By Glen McKee, angelswin.com Staff Writer
A few things happened last week in Angels baseball. None of them, none of them, has any importance compared to Mike Trout hurting his thumb and being removed from the game yesterday. Try to imagine this time without Mike Trout for any significant time. It’s like Disneyland without the rides and everything else that is Disneyland. It’s like going to In-N-Out and getting a grilled cheese with no sauce. It sucks! Please, Mike Trout, don’t be out too long. As I write this there is no updated information about when Trout will be back. I’m not a religious man so my prayers are worthless, but I’m willing to sacrifice a hobo to get him back on the field soon. Just give me a sign.
The team. Last week the Angels went 3-4 against a pair of mediocre-to-terrible teams in Florida. Splitting two in Tampa Bay gave the Rays the confidence they needed to take two out three from Minnesota during the weekend. The Marlins hadn’t won a series in over a month and the Angels coughed up two out three to them. It was actually a worse week than the 3-4 record indicates.
The bad. Matt Shoemaker followed up a beautiful start in Tampa Bay with a terrible start in Miami, giving up four runs in 4.2 IP. the Angels pitching is tied with Philidelphia for the most HR given up, at 76. Kold Kole Calhoun continued to be kold, hitting .158 last week. Luis Valbuena went 4-27 last week to just barely underperform Calhoun, at .148. Ben Revere, finally getting some regular AB, went 0-13 lat week. I’ll let you figure out what that average is.
The binnacle list. Mike Trout. Hopefully he won’t be on it that long. Mike Morin came off the DL, yay. Huston Street is getting closer to returning (yay?) and Cam Bedrosian isn’t too far away. Yunel Escobar is also close to being back, which will be a big help for the offense. Alex Meyer went on the 10-day DL. See you after the ASB, buddy.
The good. Cameron Maybin continiues to flourish at the top of the lineup, hitting .318 last week and sporting a .370 OBP for the season. Hopefully he stays at or near the top of the lineup when Escobar returns, even Mike Scioscia can’t miss how much better he’s been there. JC Ramirez continues to be the cleanest of peanuts, and the kind of player it seems like other teams always get. Two starts last week, two wins, 13.2 IP, 2 ER. Best pickup of the offseason for the pitching staff (although the bullpen has a few gems, hopefully I’ll get to more of them next week). Finally, Blake Parker. 2 IP last week, 3 K, 0 BB. For the year he has 22.1 IP, 7 BB, 35 SO, and a 2.82 ERA. This is stud potential right here.
The rest. Juan Graterol continues to be a solid backup catcher. Nolan Fontana (another member of my all-name team) has one hit in 14 AB since being called up, but that one hit is a HR, so he has that going for him. In related news, Kaleb Cowart continues to toil away in SLC, putting up good numbers. Amazingly enough, the Angels are still tied for second in the tepid AL West.
The week ahead. The Angels start a homestand today with three against the Braves followed by four versus the Twins. The Braves are bad, and the Twins are the surprise leader of their division.
Predictions. Last week I predicted 2-2 and 1-2 for the Angels, and they went 2-2 and 1-2. Being right never felt so meh. There’s no reason, even without Mike Trout, that the Angels can’t take two of three from the Braves at home but the Twins scare me. 2-1 versus the Braves, 1-3 verus the Twins. Post your predictions below.