Results tagged ‘ Pirates ’
The Angels can’t get swept by the Astros, can they? We shall see …
SP: LH Jason Vargas (1-3, 3.72 ERA)
SP: RH Lucas Harrell (3-3, 5.03 ERA)
- Jered Weaver threw his first bullpen today (28 pitches) and felt really good. Mike Scioscia said he’ll need about four more, thrown with one day in between if Weaver continues to feel good, before venturing out on a rehab assignment.
- Ryan Madson threw 20 pitches in an intrasquad game in Arizona today and, as planned, will pitch there again on Saturday.
- If the Angels make the playoffs this year, they’ll become only the fourth team in history to do it despite starting off the season 11-22. Per Elias, the only other teams to start a season 11-22 or worse and play in the postseason were the 1914 Braves, the 1974 Pirates and the 1981 Royals. To be fair, though, there was no second wild card — or even first wild card — back then.
- The last time the Angels were 11 games below .500: May 22, 2006. They haven’t been 9 1/2 games back this early in a season since 2002 — when they were 9 1/2 games back on April 22, 10 1/2 games back on April 23 and (lo and behold!) World Series champs on Oct. 27.
- Eleven of the Angels’ 22 losses have come by two runs or less.
- At six hours and 32 minutes, it was the longest game in Angels history, surpassing the six-hour, six-minute game played on April 13, 1982 against the Mariners (20 innings).
- Innings-wise, it was the third-longest in Angels history. The Angels have played 20 innings twice, on the above-mentioned game against Seattle and July 9, 1971, against the A’s. That means two of the three 19-inning games in Angels history have been walk-off losses to the A’s.
- It was the longest MLB game since the Pirates beat the Cardinals, 6-3, in 19 innings on Aug. 19, 2012, in St. Louis; it was the longest AL game since the White Sox beat the Red Sox, 6-5, in 19 innings on July 9, 2006, in Chicago.
- The 18 runs scored were the fourth-most in 19-inning, Major League history.
- The two clubs used a combined 16 pitches (eight each) and threw a combined 597 pitches. The 297 pitches the Angels threw were the most since at least 1988.
- Howie Kendrick and Brendan Harris each went 2-for-9, becoming the second and third Angels players to log nine at-bats in a game. The first was Don Baylor, who went 5-for-9 on 4/13/82. It was the first game since 1993 to have three players (also Jed Lowrie) log nine at-bats in a game.
- Six different Angels pitchers allowed a run for the fifth time in team history, and first time since Sept. 30, 2000.
- Four players (Peter Bourjos, Luis Jimenez, Coco Crisp, Chris Young) exited early with injuries.
- Seven of the Angels’ nine position players went the full 19 innings, including catcher Chris Iannetta, who worked 18 2/3 innings behind the plate. The last American League catchers to be behind the plate for more than 18 innings in a game were A.J. Pierzynski and Jason Varitek in 2006, in a game between the White Sox and Red Sox that ended with one out in the bottom of the 19th.
The Angels, feeling a little uneasy about Hank Conger‘s throwing woes, are in search of a veteran backup catcher as Spring Training winds down, an industry source confirmed to MLB.com on Saturday. Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com first reported the Angels’ interest.
Conger, 25, came into camp as the clear-cut favorite to back up catcher Chris Iannetta and has hit well, batting .381 with two homers and 11 RBIs. The Angels like the switch-hitting Conger — who has always hit and has come a long way with his footwork and receiving skills behind the plate — but they need him to correct his throwing issues, which led to three errant throws on Sunday to up his spring total to at least five.
With rosters being pared down this time of year, the Angels will look to the waiver wire to add a steady, inexpensive, veteran presence behind the plate. They have an open spot on the 40-man roster after slipping Bobby Cassevah, now with the Rockies, through waivers. They’ll have some competition, though, with the Phillies, Pirates and Rays also looking for catching help, according to MLB.com’s Peter Gammons.
The Angels still believe in Conger. So in the event of an acquisition, they’re likely to option him to Triple-A to start the season so he can find the consistent release point that has eluded him. Conger has one option year left. John Hester (on the 40-man) and Luke Carlin (a non-roster invitee) are the other two catchers technically vying for the backup job, but both have had very inconsistent time in the Majors throughout their careers.
I wrote recently about the Angels’ own prestigious “Big Three” of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton — how they could potentially hold up historically and in this era.
But how do they hold up in 2013? There’s little debate that the Angels now have the most talented and celebrated lineup trio in baseball, giving them arguably the game’s most potent offense. But I was a little stunned that their 2012 stats didn’t show it.
In fact, when combining each of their OPS from 2012, the Angels’ trio ranked third, behind those of the Tigers and Reds. Below is the top 15, based on combined OPS of the top three current players in each lineup (minimum is 400 plate appearances) …
- Tigers (Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson): 2.795
- Reds (Joey Votto, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce): 2.759
- Angels (Trout, Pujols, Hamilton): 2.752
- Brewers (Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart): 2.729
- Red Sox (David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli*): 2.635
- Blue Jays (Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera): 2.627
- Cardinals (Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Yadier Molina): 2.627
- Rangers (Adrian Beltre, David Murphy, A.J. Pierzynski): 2.607
- Rockies (Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, Tyler Colvin): 2.602
- Pirates (Andrew McCutchen, Garrett Jones, Pedro Alvarez): 2.569
- D-backs (Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Jason Kubel): 2.565
- Yankees (Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira): 2.547
- Twins (Josh Willingham, Joe Mauer, Ryan Doumit): 2.532
- Giants (Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt): 2.527
- Dodgers (Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez): 2.524
* Napoli’s deal still hasn’t been finalized.
** A special thanks to all of you for making this blog the 10th-most popular among MLB.com beat writers in 2012. You’re the whipped cream on my sundae.
Mike Trout is still a kid in some ways. He’s still among the youngest in baseball, is still a rookie and still spends his offseasons living out of his parents’ house in Millville, N.J., where he’s turned the basement into what he calls his “own little Man Cave.” “It’s awesome,” he said. “I’ve got a ping-pong table, dart board, huge flat screen. My friends love it.”
But on Tuesday, Aug. 7, Trout finally turned 21. He can now legally drink, which in this country is basically the final stage before full-on adulthood, even if only in a logistical sense.
They grow up so fast, don’t they?
Well, Trout grew up faster than most. Because before turning 21, he already looked like the best player in the Majors, was a favorite to be the youngest Most Valuable Player ever (you can already give him the Rookie of the Year Award) and was mentioned among the likes of Rickey Henderson, Ken Griffey Jr., Eric Davis, Bo Jackson and Mickey Mantle. Not fair, of course. He’s still so young, so early in his baseball career, with so much left to accomplish.
But it’s hard not to make comparisons like that when you consider …
- Since his April 28 callup, Trout is batting .348 (1st in the AL) with 19 homers (1st among Major League rookies), 59 RBIs (ditto), 36 stolen bases (1st in the Majors), 86 runs (1st in the Majors), a .411 on-base percentage (3rd in the AL) and a .598 slugging percentage (2nd in the AL).
- No player has ever hit .340 with 40 stolen bases in one season — and all of that is easily within reach for Trout.
- His 6.9 WAR leads the Majors, according to FanGraphs.com, with Andrew McCutchen ranking second at 6.0. Among outfielders, he’s ninth in UZR, at 7.8.
- He robbed J.J. Hardy of a home run with a ridiculous catch in Camden Yards on June 27. It’s been the reigning Web Gem for over a month.
- He then did it again, this time to Gordon Beckham, on Saturday. According to ESPN, he’s the only player in the Majors to rob two homers this year.
- Trout went into August with a .353 batting average, 18 homers and 31 steals. The only other player in Major League history to hit at least .350 with 15 homers and 30 steals before Aug. 1 was Henderson, who batted .352 with 16 homers and 47 steals during the first four months of his 1985 season with the Yankees.
- He’s the first AL player ever to win Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month in the same month.
- He also won Rookie of the Month honors three times in a row (May, June and July). The only other player to do that was Ichiro Suzuki in April, May and June in 2001.
- With 32 runs in July, Trout tied Hal Trosky (Indians, 1934) for the all-time MLB rookie runs record for July.
- Trout set the AL record for July home runs by a rookie, with 10. It also tied the Angels’ club record for rookie homers in any month (Wally Joyner, May 1986).
- In his first 81 games, Trout scored 80 runs and drove in 55, combining for 135 runs plated. The last rookie to have that many through his first 81 games was Joe DiMaggio in 1936 (87 runs, 83 RBIs).
- The only other player since 1920 to have as many hits (116), RBIs (55) and stolen bases (31) in his first 81 games of a season as Trout was George Sisler in 1922.
- He’s swiped 27 consecutive bases and counting, building on a club record that was previously held by Gary Pettis in 1985 (22 straight). The last time Trout was caught stealing was June 4.
- On May 1, Trout got a bunt single and ran a 3.53 from home to first — and he started from the right side of the batter’s box. That’s scary fast. Watch it here.
- On May 18, Trout hit a triple on a ball down the left-field line.
- Since May 1, Trout leads the Majors in runs (86) and times on base (163), and second in hits (122).
- From July 5-23, Trout scored a run in 15 consecutive games. That streak tied the modern Major League rookie record, set a new AL rookie mark and established an Angels franchise record.
- The only two players in the last 63 years who have led a league in batting average and stolen bases are Ichiro (2001) and Jackie Robinson (1949).
- As part of a 4-for-6 game against the Tigers on July 17, Trout hit this long homer to the right-center-field portion of the massive Comerica Park. That homer traveled 442 feet, making it the second-longest opposite-field homer this year, according to ESPN.
- He also hit one into downtown Cleveland on July 3.
- In July, he became the 20th player in Major League history to be selected to the All-Star Game before his 21st birthday.
- Then, with a clean single up the middle off the Mets’ R.A. Dickey, Trout – at 20 years, 338 days old — became the youngest player to record a hit in the All-Star Game since Detroit Hall of Famer Al Kaline in 1955, and third-youngest overall.
- He has a 1.027 OPS against righties and a .964 OPS against lefties. His batting average is .293 when behind in the count, .377 with runners in scoring position and .392 versus Texas.
- The Angels went 6-14 before Trout joined them on April 28. Since then, they’re 52-37, which is second-best in the AL.
Cheers, to 21 years.
Mike Trout, CF (.343 BA, .399 OBP, 23 SB)
Rookie of the Year? How about MVP? Trout has elevated himself to that level already.
Robinson Cano, 2B (.316 BA, 20 HR, 50 RBI)
Best second baseman in baseball. And it isn’t even close.
Miguel Cabrera, 3B (.323, 18 HR, 68 RBI)
Best hitter in the AL, in my mind, and better at third base than I thought he’d be.
Josh Hamilton, LF (.318 BA, 26 HR, 74 RBI)
Somebody’s going to give this guy an absurd amount of money this offseason.
Jose Bautista, RF (.911 OPS, 27 HR, 64 RBI)
As Mike Scioscia said in Toronto, “How is this guy only batting .240?” He’s as fun to watch hit as anyone.
David Ortiz, DH (.302 BA, 22 HR, 55 RBI)
Remember when we all thought he was finished?
Paul Konerko, 1B (.333 BA, 14 HR, 42 RBI)
Like fine wine, Konerko seems to get better with age.
Joe Mauer, C (.327 BA, .415 OBP, 38 RBI)
He’s only catching about half the time, but he’s healthy and back to being himself offensively. Huge sigh of relief for Twins.
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (.370 OBP, 11 HR, 42 RBI)
As slick as there is with the glove and a great hitter.
SP: Justin Verlander (9 W, 2.58 ERA, 128 SO)
Weaver’s numbers are better, but the reigning MVP deserves to start one of these.
Andrew McCutchen, CF (.360 BA, 16 HR, 54 RBI)
Oh, and 14 steals. The guy does it all. An absolute freak.
Ryan Braun, LF (.309 BA, 23 HR, 59 RBI)
It was a rough offseason. Good to see him pick up right where he left off from his MVP year.
Joey Votto, 1B (.350 BA, 14 HR, 47 RBI)
Here’s all you need to know about how good a hitter Votto is: He’s hit ONE infield pop-up since ’09.
Giancarlo Stanton, DH (.364 OBP, 19 HR, 50 RBI)
Man, I sure hope he can compete in the Home Run Derby.
Carlos Gonzalez, RF (.340 BA, 17 HR, 58 RBI)
Like McCutchen, this guy does it all on the field.
David Wright, 3B (.350 BA, 10 HR, 55 RBI)
What a travesty that Pablo Sandoval is starting at third base over him.
Aaron Hill, 2B (.300 BA, 11 HR, 39 RBI)
Two cycles in one half? Yeah, he gets the nod.
Carlos Ruiz, C (.357 BA, 13 HR, 46 RBI)
Ruiz was always lost in those deep Phillies lineups. Not anymore. Without him, they have nothing this year.
Starlin Castro, SS (.291 BA, 40 RBI, 16 SB)
Tough year for NL shortstops. I’ll take the one with the most upside.
SP: R.A. Dickey (2.15 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 12 W)
Great story, great person, great season. I don’t care if he’s a knuckleballer. He deserves it.
*** I’ll be taking the Baltimore series off. Follow Joe McIntyre for Angels updates, and look for stuff on the Angels’ first half and the upcoming Trade Deadline very soon. I’ll catch up with y’all from KC.
Leading up to Opening Day, I’ll roll out an All-Star team for each of the six divisions in baseball — that includes a manager, a starting nine (with a DH also for the National League), three starters and two relievers. One catch: Each team must have at least one representative, and the skipper doesn’t count. Feel free to submit your own lineups below. I’d love to see how yours differ.
Day 3: NL Central
Probably the most wide-open division in baseball (except you can probably count out the Astros).
Manager: Dusty Baker, CIN
Andrew McCutchen, CF (PIT)
Starlin Castro, SS (CHC)
Ryan Braun, LF (MIL)
Joey Votto, 1B (CIN)
Matt Holliday, RF (STL)
Aramis Ramirez, 3B (MIL)
Carlos Lee, DH (HOU)
Yadier Molina, C (STL)
Brandon Phillips, 2B (CIN)
Chris Carpenter, STL (if healthy)
Yovani Gallardo, MIL
Adam Wainwright, STL
Joel Hanrahan, PIT
John Axford, MIL
The Angels were in talks with the Indians about a deal to send disgruntled outfielder Bobby Abreu to Cleveland, but as of late Thursday night, nothing had been finalized.
Industry sources told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez the two sides were working on the parameters of a deal earlier in the afternoon, but CBSSports.com and FOXSports.com reported that the amount of money the Indians would absorb was holding up a trade.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto could not be reached for comment, and Abreu’s agent, Peter Greenberg, wrote in a text message that he had not been told about a potential trade for his client. A team spokesman said no announcement was imminent.
The Angels have long been trying to move Abreu, the 38-year-old slugger who has been left without a role now that Albert Pujols is on board, Kendrys Morales looks healthy and Mark Trumbo is an option in the corner outfield.
But Abreu’s $9 million salary has been a major obstacle, and his lackluster spring performance – he’s batting just .087 (4-for-46) and has gone hitless in his last five games – has only made it more difficult.
On Thursday, manager Mike Scioscia gave Abreu a mental day off.
The Angels are willing to – and would have to – absorb the vast majority of Abreu’s remaining $9 million in a potential deal. Major League Baseball’s pending approval of the amount of money the Angels would send to the Indians could be keeping the trade from being finalized.
Switch-hitting Indians outfielder Trevor Crowe was removed from a Minor League game on Thursday, which is usually a sign that a player is part of a potential deal.
If the trade falls through, it would mark at least the second failed attempt to move the veteran slugger. Back in February, the parameters were in place for a deal that would’ve sent Abreu to the Yankees in exchange for starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, but Burnett – who eventually went to the Pirates – used his limited no-trade clause to veto a move to the West coast.
Abreu – 16 homers away from 300, 116 hits away from 2,500, seven steals away from 400 and 81 walks away from 1,500 – recently told MLB.com he’d like to play three more years, and previously voiced frustrations about his current role to a couple of Spanish-language publications.
“I’m fine,” Abreu, who has had a couple of closed-door meetings with Dipoto and Scioscia this spring, said Thursday morning. “I don’t have any problems. That’s been talked about. There’s no problems. For me, the most important thing is to finish getting ready for the season, so that whenever they need me, I’m ready.”
Abreu was as consistent and well-rounded a player as there was from 1998-2009, batting .301 with a .406 on-base percentage while averaging 21 homers, 28 stolen bases and 156 games during that stretch.
Over the last two years, though, his batting average has dipped to .254. And though he posted the second-highest on-base percentage on the Angels in 2011, Abreu mustered just eight home runs all season and put up a .668 OPS in the final two months.
That’s what a Wednesday morning report on ESPNNY.com said. The website reported that the Yankees were trying to sell A.J. Burnett — the enigmatic pitcher who has $33 million left on his deal and is basically left without a role on New York’s loaded staff — on waiving his no-trade clause to join the Angels in a deal that would’ve sent Bobby Abreu back to the Bronx.
The problem: Burnett’s wife is afraid of flying, so it doesn’t look like a move to the West coast will happen.
Burnett, owed $16.5 million each of the next two seasons, still has good stuff but hasn’t been able to translate that into consistent success over the last couple of years, posting a 5.20 ERA in 377 regular-season innings over that span. The Angels are on his no-trade list, but the Pirates are not. And at this point, it appears a foregone conclusion that a deal between New York and Pittsburgh will get done, with the hangup seemingly being how much of Burnett’s contract the Yankees are willing to pick up (maybe upwards of $23 million).
It’s a moot point now, but the Angels were actually possible?
My take: I’m not dismissing the validity of the report — FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal also alluded to the same — I’m just struggling to wrap my head around it. The Yankees have said they only have $1-2 million to spend on a DH, which means that in this potential deal, the Angels would basically eat up Abreu’s $9 million salary. Now, let’s say the Yankees pick up $20 million of Burnett’s deal. That means the Angels — a team that passed on signing far cheaper relievers that they actually needed — would be on the hook for $13 million, and losing Abreu altogether, in order to add a fifth starter who would be a luxury. It would make more sense for the Angels if the Yankees picked up $20 million of Burnett’s contract and stomached Abreu’s salary. But why would they do that if they could save much more in a deal with the Pirates, then sign a guy like Raul Ibanez on the cheap?
Not sure it makes much sense, but hey, it’s not my place to decide.
The question is how long they’re willing to wait out the likes of C.J. Wilson and Ryan Madson. As The Los Angeles Times pointed out on Monday — day 1 of the Winter Meetings — new general manager Jerry DiPoto plans to meet with Wilson’s agent here in Dallas. Frankly, why wouldn’t he? The real question is whether it’s possible — or even practical — for the Angels to fork over most of their remaining payroll on one arm, to address the best aspect of the team no less.
If they don’t want to go that route, or commit to Madson — remember, the Phillies reportedly offered four years at $44 million — there are a few low-cost options to be had.
Starting pitcher-wise, Mark Buehrle is the logical fit. Problem: A lot of teams want him, and he’s said to be looking for a no-trade clause as part of at least a three-year deal. Some other lefties to keep in mind: Jeff Francis (4.82 ERA in 31 starts for the Royals last year), Erik Bedard (3.62 ERA in 24 starts for the Red Sox and Mariners) and Paul Maholm (3.66 ERA in 26 starts for the Pirates).
As for the right-handed bullpen arms, there are plenty from which to choose. The most intriguing may be Octavio Dotel, because of how well he pitched down the stretch for the World Series-champion Cardinals and because of his experience as both a setup man and closer. Dotel (38) shifted from a Type A free agent to a Type B under the new CBA, so he won’t cost the team that signs him a Draft pick.
Some others: LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Cordero, Takahashi Saito, Frank Francisco, Mike MacDougal, Scott Linebrink and Luis Ayala, among a host of others.