- The Story: The Angels don’t expect Kendry Morales to miss the entire season. The Monkey Says: He does have a leg fracture, but they believe he can get healthy after surgery in time to maybe (emphasis on “maybe”) be healthy close to the end of the regular season. While that is good news, the Halos would be foolish to think that they are going to get anything out of him this season and must operate under the assumption that he is out until 2011.
- The Story: Paul Konerko and Lance Berkman top the target list for the Angels. The Monkey Says: The Angels aren’t publicly exploring trades, but they have to be thinking it over privately. Personally, I think they should push pause on trade talks until at least this big road trip is over so that they have some kind of idea if they can really contend before they spend money and prospects on a rental player via trade. There are certainly some free agent options (like Jermaine Dye or Ryan Garko) that they could take a low-risk chance on first.
- The Story: Torii Hunter is day-to-day with a bruised hand. The Monkey Says: The Halos at least caught a little bit of luck when Hunter avoided serious injury after being struck by a Felix Hernandez pitch. Hunter should hopefully be ready to go again within the next few days.
- The Story: The Izturis experiment. The Monkey Says: It really isn’t an experiment, it is just logic. Maicer Izturis is the most well-suited Angel to hit in either of the top two spots in the batting order and should be hitting there as long as he is in the lineup, which should be much more frequently now that Morales is out.
- The Story: Does Izturis have a “handle with care” label? The Monkey Says: He definitely does, as he seems to make a trip or two to the DL each year with some sort of muscle strain or soreness. The Angels should use him judiciously, but they don’t have that luxury right now and won’t until Brandon Wood figures everything out and/or they acquire a Morales replacement.
- The Story: The Angels are considered a team that could add payroll this summer. The Monkey Says: I’m not totally sure I agree with that. The Angels claim they lost money last season and have an even bigger payroll this year. Then again, Arte Moreno wants to win, so he might be willing to add payroll if it means another shot at the World Series.
- The Story: What to do with Scot Shields? The Monkey Says: Unfortunately, it sounds like the answer is “nothing.” The Angels don’t want to single anyone out in the pen since so many players are struggling, but Shields looks to be broken beyond repair. He may be the most-tenured Angel, but releasing him might send a message to the rest of the relievers that they need to produce or else.
- The Story: 2000 reasons to appreciate Bobby Abreu. The Monkey Says: Congrats to Bobby on playing his 2000th game and best of luck on his quest to get 3000 hits (he’s going to need it).