peter Bourjos out there and find out where he is.”
On whether he’d soften stance on zero-to-three service time players with Trout next year …
“That’s something we do internally in baseball operations. I’m not going to make that into a story. That’s something every team adheres to, to their own internal scale. We’ll leave it at that. Every team has their own scale and they operate accordingly.”
On long-term-extension talks with Trout …
“No comment. Obviously, we’d like him to be here long-term.”
The Angels are wrapping up a season in which they were never really in the playoff mix, about to make it four consecutive postseason absences despite back-to-back marquee signings, and the prevailing sentiment – in the media and within the organization – is that either Jerry Dipoto or Mike Scioscia will be dismissed by owner Arte Moreno when it’s all set and done. They haven’t worked well together, the team has disappointed, and you can’t have another season like this, on a team with a payroll this high, and not make organizational changes.
But would that really make the Angels better?
What if the perceivably impossible scenario took place?
What if they both did stay?
Replacing Scioscia means eating the roughly $27 million that’s owed to him over the course of a contract that runs through 2018, not to mention parting ways with one of the most accomplished and respected managers in all of baseball. Parting ways with Dipoto means starting all over again – for the second time in three years – with an entire front-office team, from scouts to execs, all over the country and in Latin America.
This is too important an offseason to be transitioning to a new front office, or assembling a new coaching staff, or structuring new organizational philosophies. This team needs to worry about its on-field roster, one that needs to get back into contention quickly because (A) the Angels can’t reload, (B) Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are only getting older – and more expensive – and (C) the farm system needs to keep cultivating.
The best course for the Angels may be to give Dipoto and Scioscia another chance to foster a productive working relationship and actually use their differing views for the betterment of the organization.
Dipoto loves new-aged statistics, Scioscia is of the old-school mentality. Dipoto doesn’t have the autonomy to decide on Scioscia’s employment, making it difficult to establish any authority, and Scioscia is used to being more heavily involved in baseball-operations decisions. They “get along to get along,” as one person said. The Mickey Hatcher dismissal put a significant strain on their relationship last year and they’ve bumped heads on several quandaries this season, from Ernesto Frieri‘s recent demotion to Garrett Richards‘ role to Grant Green‘s upside.
But their relationship isn’t considered to be so fractured that they can’t work together (though solidifying a hierarchy might be necessary). For what it’s worth, they’ve been said to be just fine lately.
That’s what winning can do.
“Winning changes everything,” one player said of outside speculation regarding Dipoto and Scioscia. “If we were winning, none of this would be going on.”
If Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas didn’t combine for 18 missed starts due to fluky injuries, or if Pujols weren’t limited to 99 games because of plantar fasciitis, or if Hamilton hadn’t struggled so mightily in his first season in Anaheim, the Angels would be much better off and the narrative would be completely different.
And that’s what we have to keep in mind in this situation.
Yes, Dipoto and Scioscia both shoulder plenty of blame for what has taken place in 2013.
Dipoto was unsuccessful at turning limited funds into necessary pitching depth, with Joe Blanton (2-14 with a 6.04 ERA), Tommy Hanson (5.66 ERA in 70 innings), Sean Burnett (limited to 13 games) and Ryan Madson (released after missing a second year post-Tommy John surgery) all flopping in 2013.
Scioscia’s teams have started slow each of the last two seasons – 27-38 in 2013, 18-25 in 2012 – and up until their recent, too-late run, had done little right. They’ve been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball (26th in Defensive Runs Saved), they’re tied with the Rangers for the most outs made on the bases and are 16th in the Majors in run-differential, despite winning 22 of their last 31 games.
But Dipoto is the savvy GM the organization wanted after parting ways with Tony Reagins two Octobers ago; one who would prioritize the farm system and is well-thought-of throughout baseball and isn’t afraid to express his own opinions. And simply put, the Angels aren’t really going to find a better, more respected field manager than Scioscia.
Would replacing one of them move this organization forward in 2014, or would it actually set them back — only to create the illusion of accountability?
That’s the question.
It’s an impossible question to answer because so many factors surround it, like what bullpen additions are made, or what’s done about third base, or how the bench is upgraded, or who the fifth starter becomes, or even how Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton fare.
But it’s pretty simple in a vacuum: Do you feel good about the Angels’ rotation if Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards and Jason Vargas are the four best members of it?
For the vast majority of you on Twitter, the answer was a pretty resounding yes.
Recent memory no doubt played a big factor in that, because we’re finally starting to see some consistency out of the Angels’ rotation now that Weaver and Vargas are a part of it at the same time. Since Aug. 15, Angels starters have posted the fourth-best ERA in the Majors at 3.35 — and that was before Jerome Williams pitched 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball against the Rays. Vargas (8-6, 3.80 ERA) has a 3.57 ERA in his last four starts despite giving up five runs in four innings to the Rays on Tuesday; Weaver (9-8, 3.33 ERA) has given up four runs in his last 21 innings; Wilson (14-6, 3.35 ERA) is 7-1 with a 2.67 ERA since the 30th of June; and Richards (5-6, 4.06 ERA) has a 3.21 ERA in eight starts since taking Joe Blanton‘s spot in the rotation.
Kind of makes you wonder how things would’ve gone if Vargas (blood clot) and Weaver (broken non-pitching elbow) hadn’t missed a combined 18 or so starts due to fluky injuries. How different is the dynamic of this season? Heck, how different is the narrative regarding Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto?
Regardless of what happens this offseason, the Angels will no doubt have non-tender decisions regarding Williams (slated to make about $3 million) and Tommy Hanson (roughly $4.5 million), and they may ponder whether or not to release Blanton (with $8.5 million remaining on his contract). But it’s one thing to try and acquire a fifth starter and additional depth, and it’s a whole other thing to try to acquire a mid-rotation starter that you truly feel comfortable sliding between Wilson and Vargas. Given the state of the Angels’ farm system, the dearth of starting pitching talent in free agency and the lack of payroll flexibility available for 2014 to begin with, it’s probably the difference between giving up a major offensive piece (Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, Howie Kendrick, what have you) and not having to do so.
Having said all that, my opinion — while borrowing a line from George Clooney in Ocean’s Eleven – is they need one more.
Weaver, Wilson, Vargas and Richards can be as good as anyone in the league if right, but …
- Weaver loses a bit off his fastball every year.
- Wilson flirts with danger a lot.
- Vargas’ 3.94 ERA since the start of 2010 ranks 61st.
- Richards is 25 and has been inconsistent in the past.
- Here are the top five starting-pitcher ERA teams in baseball, respectively: Dodgers, Reds, Pirates, Tigers, Cardinals. What do they all have in common? Yep, they’re probably all going to the playoffs.
The Angels tried this year to counter a patchwork rotation with what they thought would be a deeper bullpen and a crazy-good offense. Perhaps if everyone stays healthy and Hamilton hits like himself, it works out. But it’s a risky proposition; a lot riskier than making starting pitching priority 1, 2 and 3. I think they need to get back to that this winter, and I think they need to do whatever it takes to beef up their rotation, even if it means sacrificing a little offense.
(Oh, and it’s probably a good idea to point out that resigning Vargas is no slam dunk. Both sides are interesting in a return, but the Angels will have competition and don’t have the means — or desire, really — to overpay.)
@LAANGELSINSIDER: I think they would. Those 4 can got 7 solid most games. If the bullpen improves #Angels will be better overall.
@TurbosLady9493: Yes, if Richards can show a bit more consistency and less walks.
@memphiscds: Could live with it if we had young #5 and decent bullpen
@GareGare84: yes. At least they can hold the other team. Give our offense a chance to score.
@AJTheDon_: would’ve liked it alot more if that’s what it would’ve looked like at the start of the year
@Tanner_Shurtz: so much inconsistency for Richards, torn between 5th starter and RP… See what works out in ST
@SportsChicken: If they’re trying to compete for a championship, [heck] no. Otherwise, meh.
@JcHc3in1: I’d like to see them land a #2/#3 besides Vargas, or in addition to Vargas
@CJWoodling: Richards has Weaver-like elements in him. I could see him being as high as number 3 with a little work.
@DickMarshall: think Richards needs to start as #5. Need a solid (little risk- re: anti Hanson/Blanton) #3 or #4.
@OSBIEL: very satisfied. If they fix up the bullpen they should be fine w/ those four.
@anthony_mateos: yes. They give you a chance to win, that’s all you want.
@kwelch31: yes very. Plus a solid pitcher in a howie trade. That would work. Maybe hellikson or phil hughes.
@CDHartnett: he needs to be a 5th starter so he doesn’t have any pressure and can have a FULL season as a starter. No short leash.
@Brush_Ryan: perfectly happy with those 4 provided the add a legit #3 starter.
@pippin38: sign Garza or Kuroda and have Weaver Wilson Varges Garza/Kuroda Richards
@natetrop: In my opinion they need a solid #3 or top of the rotation arm to contend. Can’t have Richards as anything other than #5
@chrispower82: A decent 5th is still needed, but those 4 are a good start (and should’ve been our top 4 to start this year)
@CalderonEder: I’d say go after Kuroda or maybe find a trade partner for Trumbo for another legit starter
@AlexPVegas: If the Angels had the current rotation that they have now all year. We aren’t talking about the future.
The sentiment around the organization, as a couple of recent national reports have indicated, is that Angels owner Arte Moreno has a very intriguing decision on his hands: Will he dismiss general manager Jerry Dipoto, who hasn’t even had two full years on the job and comes with an entire front-office team; or will it be long-time manager Mike Scioscia, who’s signed through 2018?
It’ll be one or the other, it seems. The Angels aren’t winning, and Scioscia and Dipoto haven’t really meshed since Dipoto took the job in November 2011.
Prior to Saturday’s game, though, Scioscia downplayed reports about philosophical differences between the two. He admitted that he was upset at Dipoto for dismissing his hitting coach and good friend, Mickey Hatcher, last May, but said he’s moved on from that and emphasized that any disagreement that goes on between the two is a healthy one.
On his relationship with Dipoto: There’s no philosophical differences. Jerry and I are certainly, as far as our baseball philosophies, in line. The one thing that I publicly disagreed with Jerry about, and we’ve talked about it, too, is when he let Mickey go. And that’s been it. Everything else is just baseball talk. There’s a lot of chatter out there. But there’s no foundation to it. Our philosophies are right in line with anything that we’ve ever done here.
On whether they can continue to co-exist: Yeah. A manager and a GM, a manager and his coaching staff, a GM and his assistant GMs, you’re not going to agree on everything. That’s healthy. You have to have conversation. … You have to throw it on the table, see if it has merit, talk about it, peel the paint off it, and I feel that that’s happening. You’re not going to get a manager and a GM that are going to have the same evaluation on every single player, and the same exact thoughts on every situation. That’s just impossible. I think it’s a normal general manager-manager relationship. That’s it. It’s always been like that. How this chatter starts, it just happens.
On whether he’s moved on from Hatcher firing: Yeah. I know that’s the only thing publicly that I’ve talked about that has happened, and it is what it is. There’s a lot on our plate here last year, and there’s even more on our plate this year. And we have to work through it. As far as the team, not us personally.
The Angels begin a 10-day, three-city road trip under a dark cloud, and it has nothing to do with Seattle’s traditional overcast (it’s a beautiful day, actually). Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com tweeted that both Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia are not expected back next season; owner Arte Moreno is expected to fire one of them. And Scott Miller of CBSSports.com wrote about a near-fight between Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter last summer. Meanwhile, Mike Scioscia addressed the stress of this season and I asked him about more reports that his job is in jeopardy. Here’s what he said …
“You’re evaluated every day, not only in this position — in this game you’re evaluated. It doesn’t change anything that you can be about. You have to go out there and keep doing what you know is the right thing to do and move forward. That’s what we’re going to do.”
SP: RH Garrett Richards (3-5, 4.24 ERA)
SP: RH Felix Hernandez (12-6, 2.62 ERA)
- Trout, in case you hadn’t noticed, is in there. Scioscia told him that if he could run the bases, he could play. So he did, and he says he feels just fine. The Angels need him against King Felix. They’ve totaled four runs and hit .216/.300/.302 in the three games he missed against Cleveland.
- The Howie Kendrick news is not as bright. He has yet to be able to run full speed, and there’s no timetable yet for his return. He was expected to be back by now, but every time he does running drills, his sprained left knee gets sore.
- Cory Rasmus, acquired in exchange for Scott Downs, was called up today, with Billy Buckner getting DFA’d.
- Mariners skipper Eric Wedge is back with the team for the first time since suffering a stroke in July. “Great to see Eric back,” Scioscia said. “He’s a really good baseball man, and I know he loves managing. It’s scary when something like that happens.”
- In case you missed it yesterday, a look at where the Angels go from here.
The Angels went into the international signing period, which began on Tuesday, with a bonus pool just below $2 million. The thinking was that they’d do what they’ve done the last few years — hand out bonuses of a couple-hundred-thousand dollars and try to hit on as many guys as possible with their minimal allotment.
But then the opportunity to sign Ricardo Sanchez came along.
Sanchez is a 16-year-old left-handed pitcher, and the Angels consider him one of the top pitching prospects in the baseball-crazed nation of Venezuela. Tuesday afternoon, they signed him to a reported $580,000 bonus, which is more than they’ve handed out in a few years but less than what they were worried Sanchez would go for.
“If we were going to do something a little bit different, it had to be the right guy,” Angels international scouting director Carlos Gomez said. “It was probably a little bit more than we thought the biggest bonus was going to be this year, but he kind of fit all the things that we were looking to do.”
Sanchez is only 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, but his fastball can reach the low-90s and he has a good feel for his changeup and breaking ball, general manager Jerry Dipoto said. Others have compared him to Rays starter Alex Cobb.
“And I know the one thing we like more than anything is just his makeup — how he competes, the way he goes about his business,” Dipoto added.
Sanchez was most notably named MVP of last August’s Under-15 World Championships, pitching Venezuela to a win over Cuba in the title game. After the contract is officially approved by Major League Baseball, Sanchez will report to the Angels’ new academy in the Boca Chica area of the Dominican Republic, and Gomez believes he can soon go to the United States to pitch in the Arizona Summer League.
Sanchez isn’t ranked among MLB.com’s Top 30 international prospects, and Baseball America ranks lists him 27th. Gomez, who’s been following him for the last couple of years, believes he should be in the top 10.
“I will wear you out with what I think of Ricardo Sanchez, not only as a player but the human being himself,” Gomez said. “Phenomenal kid. Trainer’s phenomenal, fantastic family. It’s a nice face of the international world.”
Sanchez was added shortly after the First-Year Player Draft, which saw the Angels use their first selection (in the second round) on high school left-hander Hunter Green and take a pitcher with each of their first seven picks.
“It gives us something to look forward to in talent coming down the pike in terms of our pitching,” Dipoto said. “Nothing more than that. There’s no elaborate plan. We’re trying to add as much talent as we can to the system, and it just so happens that we’ve focused on pitching in the here and now.”
The GM’s response: “Mike has been a stud.”
That’s it. Nothing more. Not even an acknowledgement of the question, because the Angels plan to let more time pass before starting those discussions — to try and get some semblance of a price ceiling, and maybe to let some wounds heal with agent Craig Landis — and because it does him no good to update those pursuits through the media.
Besides, nothing more needs to be said.
“Mike has been a stud,” on the heels of a rookie season that’s impossible to top and with many wondering if he’d fall victim to that fictitious (?) sophomore slump.
Trout had a four-hit game in Thursday’s 3-1 win against the Tigers, his third of the season and the eighth of his career. Since the start of June, he leads the American League in hits (37) and is batting .363. His batting average got as low as .263 on May 2, and then he started hitting again, batting .346 (71-for-205) with 10 homers and 34 RBIs in a 51-game stretch.
Left field, center field; leadoff, the No. 2 spot — it hasn’t really mattered.
“The league has made adjustments to him, he’s made adjustments,” Dipoto said. “There are too many things to rail on that are impressive about Mike Trout’s time in the big leagues. He’s been a remarkable player. A very consistent one. We’re very fortunate to have him.”
Through 79 games, here’s a comparison of Trout’s numbers from 2012 and 2013 …
2012: .350 BA, .407 OBP, .594 SLG, 16 HR, 49 RBI, 31 SB, 70 SO, 31 BB
2013: .316 BA, .389 OBP, .548 SLG, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 19 SB, 62 SO, 39 BB
Slightly down, sure. But pretty darn close.
As Dipoto said, “Mike has been a stud.”
The Angels notched a season-high 14 runs, cranked out 16 hits and beat the first-place Tigers on Tuesday night. But one win can do very little to alter the harsh reality that still faces the Angels, at nine games below .500 and 10 1/2 games out of first place. Asked in a small media scrum on Wednesday about the most frustrating part of these first 12 weeks, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto couldn’t pinpoint one.
“It’s a compilation of events, truthfully,” he said. “We have not performed to our ability in a lot of different ways, and we have a half-season to turn it around. And whether that affects 2013, ’14 or beyond, we need to correct, or adjust, in the areas that we’ve struggled. And that goes for a lot of different elements of the game. It’s the way we’ve run the bases, it’s the way we’ve picked up the ball and thrown it over, it’s the way we’ve pitched the ball, it’s the way we’ve executed offensively and the inconsistencies. All those things. We have to get better at them.”
Here are some more notes from our conversation with the second-year GM …
- The non-waiver Trade Deadline looms. It’s still exactly five weeks away, but the Angels could seemingly take two very drastic paths. If they go on a long winning streak, maybe they’re “buyers.” If they continue to struggle, or even stay the course, perhaps they’re “sellers.” Dipoto, however, intimated that neither would be the case, saying: “I don’t see drastic paths. We have a roster of veteran players, most of whom are under club control, a very talented offensive club, pitching staff is evolving, some pending free agents, many others under club control. We’ll assess as we go.”
- More on the July 31 Deadline: “We are not a buyer, we are not a seller. We’re the Angels, who are sitting here trying to win a game today. Our sense of urgency has to be today, tomorrow and every day.”
- On whether at some point he needs to start thinking about 2014 and beyond, Dipoto said: “I’m always thinking about 2014 and 2015. There is no dramatic point in time, there is no single day. That’s how I think every day — how can we maximize our talent level today and for years to come?”
- On his confidence that Josh Hamilton (.214/.269/.382) can bounce back: “The back of his baseball card says there’s a pretty good chance that will happen, so my confidence level is really good.”
- Asked about extending Mike Trout to a long-term contract, Dipoto side-stepped, saying only: “Mike has been a stud.”
- On whether he expects Ryan Madson, still limited to throwing off flat ground, to be a contributor this season: “I have no idea. It’s rehab. He’s rehabbing from surgery. This is our exposure to Ryan Madson, three or four months of his rehabilitation. I don’t know I could bet on any one of the thousands of players who have had Tommy John surgery to come back with 100 percent certainty to look like how they did before or contribute. There is risk, for elements of upside. It remains to be seen whether well see that upside, but we are confident Ryan is working hard and doing the things he needs to do to maximize his changes of providing that for us.”
- On whether he’ll reassess signing players to big contracts in the future: “There’s risk involved in every deal you do. The additions that we’ve made, we’re glad we’ve made. We’ll have the opportunity over time to watch this play out. We’ve had a disappointing first half, no doubt about it. Everybody here is frustrated by the performance to date. Our challenge is now to move forward, and like I said, we have an awful lot of talent in that clubhouse. I’m not going to sit here and assess future offseasons. You don’t know what opportunities are going to be in front of you. At the time, you measure the risk and make the right decisions. There are no black and white answers in this game, or in life.”
- Jason Vargas‘ surgery to remove his blood clot was “successful.” He’ll be shut down from throwing for two weeks, as expected, and then will start building back arm strength thereafter.
- In other news, Howie Kendrick has his first day off of the season and Peter Bourjos is not in the lineup, still battling a swollen left thumb. Mike Scioscia expects him back on Wednesday.
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.