- The Story: Bobby Abreu returned to game action this weekend. The Monkey Says: Not that we should have to make excuses for Spring Training, but the Angel line-up has dealt with a rash of minor injuries thus far which largely accounts for their lousy record in the Cactus League. As everyone starts to get healthy, let’s hope the Angels can finish the spring on an upswing.
- The Story: Erick Aybar made a pinch-hit appearance on Sunday. The Monkey Says: It was Erick’s first game action in some time because of arm problems, so this is a positive step forward though he shouldn’t be considered fully healthy until he starts getting some work in the field.
- The Story: Joel Pineiro says he feels fine after his collision with Jim Edmonds last week. The Monkey Says: The Angels had to be holding their breath after seeing that play, so it is good to hear that Pineiro hasn’t noticed any ill effects. In fact, Joel did his best work of the spring after the accident, so maybe the Angels might want to arrange a few more collisions to get guys like Jered Weaver and Matt Palmer back on track.
- The Story: Mike Napoli is getting extra work in to figure out his throwing issues. The Monkey Says: If Napoli doesn’t start throwing some guys out soon, we could end up seeing a whole lot of Jeff Mathis to start the year, whether he hits or not.
- The Story: Old age and health could make the Angel outfield a vulnerability. The Monkey Says: Rivera is the youngest OF at age 31 and already Hunter, Matsui and Abreu have had small health issues this spring, so this is a very valid concern and possibly a very good reason for the Angels to carry just 11 pitchers so they can keep both Reggie Willits and Terry Evans on the active roster, especially since Willits is out with hamstring problems right now anyway.
- The Story: Brian Fuentes has some velocity problems. The Monkey Says: I knew his fastball was slowing down, but had no idea his change-up was getting faster. Scioscia better have a quick trigger if Fuentes struggles as the closer out of the gate.
- The Story: U of Washington QB Jake Locker worked out with the Angels this weekend. The Monkey Says: Don’t get too excited, Locker just did a few basic drills and is still fully committed to football. The only way he ever suits up for the Angels is if he completely flames out in the NFL where he is likely to be a top pick next year.
- The Story: An interview with new Angel announcer Victor Rojas. The Monkey Says: Victor sounds like a great guy, but the real test will be when he actually gets in the booth. I am optimistic though that the Halos might have finally found the right guy for the job.