- The Story: The Angels are showing strong interest in Cuban defector Adeiny Hechevarria. The Monkey Says: I don’t know much about Hechevarria but saw some scouting reports have him rated quite highly as a shortstop with solid pop. He is just 19 years old, so he likely won’t be big league ready for a few years. The Angels will have to bid for his services, which didn’t really work out that well last time with Aroldis Chapman. Personally, I hope they don’t get him because I am never going to be able to remember how to spell his name.
- The Story: WAR projections from the CHONE system predict the Angels to have a top 11 starting rotation. The Monkey Says: This comes after Buster Olney called their rotation the fourth best in the league. The Angel rotation certainly has depth, but almost every single starter has a great deal of uncertainty surrounding their potential for the 2010 season, especially Ervin Santana and Joel Pineiro.
- The Story: Scot Shields is one of ten players looking for a big comeback after injuries in 2009. The Monkey Says: Shields is a little behind schedule, but it bodes well for him that his injury was to his knee and not his arm. In fact, I kind of suspect that missing most of last year will be good for him in the long run since it gave his overworked arm a chance to rest.
- The Story: Darin Erstad is “at peace” with his potential retirement. The Monkey Says: Erstad doesn’t have much left to offer as a player, but I for one would love to see him latch on with a team as a coach of some sort. His competitive fire and work ethic are surely something that most teams would covet as a potential mentor.
- The Story: Varied arm slots might explain the difference in Jered Weaver and Brian Fuentes’ platoon splits. The Monkey Says: These are the kind of statistical studies I wish the players would read and incorporate into their game. It also make me wonder if the Halos wouldn’t be better off using Kevin Jepsen (who struggles against lefties but murders righties) in a closer platoon with Brian Fuentes.
- The Story: A profile of prospect Randal Grichuk. The Monkey Says: Grichuk was LAA’s big foray into focusing on drafting more power into their farm system and the early results are looking good. For me, I will be more concerned about his ability to play the field as reports vary as to just how well he performed with the glove in his first minor league season.