Results tagged ‘ Miami Heat ’

Pujols: “I can play 1B if I want to every day”

Albert Pujols started his seventh consecutive game at designated hitter on Wednesday. That makes 41 of his 70 starts at DH this year.

If he had to, though, he believes he could play his position a lot more frequently.

“I can play first base if I want to every day,” Pujols said, “but is that going to be the best for me? That’s not smart. If I was in the National League, I’d do it every day because I know I can play. But I think in the long run, that’s not smart.”

Thanks to a slight mechanical adjustment that has him feeling like he did in his Cardinals days, and putting less pressure on his back leg, Pujols’ right knee feels “a lot better” recently. But he knows he’ll be dealing with off-and-on pain for the entire year. That’s the advice he was given from a member of the Miami Heat, who had a similar procedure and told him not to get frustrated. Pujols didn’t want to reveal who that player was, but said it isn’t Dwyane Wade — who he’s spoken to about other things and not the knee pain that has plagued him throughout the NBA Playoffs.

Pujols hopes to play more games at first base in the second half, but understands he’ll be playing through pain in his surgically repaired knee — as well as the plantar fasciitis on his left foot, which is also “off and on” — all year.

“It was something I expected,” he said of the arthroscopic procedure he had in October. “I knew that in five months, or in three months, my knee wasn’t going to heal fully. That takes seven to eight months before I can feel 100 percent. I’ll probably deal with it all year, and then next year I probably won’t have the same problem.”

That’s his hope, anyway.

Alden

Game 97: Royals-Angels …

Royals (40-54)

Alex Gordon, LF
Alcides Escobar, SS
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Billy Butler, DH
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt, 2B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Eric Hosmer, 1B
Brayan Pena, C

Pitching: LH Bruce Chen (7-8, 5.57 ERA)

Angels (52-44)

Mike Trout, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Maicer Izturis, SS
Peter Bourjos, CF
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (9-6, 2.82 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Erick Aybar (right toe) was in a walking boot today. An MRI revealed a small hairline fracture, but he’s still day-to-day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow. The Angels had a long closed-door meeting earlier this afternoon, perhaps partly to talk about who to bring up in case Aybar needs to go on the DL.
  • Jerome Williams will basically be working as a long man out of the bullpen in the meantime, but manager Mike Scioscia continues to say that he has a chance to “earn a spot and get a spot back in the rotation.”
  • Pujols is batting .338 with 15 homers and 42 RBIs over his last 53 games, and has five homers in his last 10.
  • From our stats department: Trout is averaging .95 runs per game. Only two qualifying players in their age-20 season or younger have ever finished a season with a run-scoring rate that high — Alex Rodriguez (1996) and John McGraw (1893).
  • Ron Washington on Trout last night: “He’s not Willie Mays. He’s a pretty good player, but I think the comparisons have to stop. Let the kid play. When he’s been here five years, six years, then you can start doing that.” … Scioscia, essentially, agrees. Here’s what he said pregame … Wash is saying the same thing we’re saying. We’re saying, for a guy to reach some of the things that those guys in baseball immortals have done, it has to stand the test of time. When you talk about what is the kind of player Mike reminds you of, or the tool set, I think that’s where he’s getting compared to guys, not anything that’s being ordained as to where he’s going to end up. You’re getting a range of players, all Hall of Famers, that Mike’s getting compared to as far as his SKILL SET, not as far as what his production is. Where he’s going to be 10 years from now, 15 years, 20 year from now, that’s the test of time. And you’re only going to be in the same sentence with those guys when you finish your career and you put up the type of career that’s worthy to be with those guys.

Some Angels.com links from Sunday …

Some AL West links …

And the Heat and Thunder are likely to meet on Christmas Day.

Alden

Game 91: Angels-Tigers …

Angels (49-41)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, LF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Garrett Richards (2-1, 4.21 ERA)

Tigers (47-43)

Austin Jackson, CF
Quintin Berry, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Delmon Young, DH
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago, 2B

Pitching: RH Justin Turner (0-1, 1.80 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Mike Scioscia finally relented, putting Trumbo in as the cleanup hitter behind Pujols, instead of Morales. “We all feel that Kendrys is pressing a little bit. He understands the importance of just being able to hit behind a guy like Albert. I don’t think he’s changed his game much, but right now he’s not very comfortable in the box. It doesn’t look like he’s attacking the ball like he can.”
  • Haren (stiff lower back) is expected to be with the team today and will throw a bullpen session in the next couple days. Scioscia, on his rehab outing: “First couple innings was a little bit off of his command, but physically he felt great, so it was a good workout for him. He feels good.”
  • Vernon Wells (right thumb surgery) expects to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday.

Some Angels.com links from Monday …

Some AL West links …

Mike Miller decides against retirement.

Alden

Game 90: Angels-Tigers …

Angels (49-40)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Maicer Izturis, 3B
John Hester, C

Pitching: RH Ervin Santana (4-9, 5.75 ERA)

Tigers (46-43)

Austin Jackson, CF
Quintin Berry, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 3B
Prince Fielder, 1B
Delmon Young, DH
Brennan Boesch, RF
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago

Pitching: RH Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.47 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • The Angels haven’t made a formal announcement on their Tuesday starter yet, but plan on it being Garrett Richards.
  • Chris Iannetta (right forearm strain) threw to bases today. Mike Scioscia said he “definitely took a step forward” but will have to repeat the workout before seeing when he’s ready to go out there and feel comfortable enough for a rehab assignment. “He had a good workout today, he’s just not quite where he needs to be.”
  • Vernon Wells (thumb surgery) worked out again today and could get on a rehab assignment, probably 7-10 games, by this weekend.
  • And this could be a very big week with regards to the Angels’ pursuit of a starting pitcher.

Some Angels.com links from Sunday …

  • Bullpen almost blows it, but Angels escape Bronx with win
  • Notebook, on Ernesto Frieri giving up his first run, Jordan Walden landing on the DL, Dan Haren‘s rehab, Hunter’s status, etc.
  • Bloom: Angels facing fight to the finish in the AL
  • Preview, on the Santana-Porcello matchup

Some AL West links …

And Chris Bosh expects his role to change given the Heat’s new acquisitions.

Alden

Game 86: Angels-Yankees …

Angels (48-38)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
John Hester, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (9-5, 2.43 ERA)

Yankees (52-33)

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Russell Martin, C
Jayson Nix, DH

Pitching: RH Hiroki Kuroda (8-7, 3.50 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Dan Haren (lower back stiffness) had an encouraging bullpen session back in Anaheim on Thursday. Mike Scioscia said he “came out of it well.” He’ll throw another one in Inland Empire on Saturday and then they’ll see if he’s ready for a rehab appearance. As for whether he can come back around the time he’s eligible to, on Thursday, Scioscia said: “We’re going to take it one step at a time, but we’re very encouraged with the way he threw his ‘pen, and we’re just going to evaluate him one step at a time. We’ll have more information as he gets through his bullpen tomorrow, to see when he’s ready for a rehab and when he comes out of that, how close he is.”
  • The Angels signed 38 of their 40 Draft choices and spent way below their spending pool — to be expected, since they didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds.
  • Trout (surprise!) won the Heart & Hustle Award for the Angels.
  • Chris Iannetta (right forearm strain) has been throwing to about 150 feet and is scheduled to throw to bases early next week in Detroit. Shortly after that, he can progress towards a rehab assignment — if all goes well.
  • Jerome Williams, who will start on Saturday, feels good and was encouraged by completing six innings in his recent rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake on July 6.
  • Vernon Wells (thumb surgery) has been taking batting practice on the field. Scioscia said he’ll need about a week of that and then should be ready for a rehab assignment shortly thereafter.

Some Angels.com links …

Some AL West links …

Ray Allen ‘excited’ to join Heat. (Me too.)

Alden

Game 80: Angels-Indians …

Angels (44-35)

Erick Aybar, SS
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Peter Bourjos, CF
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (8-1, 2.31 ERA)

Indians (40-38)

Shin-Soo Choo, RF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Michael Brantley, CF
Carlos Santana, C
Johnny Damon, DH
Casey Kotchman, 1B
Shelley Duncan, LF
Jack Hannahan, 3B

Pitching: Ubaldo Jimenez (7-6, 4.69 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Mike Trout was a late scratch from the top of the Angels’ lineup. The 20-year-old outfielder jammed his right thumb while sliding into second base with a leadoff double in Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays and still felt some soreness while taking BP earlier today. No X-rays scheduled as of now. He’s listed day-to-day.
  • Jerome Williams had a rough outing in Triple-A on Sunday night, giving up six runs (five earned) on eight hits in two-plus innings. He exited after suffering what Mike Scioscia called a soft-tissue contusion in his right forearm. It felt better after icing it, and he’s slated to pitch again Friday.
  • Scioscia on Jordan Walden, who gave up a three-run homer in mop-up duty in Sunday’s ninth inning, and has given up a run in back-to-back outings: “The night where he gave up the one run [on Friday], he was throwing the ball very well … His stuff’s there, and the big picture, if you look at his last 10 outings, his stuff was really good. He’s thrown some better breaking balls. The breaking ball he threw to [Jose] Bautista was fantastic, at the end [on Sunday]. Commanding the ball was something that he had some trouble with yesterday, but overall, I think, he’s made a lot of strides, and yesterday was just a little setback.”
  • Chris Iannetta (right forearm strain) threw from 75-80 feet and felt good; he continues to progress towards a rehab outing.

Some Angels.com links from Sunday …

Some AL West links …

And Ronny Turiaf opted out of his contract with the Heat. I’ll miss his towel-waiving.

Alden

Game 75: Orioles-Angels …

Angels (41-33)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Jered Weaver (7-1, 2.40 ERA)

Orioles (41-32)

Brian Roberts, 2B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Chris Davis, RF
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Wilson Betemit, 3B
Mark Reynolds, 1B
Nick Johnson, 1B
Steve Pearce, LF

Pitching: RH Jason Hammel (8-2, 2.61 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • The return of Chris Iannetta (forearm strain) continues to be delayed. He was shut down recently for the second time, had a contrast MRI last week (weeks after getting an MRI when the forearm first flared up) and won’t re-start throwing for a couple days. “He’s fine,” manager Mike Scioscia insisted. “You’re just ruling some things out, and he’ll be throwing out here in a couple days.”
  • Rookie reliever David Carpenter has only appeared in two games since June 6, but Scioscia believes the difference in workload between his current role and one he’d have in the Minors (probably about 20 appearances when it’s all set and done) makes it more beneficial for him to stay in the Majors. “I think the experience he’s getting up here is going to be invaluable to him. Although he’s not the finished product, you can use the experience here and if you ever go back to the minor leagues or get an opportunity to pitch in a better role in the big leagues, you can use that as a platform to hopefully grow from.”
  • In case you missed it from last night … With his fifth-inning homer last night, Pujols has now homered against every team except the Cardinals, and has hit one out in 34 big league stadiums (including the World Series).
  • Aybar is riding a season-long 11-game hitting streak, the longest by an Angels player this year. His .321 BA in June tops all AL shortstops.
  • Jerome Williams came out of his sim game fine and will throw a bullpen session tomorrow.

Some Angels.com links from Tuesday …

  • Angels tee off at Camden Yards
  • Notebook, on Trout’s homecoming, Trumbo’s HR Derby chances, Jerome’s sim game and Mickey Hatcher‘s new job
  • Question of the Day, on Peter Bourjos
  • Preview, on the Weaver-Hammel matchup

Some AL West links …

And in the end, LeBron James had the last laugh.

Alden

Game 74: Orioles-Angels …

Welcome to Baltimore, the start of a nine-game road trip and a swing that will see the Angels play 16 of their next 20 on the road. (I know, because I’ll be covering all of them.) …

Angels (40-33)

Mike Trout, LF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Mark Trumbo, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Peter Bourjos, CF
John Hester, C

Pitching: LH C.J. Wilson (8-4, 2.44 ERA)

Orioles (41-31)

Brian Roberts, 2B
J.J. Hardy, SS
Adam Jones, CF
Matt Wieters, C
Mark Reynolds, DH
Wilson Betemit, 1B
Steve Pearce, RF
Steve Tolleson, LF
Robert Andino, 3B

Pitching: LH Brian Matusz (5-8, 5.00 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Oriole Park at Camden Yards happens to be about a two-hour trek from the small town of Millville, N.J., where Trout grew up. And pretty much the entire town is here. There are about 10 reporters here to write stories on Trout’s surge, and one of them told me there will be like 1,000 people — including his parents and high school coaches — here to see him play.
  • Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, Trout now leads the AL in batting average at .338, with Paul Konerko sliding down to second at .337.
  • Former Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was hired by his former team, the Dodgers, to be a special assistant to GM Ned Colletti.
  • Jerome Williams (asthma) threw a 51-pitch simulated game and felt good. He could get in a rehab game at some point this week, and it’s looking like he’ll be ready to be activated off the DL when eligible, on July 4.

Some Angels.com links from Monday …

Some AL West links …

And The Big 3 was on Oprah.

Alden

Game 71: Dodgers-Angels …

The scene shifts for the Freeway Series tonight, with the Angels hosting the second leg and looking to build on an 11-4 mark against the crosstown-rival Dodgers over their last 15 games. Mike Scioscia, on the significance of it all: “I don’t think there really is as far as our clubhouse or anybody in their clubhouse, but I do know the media and the fans obviously have more interest in a game because of the geographical rivalry that’s here, with the two teams being so close. But for us, it’s another game. They’re a good team, we have to do things well if we’re going to beat them, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

Dodgers (42-28)

Dee Gordon, SS
Jerry Hairston, 2B
Andre Ethier, RF
Bobby Abreu, DH
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

Pitching: RH Chad Billingsley (4-5, 3.75 ERA)

Angels (38-32)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Dan Haren (4-7, 3.96 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Jerome Williams (breathing problems) has been medically cleared to do everything, meaning he can begin the process of long-tossing, then getting in bullpen sessions, being stretched out and ultimately returning to the Angels’ pitching staff. Will that be as a starter or a reliever? That remains to be seen. But Scioscia said he’s received no indication from the medical staff that Williams would not be allowed to start.
  • Chris Iannetta (wrist surgery and forearm strain) will restart his throwing program Saturday, but is still a ways away from getting in a rehab assignment.
  • Scioscia, on how Weaver’s feeling after his Wednesday start: “He feels really good. I think he feels just some normal stiffness you would get from going out there and pitching, nothing connected at all with what put him on the disabled list, so that’s encouraging.”
  • Every Angels starter will be on at least six days’ rest coming up, which can be good (it’s a long season) and bad (starters for the most part hate breaking routing). “I think long term it’s a good thing, for guys to maybe catch their breath,” Scioscia said. “Some guys aren’t sharp historically on six days, and some guys are very good on six days. There’s no rhyme or reason or one thing you can point to that’s going to make your staff better, but especially this time of year, these guys have been grinding a lot.”
  • Scott Downs and Ernesto Frieri have the best combined ERA of any Major League relief tandem, at 0.66 (or four runs in 54 2/3 innings). Minimum for this was 20 innings per player.
  • Erick Aybar is on a seven-game hitting streak and is batting .417 over his last 10 games.

Some Angels.com links from Thursday …

Some AL West links …

And in case you missed it, MY HEAT WON THE ‘SHIP!

Alden

Game 70: Giants-Angels …

Jered Weaver is activated off the DL today, looking to pick up right where he left off and give the Angels eight series wins over their last nine …

Giants (38-31)

Gregor Blanco, DH
Ryan Theriot, 2B
Melky Cabrera, LF
Buster Posey, C
Angel Pagan, CF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Brandon Belt, 1B
Nate Schierholtz, RF
Brandon Crawford, SS

Pitching: RH Ryan Vogelsong (6-2, 2.29 ERA)

Angels (37-32)

Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Kendrys Morales, DH
Mark Trumbo, LF
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Bobby Wilson, C

Pitching: RH Weaver (6-1, 2.61 ERA)

Some pregame notes …

  • Jerome Williams was placed on the DL on Wednesday, with the breathing problems that caused him to go to the hospital after his Monday night start. With that, the Angels opened a spot on the roster for Weaver. Williams passed out in the Angels clubhouse after pitching against the Giants, likely due to an asthma attack. He’ll take it easy for now, and there’s no timeline for his return. More on the site soon.
  • With Williams on the DL, Ervin Santana will start Saturday against the Dodgers and the young Garrett Richards will go Sunday. Dan Haren is the Friday starter.
  • The Blue Jays claimed reliever David Pauley off waivers from the Angels.
  • Scioscia was asked about the recent pine tar scandal between the Rays and Nationals. Scoiscia didn’t really have a problem with Davey Johnson bringing it up — which his former coach, Joe Maddon, took exception to — but said using pine tar is hardly an advantage for a pitcher. “Pine tar’s an accepted practice in baseball. And I don’t think hitters have much of an issue with it, especially when it’s cold or guys are really sweaty or it’s wet. It doesn’t change the flight of the ball, it’s in the rules, and obviously you have to abide by what’s in the rules. It’s like getting pulled over for going 66 mph in a 65 mph zone.”

Angels.com links from Tuesday …

Some AL West links …

And the Miami Heat are ONE WIN AWAY from championship glory.

Alden

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