Darren Oliver is headed to the DL, meaning that the Angels have enough starting pitchers on the DL to fill a rotation (one that would be well above-average for the league). Angel starting pitchers on the DL:

John Lackey
Ervin Santana
Kelvim Escobar
Dustin Moseley
Darren Oliver

And that’s not including the tragic death of Nick Adenhart.

The Angels starting rotation right now:

1. Joe Saunders
2. Jered Weaver
3. Shane Loux
4. Matt Palmer
5. ??????? (Your guess is as good as mine)

What the Angels starting rotation should be:

John Lackey
Ervin Santana
Joe Saunders
Jered Weaver
Kelvim Escobar
***With Nick Adenhart and Dustin Moseley waiting for their turn either in the minors or the bullpen.

I know every team has injuries. But does any team have it this bad, along with their best hitter (Vladimir Guerrero) being on the DL too?

If the Angels are within a handful of games of .500 in mid-May, it’s a success.

Bad day for the Angels

April 18, 2009

First we find out Vladimir Guerrero is out for at least a month (probably more). Then the Angels bullpen implodes, allowing seven runs in the eighth inning.

Things definitely look bad right now.

3 of the best 5 starting pitchers remain hurt (and our most-promising prospect died). The bullpen has been imploding.

It might be hard to be optimistic right now, but I have to force myself to be. It’s a long season and I don’t want to deal with the reality that this Angels team might turn out to be miserable.

Remember 2002? The Angels started 6-14 and ended up ok.

It could happen again. Probably not, but you never know.

At the very least, maybe the bullpen can lower its ERA below 9, maybe we can have five healthy starters, and maybe we can have a decent offense. Is that too much to ask?

Angels thoughts 4/13

April 13, 2009

The brawl at Sunday’s game was Josh Beckett’s fault more than anyone else’s. Yes, pitchers throw the occasional wild one that gets away, but Beckett didn’t show any signs of apologizing or that he didn’t mean for it to be intentional. Instead, he went toward home plate, yelling something at Bobby Abreu.

My favorite quote about this:

As Angels starter Joe Saunders put it, “You say ‘My bad.’”

Short, simple, and to the point. Beckett was the one who messed up.

LA Seitz and In Play, No Outs had pretty good takes on this too.

***

I’ve always liked Reggie Willits (not enough that I want him to start, but enough that I’d love to see Gary Matthews traded/released and let Willits be the 5th outfielder). While I’m sure he’d rather be in the majors, it has to be tough for him knowing he’s the one who replaced Nick Adenhart on the roster. Here’s what Reggie told the LA Times:

“I don’t feel like I’m replacing Nick — I don’t think anyone is going to replace him,” Willits said. “But I remember telling my wife, I really hope it’s not me, because of how hard this is.

When the Angels finally add a 5th starter to the roster, either Reggie or someone else will be sent back to the minors.

***

Confirming what we all already thought, the OC Register reports the Angels are probably going to look from within to add a starter to the rotation and not sign a free agent. It looks like Anthony Ortega will be the one joining the big-league club, and while, to be honest, I don’t follow the minor leagues that closely, I am impressed with his stats.

In 2008, he threw 174.1 IP with an ERA of 3.46, allowing only 13 homers, with 105 K and 55 BB. In his first (and only start) at AAA Salt Lake this season on Friday, Ortega pitched five innings, allowing only one run with two strikeouts and no walks.

And he’s only 23. I’m optimistic, but then again, I always am when it comes to Angels called up from the minors.

For more recent news about Angels’ minor leaguers, check out rghan at Halos Heaven or Chuck Richter at Angelswin.com.

It’s going to be tough for the Angels to play that game tonight.

I didn’t personally know Nick Adenhart, but I’ve still been sad about his tragic accident since I heard about it yesterday, keeping Adenhart and the other three who died in my thoughts. I can only imagine how tough it’s going to be for the players and coaches who knew him well to focus on tonight’s game.

My thoughts continue to go out to the families and friends of those who died. It’s still shocking to me that someone I saw pitch so brilliantly on Wednesday night and who had so much potential died only hours later, his life over at 22.  Life is truly fragile and it can be taken from us, instantly and unjustly.

I don’t have much else to say, but there has been some very good perspective on this from around the Halosphere. All of these posts are recommended reading:

From Rev Halofan at Halos Heaven:

So we had another guest in our house last night, he had just joined the family and we were excited to have him. These kids are so fantastic to have over in the living room, the game taking all of our attention except for a dinner break while they keep playing. It is always a quick run back to see how they are doing.

But a tragedy means he will never be back at our house, at your house, across the homes of this sprawling, tangled neighborhood, this nation, the world even as this sport we love grows in our hearts and imagination. He had an open invitation from every fan in every home, and that invite was a manifestation of the love and hope and competitive drive in each of us. We are sports fans because it allows us to spend time with the absolute best in their prime.

From Ashley at Everyday Life:

Now everyone has to struggle with allowing life to go on after such a loss. How can you justify laughing or grocery shopping when you know how painful this is for all that were so close to him? Anyone who has lost someone knows that it’s just as painful watching everyone else move on when it’s the one thing that controls your life and haunts your every second. It’s so soon.

From Marcus at In Play, No Outs:

Nick, in particular, was a player many of us watched from his draft at age 18 to his major league debut at 21. The fact that we’re the same age made his journey particularly fascinating and his death infinitely more depressing.

The Angels play the Red Sox tonight in a game which now feels completely different.

From Seitz at L.A. Seitz of Chicago:

I can’t really explain how this hit me, although I suppose it was probably the same for most of you. I actually found out from a friend via email, who’s initial message was simply “Holy Crap, Nick Adenhart!” Not having heard the news, I responded with my take on his performance from the night before. He then said “You must not have heard the news…” From that point on, the next three hours were just kind of an unproductive blur, and I can only say that fortunately I had some real work to do to pull me out of it. I’m still shocked, stunned, and I don’t know how I’ll react when the game starts tonight.

From Three Days of Cryin’:

Still, we love to crack wise, we love to infuse the snark that for some strange reason entertains us more than it really should.  And, obviously, we love to comment about Angels baseball in that spirit.

The events of the last 24 hours, however, have taken the enjoyment out of all of that.  We are reminded, amazingly as if we could have forgotten, that life is tenuous and, of course, that baseball is a mere game, a distraction for those of us in need or want of one.

From Chone Smith at Anaheim Angels all the way:

I don’t know what to say about how horrible I feel about what happened to Nick and 3 other occupants of his car last night. I’ve never met Nick, but have followed his career for a few years now. Because he was a highly regarded talent, that was one reason to follow his career closely, and that he was from Maryland, where I live, was a bonus.

And then, as multiple blogs have found, this video of Scott Boras (Adenhart’s agent) crying at the press conference yesterday still gets to me.

So on Opening Day, the Red Sox had a fantastic gesture where the players walked through the stands to get to the field, which I thought was very cool. It’s not often the fans get to see the players up close like that.

Check out the video here, which I can’t figure out how to embed on a WordPress blog.

But some players think otherwise. Here’s Jonathan Papelbon:

“Just a terrible idea by [Red Sox senior vice president] Sarah McKenna, that was the person who came up with this idea, very stupid of her, ” Papelbon said. “And if she pulls another act like that, she can go down to Pawtucket.”

He added that “not many” of his teammates liked the gesture.

Way to go Papelbon, the less you can do for the fans, the better. Here’s hoping the only time Papelbon sees the mound this weekend against the Angels is in mop-up duty.

(Hat-tip to Baseball Think Factory)

From the LA Times:

Angels’ pitcher Nick Adenhart was among the three killed in a crash in Fullerton when a driver ran a red light, an associate of the rookie player said this morning. The crash occurred only hours after the 22-year-old appeared in Wednesday night’s Angels game.

Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of the three who lost their lives, including Adenhart’s teammates and the Angels organization. Tragic news.

Greatest video ever

April 3, 2009

Major hat-tip to Bruins Nation.

The Gary Matthews saga

April 1, 2009

I’d be thrilled if the Angels traded Gary Matthews Jr. and got anything useful at all in return. Matthews is clearly behind four other outfielders on the depth chart and his presence on the roster with his huge salary always makes me worried that Scioscia will play him too much. I highly doubt the Angels will be able to move him, but if they do, I would be completely ok with Reggie Willits as the fifth outfielder.

As for Matthews complaining about his lack of playing time, I agree with what Torii Hunter said on his blog:

I know a lot of people are criticizing Gary Matthews Jr. for taking the stand he’s taking, wanting to play every day. People wonder how a guy making the kind of money he’s making can act like he’s not happy. I hear that all the time. You’re making all that money, how can you complain? What’s your problem? Well, that’s not fair at all, if you understand the mindset of an athlete. We’re competitors by nature, and we all want to be part of something special.

I still hope the Angels do trade him, but I have no problem with Matthews being unhappy with his role. Even though the Angels have better options, he probably thinks he’s really good. That part is understandable.

Angel Links of the Week

April 1, 2009

Stuff I’ve enjoyed while being away from this blog for the last week:

Rev Halofan on why Steve Finley was awesome.

Ashley Thompson of Everday Life has been all over the place, with a guest post in the OC Register Angels blog and a live chat at Halos Heaven.

Uni Watch has pictures of new Angels alternate uniforms, and I’m not a fan of the maroon and gold. I didn’t like the red color change when it came out in 2002 though, and love it now. It’s amazing what winning will do to your outlook on things.

Future Angels has a cool post on the best minor-league teams in Angels history.

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