Results tagged ‘ Michael Kohn ’

Shuck claimed off waivers by the Indians …

Outfielder J.B. Shuck, a big contributor to the Angels last season, was claimed off waivers by the Indians on Friday. In exchange, the Angels received cash considerations.

Shuck was designated for assignment on Tuesday, along with hard-throwing reliever Michael Kohn, because the Angels needed to clear space on the 40-man roster for a couple of September call-ups (catcher John Buck and infielder Shawn O’Malley).

Shuck, a scrappy left-handed hitter who primarily plays left field, was signed to a Minor League contract two offseasons ago and wound up leading American League rookies in plate appearances in 2013, while batting .293 with 20 doubles, 39 RBIs and eight steals.

The 27-year-old lost his job as the backup outfielder to Collin Cowgill in Spring Training and wound up appearing in only 22 Major League games this year, batting .167. With Triple-A Salt Lake, Shuck batted .320/.382/.446, with five homers, 57 RBIs and nine steals.

Alden

Hamilton returns, will probably be ‘a little antsy’ …

Josh HamiltonJosh Hamilton, as expected, was activated off the disabled list after an eight-week recovery from surgery on his left thumb Tuesday, giving the Angels a full lineup for the first time since he went down on April 8. Here’s a partial transcript of what he had to say …

Did it feel like eight weeks?

No, it didn’t. If I didn’t have my family with me it would’ve probably felt really long. That was the thing that made it pass by quickly.

Any changes in your approach sliding into first base?

I’m going to give it a break for a while. … I’m not going to change the way I play. I’ll get smarter as far as trying to know when to do things and when not to do things. … Know the situation, know the importance of the game. All of those things. … You want to be here for the long haul, you want to play as many games as possible. I never thought about it as far as sliding, because I’ve never been hurt sliding.

What were your thoughts the way they played while you were out?

I told [Mike Scioscia] I’ll sit out for a while [joking]. But it’s good to see young guys come in and fill a spot and do it well enough to keep you where you are in the standings or moving forward. The guys have done a good job moving us forward. And that’s what being on a championship team is all about. You have depth and guys come in and do that.

Can you play the field every day?

I told [Scioscia], ‘When I come up, don’t be taking me out of the lineup. Just let me go out there and play.’ That’s the way I’ve always felt.

Is your rehab assignment enough time to know if your rhythm and timing are there like it was early in the year?

You go by the at-bats you had. I’ve been having good results, good swings. It felt good. I hit the ball the other way — line drives, six-hole, left field, pulled the ball, hit balls up the middle, hit changeups, fastballs, curveballs, all of the above.

Do you expect a learning curve?

I don’t know about a learning curve. Probably a little antsy. That’s the biggest thing. Because you’ve been out of the mix as far as being in the stadiums, the crowds, all of the above. So, coming back, slowing the game down and being relaxed is key.

What are your expectations on this lineup at full strength?

Just continue to build what they’ve been doing. Throwing me back in the mix should help, but as a team, collectively, you still have to produce and perform on a consistent basis. That’s what I hope and expect, as we continue to get better and perform, and the chemistry continues to get better and better. And if it does that, we’ll be right there at the end.

  • In a pretty surprising move, the Angels called up right-handed reliever Cam Bedrosian from Double-A Arkansas and optioned Michael Kohn. Bedrosian, ranked 13th in the Angels’ system by MLB.com, had a 1.12 ERA in 24 appearances for Class A Advanced Inland Empire and Double-A Arkansas this year. The 22-year-old struck out 45 batters in 24 innings. Kohn had given up six runs in his last 4 1/3 innings, walking nine batters in that stretch.
  • Mike Trout returned to the lineup after missing the Saturday and Sunday game due to a back injury. The Angels’ center fielder got some stem-cell therapy done during the team’s off day on Monday, took some early batting practice in the cage on Tuesday and “didn’t feel it at all.” “I was worried about it for a little bit,” Trout said. “But I felt good in early BP. I’m in there. That’s always good.”
  • Dane De La Rosa exceeded the maximum amount of time he can be on a rehab assignment, so the Angels activated him off the DL — then optioned him to Triple-A because they don’t deem him ready to rejoin their bullpen just yet.
  • The Yankees claimed left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who was designated for assignment on Saturday because the Angels needed some length out of the bullpen to cover them for a couple of days. That’s a tough blow to their organizational starting pitching depth, and they only ended up needing two-thirds of an inning out of Jarrett Grube.

Angels (30-26)

Kole Calhoun, RF
Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Hamilton, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Raul Ibanez, DH
David Freese, 3B
Chris Iannetta, C
Erick Aybar, SS

SP: LH C.J. Wilson (6-4, 3.05 ERA)

Astros (24-34)

Dexter Fowler, CF
Jose Altuve, 2B
George Springer, RF
Jason Castro, C
Matt Dominguez, 3B
Jonathan Singleton, 1B
Chris Carter, DH
Robbie Grossman, LF
Jonathan Villar, SS

SP: RH Collin McHugh (3-3, 2.80 ERA)

Alden

Frieri demoted; Smith to close for Angels …

Ernesto FrieriIn the wake of Ernesto Frieri‘s ninth-inning meltdown in Washigton, D.C., the Angels have made a change in the ninth inning, with sidearm right-hander Joe Smith taking over closing duties while Frieri works in low-leverage situations, Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced prior to Friday’s series opener against the Yankees.

“We’ll go with Joe Smith in the next couple of opportunities and just get Ernie maybe off of that treadmill and let him get an inning or two where he can try to make some adjustments,” Scioscia said. “I think historically Ernie responds well to this. We need him. I think this is the best route to take to get to the final solution that we want.”

Frieri, who was charged with four earned runs in the walk-off loss against the Nationals on Wednesday, has two blown saves, a 9.35 ERA and five homers allowed in 8 2/3 innings to start the season. With Smith, signed to a three-year, $15.75 million contract over the offseason, taking over the ninth, the Angels will handle the setup duties by committee. Michael Kohn, who has a 1.54 ERA in 12 appearances, could handle the eighth inning off the bat.

The goal is for Frieri to find it again and re-emerge as the closer.

“I think he understands it,” Scioscia said of Frieri. “And I think that he understands the team’s need right now maybe outweigh where he is. He’ll get it back. Just as he’s worked his way into the ninth-inning role from when we acquired him a couple years ago, he’ll work his way back there. He had a great season for us last year, and he’ll find it.”

Over the previous two years, Frieri — acquired in the May 2012 trade with the Padres — has posted a 3.07 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, a 13.1 strikeouts-per-nine rate and 60 saves, while ranking eighth in the Majors in save percentages. But he’s also prone to giving up a lot of homers (1.1 homers per nine innings in his career), walking batters (4.3 career walk rate) and the occasional slump.

Last year, when Frieri gave up 12 runs in a 4 2/3-inning stretch that spanned from July 23 to Aug. 6, Scioscia changed it up in the ninth, put Frieri in less stressful situations, reinserted him later, and watched as he posted a 1.66 ERA in 19 outings the rest of the way.

He’s hoping for similar results this time.

“I think it’s a feel thing with Ernie; it’s a release-point issue,” Scioscia said. “I think mechanically he’s fine. At times he’s overthrowing, and I think when he tries to overthrow, you see him miss some of the spots that he can normally get the ball to. He’s not really a fine control guy, but he definitely knows what area he wants to throw the ball into and is usually pretty good at getting it there. He’s missing anywhere from down and away to up and in to lefties and that’s not a good way to miss.”

Alden

De La Rosa, Burnett throw in sim game …

Dane De La RosaKey Angels relievers Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett took important steps in their respective rehab programs while taking part in simulated games at Angel Stadium early Wednesday afternoon.

Not a moment too soon.

The Angels’ bullpen has started the year by giving up eight runs over six innings through the first two games, with closer Ernesto Frieri and setup man Joe Smith sitting idly by as the middle relievers struggled to keep small deficits manageable. On Monday, Kevin Jepsen and Nick Maronde gave up six runs in the ninth. On Tuesday, Michael Kohn gave up two more in the ninth.

But by the time the Angels play their next home game — on April 11 against the Mets, following a six-game road trip through Houston and Seattle — De La Rosa expects to be back.

“I’m getting antsy,” said De La Rosa, who’s working his way back from a right forearm strain suffered on March 6. “When we get everybody healthy, together at the same time, we’re going to be a shutdown bullpen.”

Before April comes to an end, Burnett — limited to 13 games last year, recovering from August elbow surgery — also hopes to return, giving the Angels a critical late-inning lefty reliever.

“I just want to get out there and play,” Burnett said. “I’m a baseball player. It’s been what I’ve doing since I was a little kid. I’m itching to get back out there.”

De La Rosa, who has already taken part in a couple of Minor League games, threw roughly 35 pitches in the bullpen and 25 more to hitters knew what was coming ahead of time. When the Angels hit the road, De La Rosa will venture out on a rehab assignment with Double-A Arkansas in hopes of being activated by next Friday.

Burnett threw 30-some-odd pitches in the bullpen and another 15 in the sim game. It was his first time facing hitters since May 26, 2013, and called it “the biggest hurdles I think I can possibly clear.” He’ll throw in another sim game in Arizona in two days, then hope to go out on a rehab assignment after that.

“I couldn’t throw the ball much better than I did today,” Burnett said. “Now it’s just arm strength, building up to 25, 30 pitches.”

Here are the lineups for the series finale, with the tarp currently on the field …

Mariners (2-0)

Abraham Almonte, CF
Brad Miller, SS
Robinson Cano, 2B
Justin Smoak, 1B
Corey Hart, DH
Stefen Romero, RF
Dustin Ackley, LF
Mike Zunino, C
Willie Bloomquist, 3B

SP: LH James Paxton (0-0, -.– ERA)

Angels (0-2)

Kole Calhoun, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
David Freese, 3B
Josh Hamilton, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Raul Ibanez, DH
Chris Iannetta, C
Erick Aybar, SS

SP: LH Hector Santiago (0-0, -.– ERA)

Alden

ST Game 28: Angels 8, Cubs 4 …

Brandon LyonMost important thing: It actually took place in the backfields of the Angels’ Tempe Diablo Stadium complex, where Jered Weaver made his last start of the spring and was lights out against the Brewers’ Triple-A team, pitching seven shutout innings, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out eight in a 102-pitch outing. He’ll start Opening Day on five days’ rest.

Second-most important thing: Three outs away from snapping a six-game winning streak, the Angels plated six runs in the ninth inning, getting a leadoff homer from Ian Stewart, an RBI double by Collin Cowgill, an RBI single from Shawn O’Malley, a two-run single by Abel Baker and an RBI single from Stewart when he came up again.

Third-most important thing: Weaver’s start in a controlled environment made Tuesday a bullpen game. Brandon Lyon gave up a couple of runs while recording only one run in his second inning of work; Ernesto Frieri pitched his eighth straight scoreless inning of the spring; Fernando Salas had a clean inning to put his spring ERA at 3.00; and Michael Kohn gave up a run on two hits and a walk to put his spring ERA at 7.00.

Fourth-most important thing: All the everyday players except Howie Kendrick (stomach virus) and David Freese (tight quad) got a couple of plate appearances. Albert Pujols had a sac fly, Josh Hamilton walked and hit a double that almost left the ballpark, Raul Ibanez hit a solo homer and Mike Trout went 1-for-2 to finish Cactus League play with a .412 batting average.

Fifth-most important thing: Grant Green went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple to put his batting average at .362. John McDonald is officially the Angels’ utility infielder now, and it’s unlikely that Green makes the team. But he’s had a very nice spring at the plate and is getting better at shortstop.

Best defensive play (that I actually saw): Speaking of Green, he made a nice diving stop in the first inning while playing second base.

Best quote: Mike Scioscia on Freese being a late scratch: “He was ready to play. It was not even anything that would hamper him from taking ground balls. But the medical staff thought it would be prudent to have him take today off and tomorrow so he’ll be ready to play. It’s not even a concern.”

Angels’ record: 16-10-2

Alden

ST Game 22: Angels 14, White Sox 10 …

Mike TroutMost important thing: The Angels unveiled their everyday lineup on Wednesday, and it did some serious damage. In the six innings the starting nine was together, they plated nine runs and scored in every frame. Albert Pujols lined two doubles to right-center field, Mike Trout hit a solo homer to left-center, Kole Calhoun and Howie Kendrick each notched a couple of hits, Josh Hamilton and David Freese contributed RBI singles, and Erick Aybar brought in a run with a suicide squeeze.

Second-most important thing: Tyler Skaggs struggled once again, despite being given a big lead. The 22-year-old left-hander gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out two in 4 1/3 innings. Skaggs has now given up 11 runs in his last 11 1/3 innings, putting his Cactus League ERA at 6.14. Two starts remain.

Third-most important thing: Michael Kohn walked the first two batters he faced in the seventh, then gave up an RBI single to Jose Abreu before recording back-to-back outs and exiting. Cory Rasmus immediately gave up a three-run homer to Matt Davidson, charging two more runs to Kohn and making his 8.53 spring ERA deceiving. Mike Scioscia said that while the ball is coming out of Kohn’s hand well, he’s “yanking” the ball, which means he’s flying open with his left shoulder and it’s causing him to miss outside on right-handers.

Fourth-most important thing: Trout took a first-pitch curveball from right-hander Erik Johnson to the left wrist, then stole second base two pitchers later.  On Saturday, Trout was hit in the back and stole second base on the next pitch. He loves doing that.

Fifth-most important thing: Some bench hopefuls did some good things. J.B. Shuck hit his fourth triple of the spring, Ian Stewart hit a long home run and Grant Green handled two grounders at shortstop, one of which was a slow roller.

Best defensive play (that I actually saw): With two on and two outs in the fifth, Calhoun crashed up against the right-field fence to catch a long line drive off the bat of Dayan Viciedo.

Best quote: Skaggs on his outing: “The command was definitely not what I wanted it to be. I made some good pitches in tough times, but one that you definitely build off as a learning experience today, kind of not going out there and having the command of any of my pitches.”

Angels’ record: 10-10-2

Alden

ST Game 19: Mariners 5, Angels 3 …

C.J. WilsonMost important thing: C.J. Wilson gave up two runs and faced eight batters in the first inning, but rebounded in the next four frames, retiring 12 of 15 batters (including five on strikeouts) in a 91-pitch, five-plus-inning outing. Wilson was charged with four runs (two earned) and has a 2.81 ERA in 16 innings this spring.

Second-most important thing: The Angels had all their starters (minus Josh Hamilton and Raul Ibanez) in the lineup against 25-year-old Cuban left-hander Roenis Elias, but they didn’t do much. Erick Aybar went 2-for-3 with a triple, Chris Iannetta had a long sacrifice fly and David Freese notched an RBI single. That was pretty much it.

Third-most important thing: It came mostly against Mariners prospects, but Michael Kohn had a clean ninth inning with two strikeouts — three days after giving up three runs and recording only two outs against the White Sox.

Fourth-most important thing: Kole Calhoun subbed in for Albert Pujols in the sixth and got his first action at first base this spring. He immediately let a hard grounder go by him, then made a bad flip to Fernando Salas two innings later. Not easy going from outfield to first base from one inning to the next, especially when you haven’t seen much action there all spring. It’ll be Ibanez’s turn tomorrow.

Fifth-most important thing: Salas gave up a solo homer to Tyler Smith in the eighth. It was only the second run he’s given up in six one-inning outings this spring.

Best defensive play (that I actually saw): With one out in the eighth, Calhoun cleanly fielded an Humberto Quintero grounder, but flipped low and wide of Salas as he Mexican reliever sprinted to cover first. Salas dove, toughed the bag with his glove, rolled, and luckily was not injured on the play.

Best quote: Wilson, on the ideal number of innings for a starter: “Your goal is to go out there and throw like eight, realistically. It’s a nice, round number. Like a snowman.

Angels’ record: 8-9-2

Alden

ST Game 16: Angels 8, White Sox 6 …

Most important thing: The Angels came out of the gate hot again, scoring seven runs in the first two innings. In the first five innings of their last three games — including both games on Wednesday — they’ve scored a combined 26 runs.

Second-most important thing: Michael Kohn, who still has to earn a spot in the bullpen, gave up three runs and couldn’t finish the eighth inning. Kohn gave up a triple and a walk, allowed a run to score on a strikeout-wild pitch, then served up a two-run homer.

Third-most important thing: Garrett Richards fought himself for most of the afternoon, giving up seven hits and hitting a batter, but he only gave up two runs and he didn’t walk a batter (he hasn’t walked one all spring).

Fourth-most important thing: Several of the regulars had solid days. Mike Trout went 3-for-3 with a triple and is batting .444. Howie Kendrick went 2-for-3 to put his batting average at .435. Kole Calhoun hit a two-run triple. And Erick Aybar smoked an RBI double. Raul Ibanez smoked two line drives. And David Freese notched a hard-hit RBI single.

Best defensive play (that I actually saw): With two outs in the sixth, Pujols — playing first base for the third straight day, went a long way in foul territory and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch near the fence.

Best quote: Mike Scioscia, on the offense: “We talked about the opening day of spring when we killed the ball, and then we were talking about seven, eight, nine games trying to get things together. But these guys are starting to hit stride. They’re getting into their 20, 30 at-bats, and there’s no doubt they’re putting some things together.”

Alden

ST Game 12: Angels 8, Indians 3 …

Jered WeaverMost important thing: Jered Weaver labored through 4 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks. But he finished strong, striking out three of the last five batters he faced, and felt perfectly healthy afterwards. Weaver sat at mostly 86 to 88 mph with his fastball, hitting 89 mph twice, which is normal for him.

Second-most important thing: A lot of the guys fighting for bench spots had nice showings. Andrew Romine drew three walks and drove in two runs. Grant Green went 2-for-4 with a double (though he misplayed a grounder at second base and hardly got any action at third). And Collin Cowgill hit a long two-run homer against Trevor Bauer.

Third-most important thing: C.J. Cron continues to hit, and he’s handling himself pretty well defensively at first base. The 24-year-old spent the summer trying to gain a better strike zone awareness in Double-A and had an up-and-down season for the Arkansas Travelers. But he raked in the Arizona Fall League and is having a very nice spring, going 2-for-4 on Monday to put his Cactus League batting average at .545.

Fourth-most important thing: Matt Long is a longshot to make the team, but he went on a tear on Monday, getting four hits and falling a homer shy of the cycle to lead an Angels offense that was low on everyday players — Chris Iannetta and Raul Ibanez were the only ones — but in need of some production.

Fifth-most important thing: Five relievers fighting for jobs (Buddy Boshers, Robert Carson, Josh Wall, Brandon Lyon and Michael Kohn) had scoreless outings, combining to give up only two hits while walking two and striking out four in 4 2/3 innings.

Best defensive play (that I actually saw): John McDonald, a frequent contributor to this section, dove to his left and quickly flipped across his body to get a force out at second base and rob Carlos Santana of a single in the third inning.

Best quote: Weaver, on his spring results: “I don’t worry about that until the last start before the season. … Until then, I’m just trying to work on stuff.”

Angels’ record: 5-6-1

Alden

3/4 pregame happenings …

Angels lineup …

Kole Calhoun, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, 1B
Raul Ibanez, DH
David Freese, 3B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Chris Iannetta, C
J.B. Shuck, LF

SP: LH Tyler Skaggs

Rangers lineup …

Shin-Soo Choo, LF
Josh Wilson, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Mitch Moreland, 1B
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
Jurickson Profar, DH
Robinson Chirinos, C
Luis Sardinas, SS
Leonys Martin, CF

SP: RH Yu Darvish

  • Josh Hamilton wasn’t surprised to hear about Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler‘s comments, saying he hopes his ex-team, the Rangers, go 0-162 and calling general manager Jon Daniels a “sleazeball.” “At least I won’t be the only villain in Texas now,” Hamilton said, smiling. The two were close in Texas, and Hamilton said he wasn’t very surprised to find out about Kinsler’s comments. “He’s very competitive.”
  • Hamilton entered the clubhouse drenched in sweat after taking some batting practice and playing catch. Hamilton, who strained his left calf one week from today, no longer requires crutches and doesn’t have to do those baseball activities off one knee. But he has yet to run. “Even if I felt good today, they wouldn’t let me, so I can’t really put a time frame on it.”
  • Ian Stewart was scratched from Monday’s lineup after Mike Scioscia said he was “messing around with his daughter and got hit in the nose.” Stewart’s daughter, 4, was lying on the bed stomach first watching TV, and when Stewart went to lunge at her playfully, she sat up and the two collided heads. “She just kind of looked at me and laid back down, watched the movie, and I thought I had a broken nose, because I heard like a crunching sound,” Stewart said. Stewart was fine on Tuesday, though. No concussion and no broken nose. He’ll get back to baseball activities on Wednesday.
  • The Angels are playing a “B” game in Goodyear, Ariz., on Tuesday morning. Hunter Green is pitching in it, and Scioscia is attending both contests.
  • Joe Smith, Fernando Salas, Michael Kohn, Brandon Lyon and Clay Rapada are also slated to pitch against the Rangers on Tuesday.

Alden

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