The April 11th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including losing Weaver could be a blessing, Madson making progress and much more...
The Story: Jered Weaver's injury could be a blessing in disguise.
The Monkey Says: I like the optimism, but I think it is grasping at straws. There is a notion out there that Weaver is dealing with some sort of issue in his throwing arm and that a month off could help it heal. I suppose that is possible, but he had the whole off-season off and it didn't help his velocity at all.
The Story: Ryan Madson took a step forward in his rehab program.
The Monkey Says: Which surely means that tomorrow we'll hear that he is being shutdown with elbow tightness again.
The Story: The worst alarmist column about the Angels' early struggles.
The Monkey Says: The Chicken Little slant on the topic is one thing, but this is some seriously awful writing for someone in the mainstream media. Scott Miller actually had another piece on the Angels and Weaver that was just as gloom-and-doom as this one, but I won't link to it because that would be cruel... to you, not him, he can suck on an exhaust pipe for all I care.
The Story: Are the Angels actually in trouble?
The Monkey Says: Now this is much better, and not because it was written by MWAH's own Scotty Allen. It is amazing what taking a measured and practical assessment of a situation can do for you.
The Story: Welcome to the rotation, Garrett Richards.
The Monkey Says: I'm cautiously optimistic about Richards because has looked much sharper so far this year. The problem for him, like C.J. Wilson, is the one inning where he just loses his command. What we don't know is if he is going to find away to control left-handed batters. He has never used his changeup that much, but one would think he could fare better against opposite-handed batters if he mixed it in more.
The Story: Mike Scioscia says he did not use Sean Burnett in relief of Kevin Jepsen because Burnett had a blister, which Burnett denies.
The Monkey Says: The real denial is that Burnett pitched a whole inning after he wasn't brought in. Regardless, I don't really blame Scioscia much here. He simply trusted Jepsen, who had been very good thus far this season, too much. People are upset that he didn't bring in Burnett because of the platoon advantage, but Jaso is a switch-hitter, so they still wouldn't have had it (although Jaso is much weaker from the right side). Not bringing in Burnett to face Moss is much more questionable though and my guess is that Scioscia has been oddly defiant about a pitcher coming in for one or two batters to finish an inning and then continuing on until the next inning. That isn't a great reason, but I think Scioscia is catching far too much flack here simply because Angel fans are worried about the slow start.
The Story: Josh Hamilton's early struggles this year look a lot like his late struggles last year.
The Monkey Says: (fingers in ears) LA! LA! LA! I'M NOT LISTENING! LA! LA! LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!
The Story: The Angels signed Brad Hawpe to a minor league contract.
The Monkey Says: Hawpe used to be kind of good for the Rockies but failed miserably when he left the altitude. He is only really around to fill in for Kole Calhoun, who broke his hand, at Salt Lake.
The Story: The Angels' weaknesses are being exposed.
The Monkey Says: We all knew this team lacked depth, especially in the rotation. It was a risk Dipoto knew about and why I think he went for workhorses like Vargas and Blanton rather than high-risk/high-reward guys like Brandon McCarthy. The Weaver injury exposes the gamble he took, but hopefully they can weather the storm and make Dipoto look good in the long run.
The Story: 10 things you need to know about Mike Trout.
The Monkey Says: I didn't need to know any of those things. In fact, I kind of wish I could un-know that he loves Adam Sandler so much.
The Story: Mike Trout couldn't jump over a phone book Tuesday night.
The Monkey Says: J.J. Hardy has to be wondering why Trout didn't jump like this last year.
The Story: Get to know the history of Angels hitting coach Jim Eppard.
The Monkey Says: Just show me a birth certificate that proves to me that he isn't Mickey Hatcher and that is all I need to know.