Halo Headlines: Angels have their protest denied, Aybar returns from DL, Pujols wins AL Player of the Week
The August 7th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including the Halos have their protest of Friday's game denied, Aybar returns from the disabled list, Pujols named AL Player of the Week and much more...
The Story: MLB denied the Angels' protest of Friday's game.
The Monkey Says: And they didn't give much of an explanation either. The protest never had much of a chance quite simply because it would take an act of God for MLB to overrule an umpiring crew like that and force a whole game to be replayed. I'm pretty sure the Angels protested the game from Naked Gun where Lt. Frank Drebin took over as an umpire, mucked the whole thing up and saved the Queen and Bud Selig denied that protest as well.
The Story: Erick Aybar was activated from the disabled list for last night's game with Andrew Romine being sent back down to Triple-A Salt Lake.
The Monkey Says: Aybar had a very good game last night, so the layoff obviously didn't affect him much.
The Story: Albert Pujols won AL Player of the Week.
The Monkey Says: I'm pretty sure nobody would've expected him to go this long before winning his first AL Player of the Week award.
The Story: The Angels and Dodgers could wind up in a bidding war for Zack Greinke this off-season.
The Monkey Says: That is entirely possible, but I am not sold that it is a given. We know the Angels will do their darndest to re-sign Greinke, but the Dodgers may not be as big of players as you might think. Everyone says they will be because they tried claiming Cliff Lee, but I don't think that means much as they knew there was no way the Phillies were not going to just dump his big contract on a team for nothing in return. That being said, their new owners are poised to be big spenders and they already have a $135 million payroll for next season. It is not yet clear how much more they can add to that and if adding a top pitcher is their #1 priority since they still also have several holes in their lineup. There is also the very real possibility that Greinke may not want to play for the Dodgers.
The Story: Scott Downs begain a throwing program yesterday.
The Monkey Says: Jordan Walden sounds like he is 7-10 days away and Downs is probably about that many days behind him in his throwing program, so it looks like the Angels will have to weather the storm for a while longer.
The Story: The Angels waived pitching prospect Fabio Martinez.
The Monkey Says: This isn't really a big deal, but it is also rather puzzling. Martinez was once a rising star in the system, but missed all of 2011 with shoulder problems. He has been erratic and ineffective this season but he still misses a lot of bats. At best, he is years away from contributing in the majors but he also might never get out of Double-A. He is just 22 years old though, so it hardly seemed like time to just give up on him. He does clear a spot on the 40-man roster, but the Angels already had three openings. Maybe there is more to the story here, but nobody outside of the Angels front office really seems to know what it is.
The Story: The Angels drop in attendance this season is a major indicator that we may not know as much as we thought about how attendance works in MLB.
The Monkey Says: Rob Neyer tacks on a suggestion that the Dodgers are drawing at least some of the fans away, which is possible, but certainly not the main culprit. This has been an ongoing issue all season and nobody seems to have one solid explanation. One I would like to offer, as I am ever the conspiracy theorist, is that in previous season the Angels have engaged in practices to inflate their attendance figures (which many teams, like Boston, have been known to do). But my theory is that they figured the Pujols addition would allow the attendance numbers to take care of themselves, so they didn't doctor the numbers the first few weeks of the season, which is when they really took it on the chin at the gate. There is probably a very real decline in attendance, but I think it could be one that they normally would've done a better job of covering up. Or maybe I don't know what I am talking about.
The Story: The Angels will keep their rotation intact despite an upcoming off day.
The Monkey Says: They could've skipped Ervin Santana, but they won't, which is probably the right decision since it allows him to keep working to improve. It also gives Dan Haren an extra day off to make sure his back can stay healthy.
The Story: A look at Jered Weaver's remarkable performance and continued improvement.
The Monkey Says: I still don't know that I buy him being able to keep his BABIP so low, but at this point I am not going to doubt it either. Weaver doesn't have dominant stuff, though his curve is pretty good, but he is a shining example of what a guy can do when he masters the art of pitching.
The Story: Has Mike Trout already won the American League MVP?
The Monkey Says: The numbers are there, but I have to say no for now just because we don't know what the final narrative would be and the BBWAA loves players with a narrative. Trout is in good position there as the supposed savior of the season, but if the Halos stumble down the stretch and miss the post-season that falls apart. Once that happens, all it takes is Robinson Cano blowing up (even more) as the Yankees walk away with the best record or Austin Jackson leading a surging Tiger team to a AL Central title. I really like Trout's odds, but I wouldn't call the race just yet.
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