The March 18th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Angels looking to trade for a back-up catcher, Weaver dealing with dead arm and much more...
The Story: The Angels are rumored to be scouring the trade market for a more established back-up catcher.
The Monkey Says: Hank Conger is simply a mess throwing the ball right now, so the team is looking for a fallback option if not an outright replacement. Already they've been linked to Ramon Hernandez and Chris Snyder. I don't imagine anything will happen until much closer to the start of the season as the Halos might hope that a veteran they like gets cut instead of giving up an actual asset for someone. I'll have a deeper look at this situation later today.
The Story: Jered Weaver is dealing with dead arm right now.
The Monkey Says: It happens to him every spring, but for some reason this makes me nervous given that arm and back problems he had last season. He still has two weeks to sharpen up though.
The Story: Kevin Jepsen is out with tightness in his triceps but doesn't think it will prevent him from starting the season on time.
The Monkey Says: Let's hope not, with Madson already down, the Halos can't afford anymore hits to their bullpen depth.
The Story: Reliever Brandon Sisk will miss the season to undergo Tommy John surgery.
The Monkey Says: It is a bad year to be a southpaw reliever in Angels camp. Sisk is done for the season. Andrew Taylor has a partially torn labrum. Mitch Stetter has been out all spring with an injury. Sean Burnett tweaked his back getting groceries. At this rate, nobody could blame Scott Downs and Nick Maronde for wearing body armor whenever they are not on the field.
The Story: Some executives think the Angels would be a good trade destination for Rick Porcello.
The Monkey Says: Porcello is getting a lot of heat this spring, but I've never much liked him. Still, I'd rather take a chance on him than rely on Joe Blanton. The interesting tidbit in this piece is the Halos are supposedly looking for another reliever too. I'm probably just being paranoid, but that makes me wonder if Ryan Madson is much further behind in his recovery than we think. Then again, you can never have too much good relief pitching.
The Story: Ernesto Frieri believes his changeup is ready for primetime.
The Monkey Says: That is encouraging, especially because it sounds like he is getting ready to scrap the cutter that I was never a fan of. A changeup could make Frieri even Ernastier.
The Story: Albert Pujols is on track to play the field this week, likely on Tuesday.
The Monkey Says: I missed the last few games, so I'm not sure how he is running, but it can only be a good thing that he is getting work in the field with two weeks to go before the season starts. I still imagine that he is going to play a lot more DH in the early part of the season than he normally would.
The Story: Fernando Cabrera has been impressing Angels coaches with his work in the World Baseball Classic.
The Monkey Says: How ironic because I assumed the WBC would actually give him no shot at making the team, yet now it looks to be helping. Still, it is hard to imagine him winning a spot on the roster when he has spent almost no time in camp and has no real prior relationship with the coaching staff. It looks like the final two spots on the roster are there for Garrett Richards and David Carpenter to lose, barring a trade.
The Story: Bryce Harper isn't worried about comparing himself to Mike Trout.
The Monkey Says: Nor should he. Hopefully he can help put an end to the nonsense of constantly pitting the two against each other. I get the historical significance of two great players entering the league at very young ages at the same time, but it should end there. There is no rivalry between the two other than the one the media keeps trying to manufacture out of thin air.
The Story: T.J. Simers does his best to get a rise out of Albert Pujols.
The Monkey Says: Simers at his worst once again. What chaps my ass about this piece is that it starts out as a touching look at Pujols and his daughter with Downs Syndrome... which Simers somehow quickly turns into a joke about Pujols' age and then immediately flips the narrative so that it is all about T.J. and how he is surprised that he can't get under Albert's skin. I really can't wait until the LA Times goes under.
The Story: A SWOT analysis of the 2013 Angels.
The Monkey Says: I wrote this so I won't bother with trying to recap it. Just go read it.
The Story: A look at how pitchers who switch arm angles based on the handedness of the batter might be more injury prone.
The Monkey Says: It is nothing concrete, but it is worth thinking about since Nick Maronde is one of the pitchers profiled in the study.