Thursday, April 7, 2016

Nancy Drew and The Case of the Missing Offense

Man, what a rough couple of games.  I was trying to stay mostly positive after Monday's game, but game 2 was almost a carbon copy of game 1.  Andrew "Babyface" Heaney had a little more trouble than Garrett Richards did but the bullpen did a better job of limiting the damage.  Still basically the same outcome.

In fact, Heaney was mostly effective outside of that one rough inning... similar to Richards... the offense was a nonstarter (aside from one pity run) once again... and no one was playing with any intensity, especially in the middle of the lineup.  

Over the first two games, the Angels 2-3-5 hitters have one hit and six strikeouts in 22 At-Bats to start the season.  The only hit was a fairly pedestrian single by Kole Calhoun in his first AB of the season.  Former MVP Mike Trout has 3 of those Strikeouts and I don't think Albert Pujols has hit the ball past second base yet this season.

It would be one thing if it was just a chunk of our lineup not hitting effectively for a couple games... whatever, no big deal... but it just feels like there is zero intensity out there right now.  On offense, no one is really working the counts (Neither Cubs starter needed more than 93 pitches to get through 7 innings of work), no one is showing a ton of hustle on the bases or on defense... it just feels like this week has just been a continuation of Spring Training.  

This team is talented, or at least shows the promise of talent, at just about every position.  Things will start to fall into place.  But the start to the 2016 season has been harder to watch than an episode of Big Bang Theory with the laugh track removed.


The Rangers are in town with Derek Holland on the mound.  Hector "Which One Are You Gonna Get?" Santiago is on the mound for the Angels.  Trout and Pujols have great career numbers against Holland, if they are going to get out of this rut, tonight is the night.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

When a Cub Becomes a Bear

Well, that was certainly one way to start the season.

Some positives to start off:

+ Carlos Perez looked like he belonged behind the plate at a big league level.  He called a good game, was always cool under pressure and blocked the plate like a champ.  For a team that likes to build it's pitching around a great catcher, Carlos Perez could be that next guy, and it's exciting to watch.  Also, he was one of only three guys to get on base against Jake Arrieta last night.

+ At least we aren't the San Diego Padres right now...

....And the Negatives... I'll try to keep this to just three:

- Four Total Bases... FOUR.  I know Arrieta is the reigning NL Cy Young.. but FOUR total bases?  The Cubs managed three in the first inning.  The equipment manager should probably check the bats to make sure their aren't any baseball-sized holes comically drilled into them.

- Garrett Richards' consistency.  He was either striking guys out or putting them on base last night.  Only 3 came around to score on his watch, but nine guys reached base safely... His stuff can be nasty, but he needs to be able to locate it over and over again.

- The Bullpen looked ROUGH.  I know they were coming out in mostly a losing effort, but that's no excuse for six runs over four innings. My least favorite Angels tradition is crappy bullpens, so this is a bad start to 2016.

All that being said, we are less than 1% into the 2016 season and the Angels were facing one of the best pitchers in baseball.

Sorry San Diego, but I'll say it again... at least it wasn't 15-0...

You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half.


Tonight sees Jon Lester and Andrew "Babyface" Heaney on the mound... there is pretty much nowhere to go but up from here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Baseball is Back! Wait, Is That Guy One of the Ballplayers?

The 2016 MLB Season is upon us, and the Angels have some new faces this year!  Let's get to know them a little better in my quick (read: two sentences or less) new player bios!  Sorry, Art Donovan, player weights are not included, but I can assure you that all these guys are one of the players.


Geovany Soto - Catcher:  Long-Time Cubs catcher who has spent the last few seasons tormenting Angels fans in Texas and Oakland.  Will be alright defensively, mostly there to mentor and develop Carlos Perez.  (Related: I miss Chris Iannetta already.)


Andrelton Simmons - Shortstop:  The Best Defensive Shortstop in Baseball right now who is improving offensively and is only 27-years-old.  Easily the Angels' most important new player.

Yunel Escobar - Third Base: Okay with a glove and a Bat, although he has a knack for getting on base.  Can't possibly be worse than David Freese, probably.

Ji-Man Choi - First Base: 24-Year-Old who is getting his first taste in the majors after years in the Marlins and Mariners organizations.  Probably will only stick around at this level until Pujols is 100%.


Daniel Nava - Left Field: Had that one good season in Boston.  Has hit a ton in spring training but will likely continue to split time in Left Field.

Craig Gentry - Left Field: Had that one good season in Texas.  Has great speed, but will be splitting time with Nava.


Al Alburquerque - Reliever: Spent a number of seasons as an inconsistent reliever for Detroit, will now be an inconsistent reliever for Salt Lake City.

I was only going to include players on the opening day roster until I realized that NO new pitchers are on the 25-man roster... so I threw Alburquerque in there since he was the biggest name the Angels added to the bullpen this offseason.

I was going to go into this huge outlook on the season, but decided this was more fun than over-analyzing every little thing trying to figure out if the Angels would win 78 games or 83 games.

If things go well, maybe semi-regular updates will continue, but I'm certainly not promising anything (because then we'd start 5-14 with Trout hitting .178).

Enjoy the 2016 Angels Baseball season!