Results tagged ‘ Kole Calhoun ’
Perhaps it’s too early for urgency. We are, in fact, just seven games into a 162-game season. But these are the Angels — the much-hyped Angels, with a $150-plus million payroll, tons of stars and the desire (necessity?) to get off to a much better start this year. As one player told me pregame, “We need an easy win today.”
SP: Tommy Milone (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
SP: Joe Blanton (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
- It doesn’t look good for Erick Aybar, who’s out of the lineup one day after exiting the game in the third inning with a left heel contusion. He’s in even more pain today than he was yesterday, and given his overall toughness, that isn’t a good sign. The Angels still haven’t received results of his examinations earlier today, so they’re still treating it as a day to day situation. But he appears headed for the DL.
- Mike Scioscia was asked about last night’s confusion, when he said Sean Burnett couldn’t go more than one inning because of a blister and Burnett said he could and the blister was already gone. The Angels’ skipper got pretty defensive, saying: “We’re totally on the same page. We are absolutely on the same page. I think he was talking about his performance and his pitching … Sean Burnett, part of what came up was he was used a lot in the first week of the season, he pitched a lot of baseball and not wanting to really repeat that I think there are some things you have to really be mindful of.”
- Ryan Madson felt good after his 30-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and will play catch with a softball, because it helps him get on top of the ball.
- Jered Weaver is off the sling and could be playing catch pretty soon. The timeline hasn’t changed, and he’ll still have to build back his length before returning, but it’s good for him to trigger the arm.
- Here’s what Scioscia said about using Harris over Andrew Romine: “Brendan, with his experience, is probably a little stronger in the batter’s box and he played good shortstop in the spring. [Andrew's] a terrific defender. With Milone actually he has that change-up so he is tough on righties, too. We feel good about Brendan, where he is, and he had a good game last night for us.”
- Pujols is at DH to give him a chance to regroup. It’s his third time in four games there.
- The Angels signed first baseman/outfielder Brad Hawpe to a Minor League deal. He’ll report to extended Spring Training in Tempe, Ariz., for four or five days, then head to Triple-A Salt Lake, providing coverage for Kole Calhoun (broken hamate bone).
- Bill Hall, resigned by the club, has already reported to extended spring. He’ll be there a little longer because he barely had a Spring Training while recovering from a quad and calf injury.
Plenty of story lines in the Angels’ fourth Cactus League game of the spring. Mike Trout debuted, Kendrys Morales faced his former team and Chad Cordero made his first appearance in a professional game since 2011.
That put Garrett Richards, making his spring debut, way in the background.
Richards worked two innings, giving up an unearned run on two hits while walking none and striking out one. The 24-year-old right-hander has been working with pitching coach Mike Butcher on keeping his posture straight as he drives towards home plate. Richards believes that has given him more control over his fastball, which will ultimately help him get ahead of hitters.
“Last year, I felt like I was a little bit herky jerky,” Richards said. “Now, I just feel like I’m free and easy. I’m throwing the ball about 80 percent and I don’t feel like I’m losing any velocity or any sharpness on my ball. I feel really good right now.”
Here are some quick hits on the Mariners’ (3-1) walk-off victory over the Angels (0-4), a game that saw each team notch 14 hits.
Trout, leading off and playing left field, singled on a chopper in his first 2013 plate appearance, then flied out to shortstop and drew a walk before exiting. So, he’s hitting .500 in the Cactus League — but I’m not really sure what his WAR is yet.
The first batter Cordero saw in the bottom of the third, Brendan Ryan, hit a solo homer to left-center field. But the 30-year-old — who racked up 113 saves for the Expos/Nats from 2005-07, had shoulder surgery in 2008, lost his 11-week-old daughter in 2010, left baseball in 2011 and is now trying to make a comeback in the Angels’ Minor League camp — retired the next three batters on flyouts. He sat between 89 and 91 mph, where he’s always been, and said he “felt like a rookie again.”
Hank Conger, catching while Chris Iannetta started at DH, hit the Angels’ first home run of the spring — a two-out, three-run shot to left-center field in the first inning — then hit an RBI double and added a two-out RBI single, giving him five RBIs. His throwing may still be a little inconsistent, but his bat may get him on the roster.
Luis Jimenez, ranked sixth in the Angels’ system, made two errors at third base. He dropped a fly ball in the first inning and had a liner bounce off his glove in the fifth.
Kole Calhoun had a couple of misplays at first base, bobbling a grounder before making the out and then having another one go through his legs. He won’t be counted on to play much first base, though. Mike Scioscia just wanted to get the lefty-hitting outfielder in the lineup today.
Mark Sappington (taking in the fifth round in 2012) and Matt Oye (in the Angels system the last four years) came over from Minor League camp and struggled, giving up a combined six runs on seven hits in the seventh and eighth. R.J. Alvarez (a third-rounder last year) suffered the loss after giving up a triple to Francisco Martinez and a walk-off single to Brian Moran in the bottom of the ninth.
Best play (that I saw)
In case you needed any reminders, Peter Bourjos is fast. After drawing his second walk, he moved from first to third — third! — on a wild pitch. He recalled doing that a couple times in the Minors.
Cordero (pictured top right) on Trout: “He’s like one giant muscle.”
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.
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
The Angels have made it clear — even though their roster configuration can do it for them — that pitching is priority Nos. 1, 2 and 3 this offseason. It has to be with only Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson returning from the 2012 rotation and with a bullpen that blew 22 saves this past season.
That’s why the Angels never had a chance with Torii Hunter, even though the veteran outfielder was willing to give them a hometown discount. On Wednesday morning, Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million deal with the Tigers, choosing not to wait on the Angels because they continue to scrounge for pitching (most likely via the free-agent market) and couldn’t offer more than a one-year, $5 million contract to a 37-year-old coming off a career year.
Question is: Are the Angels done with the position-player half of their roster?
It’s still early, and a lot can happen, but at the very least, it looks like they very well can be.
“It’s so early in the offseason that it’s impossible to say, but the reality is we are focused on pitching,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “Right now, our primary focus is on pitching and we’re very comfortable with the position-player club that we have.”
Here are the 13 position players I’d have slated to join the active roster if the season started today …
OF: Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, Vernon Wells, Kole Calhoun
INF: Alberto Callaspo, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Albert Pujols, Andrew Romine
C: Chris Iannetta, Hank Conger
DH: Kendrys Morales
And as @GBenn823 asked via Twitter, here’s how I would do the lineup …
* Wells can start at DH (or perhaps right field) against a lefty, which were the days Morales sat in 2012.
The Angels would probably still deal Wells if they can find someone to kick in a little money on the $42 million owed to him the next two years, and they may look to shore other areas up to create more competition in camp. But their attention is turned almost solely to pitching, most notably Zack Greinke.
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.
Angels are going for their 11th straight road win tonight, which would tie a franchise record set in 1988. A win would also give a series win in 12 of their last 13 Interleague Series and would move them to 47-27 against the Dodgers since Mike Scioscia (who will be ironically honored with his own bobblehead on Tuesday) took over as their manager.
Some pregame notes …
- In need of length after their bullpen accounted for 11 innings in their previous three games, the Angels selected the contract of RHP David Pauley. Kole Calhoun was optioned to open a spot on the active roster and Vernon Wells (thumb surgery) was transferred to the 60-day DL to create room on the 40-man.
- Jered Weaver threw an aggressive, 55-pitch bullpen on Tuesday and felt good. Next up is likely a sim game on Friday, setting him up for a return at some point next week.
- Bobby Wilson (concussion) will play in a rehab game for Class A Inland Empire on Wednesday and expects to be activated Friday.
- Ryan Langerhans (separated right shoulder) has been throwing and hitting in the cage. He’ll hit on the field Friday and Saturday and should return (to the Minors) shortly after that.
- Tuesday marks the second time Morales plays 1B and Pujols is at 3B this season.
Some Angels.com links …
- Trout’s star rises in Hollywood
- Notebook, on Weaver, Scioscia’s bobblehead and Santana’s struggles
- Abreu holds no grudge against Angels
- Trout, Torii named co-Players of the Week
Some AL West links …
- Rangers’ Alexi Ogando goes on DL with groin strain
- Kevin Millwood‘s Thursday start is in doubt
- Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick in need of ASG votes
And LeBron James gets his chance for redemption tonight.
The Angels selected the contract of relief pitcher David Pauley on Tuesday, optioning outfielder Kole Calhoun back to Triple-A to create room on the 25-man roster and transferring outfielder Vernon Wells (thumb surgery) to the 60-day disabled list to open a spot on the 40-man.
Pauley, signed to a Minor League contract in Spring Training, was charged with five earned runs in 9 1/3 innings through four relief appearances with the Angels this season, before being designated for assignment, clearing waivers and being outrighted back to the Minors in late May. Pauley’s callup gives the Angels eight relievers, after their bullpen has had to account for 11 innings over the last three games.
Calhoun, a 24-year-old left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield spots, went 3-for-12 and appeared in eight games during his first big league callup.
Pitching: LH Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.53 ERA)
Pitching: RH Dan Haren (2-5, 3.76 ERA)
Some postgame notes …
- So, Jered Weaver will be going on the disabled list with a lower back strain. My guess is he misses a little less than a month, but just a guess at this point. Garrett Richards is up. He’ll be available out of the bullpen these last couple of games. With the off day, the earliest he’ll pitch is Sunday (though Haren may be available for that) and the latest he’ll pitch is Tuesday (since Jerome Williams would be required to go on three days’ rest by that point).
- Hunter, as evidenced by the starting lineup, was activated from the restricted list, with infielder Andrew Romine being sent back down to Triple-A Salt Lake. Mike Scioscia obviously feels comfortable that Hunter is ready to go.
- As for how the outfield situation will play out moving forward? Scioscia said it’ll fluctuate, but I’m thinking the most common lineup you’ll see will have Hunter in right, Trout in center and Trumbo in left, with Bourjos and Kole Calhoun backing up.
- Kendrys Morales (5-for-9 with a homer and five RBIs the last couple games) is fine; just sitting because there’s a lefty starting. Scioscia said he’ll be back out there on Wednesday.
Some Angels links from Memorial Day …
- Trumbo, Angels walk off for seventh straight win
- Notebook, on Weaver leaving his start early, Hunter returning, Memorial Day festivities and some injury updates
- Halos, Haren try to make it eight straight
Some AL West links …
- The Rangers have signed Roy Oswalt (might he have been an option for the Angels if they hadn’t?)
- The A’s are taking their time with Manny Ramirez
- The Mariners are weighing their options with Ichiro Suzuki
And the Heat pulled out Game 1 of the ECF’s against the Celtics, in a game they really had control of for most of the night.
Oh, and don’t forget to follow Penn State grad and new MLB.com associate reporter Joe McIntyre on Twitter. He’ll be helping me out this summer.
It’s only a three-game winning streak, and they’re still 6 1/2 games back in the AL West, but the baseball world is suddenly talking about an Angels resurgence and wondering if they’ll make the playoffs. That was our Question of the Day on MLB.com, and it was a topic grazed by the folks at ESPN plenty today …
Pitching: RH Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.22 ERA)
Pitcing: RH Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.46 ERA)
Some pregame notes …
- Still no exact return date for Torii Hunter. My prediction is that he comes back at some point in the Monday-Wednesday Yankees series, but call that an educated guess.
- LaTroy Hawkins (pinkie) threw off a mound for the first time today. Mike Scioscia isn’t sure if he’ll need to go on a rehab assignment once he’s ready.
- Scioscia, on Pujols: “I think he feels a little more comfortable about how he feels in the batter’s box. Hopefully that’s going to lead to some of the things we saw last night. I like the way he’s playing baseball. Just a little thing like the stolen base or the way he’s playing defense. I think he’s getting more involved in that end of it, and hopefully he’ll just getting into that groove on the field.”
- Angels pitchers have allowed just one run in their last 33 innings. The starting staff hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in nine of its last 10 game; over their last seven games, the staff has a 1.80 ERA. The bullpen’s ERA over the last 10 games: 0.89.
- Ernesto Frieri‘s 19 strikeouts in his first 8 2/3 innings with the Angels sets a new team record. Jordan Walden and Frankie Rodriguez each had 17 in that span, but Frankie gave up six hits and Walden gave up seven. Frieri hasn’t given up any.
- Since his call-up on April 28, Trout ranks in the Top 5 among Major League rookies in batting average (.312; 2nd), runs (17; T-1st), doubles (6; T-4th), homers (4; T-3rd), RBI (12; 3rd), OBP (.377; 2nd) and slugging (.527; 2nd).
- Outfielder Nate McLouth was DFA’d by the Pirates today, but I’m told there isn’t any real interest on the Angels end.
- Reliever David Pauley cleared waivers and has been reassigned to Triple-A Salt Lake.
Angels links from Thursday …
- Milestone night in 3rd straight win, as Pujols hits No. 450 and Dan Haren gets K No. 1,500
- Notebook, on the functionality of the back end of the ‘pen, Trout’s return to Safeco & Andrew Romine‘s return
- Haren makes Angels history
- Is Pujols finally ‘locked in’?
- Class A player hits for cycle
- Preview, on Santana-Beavan matchup
Some AL West links …
- Rangers Inbox, on Feliz’s status and other stuff
- Brandon Inge hoping for a Monday return
- Blasphemy! Dustin Ackley not playing on his bobblehead night (perhaps he should console with Bourjos)
And, thanks to another dominant performance by their dynamic duo, the Heat have advanced to the ECF’s.