Halo Headlines: Downs could return in a few days, Greinke's varying pitch speeds, Mike Trout is better than you realize
The August 14th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Downs could return in a matter of days, Zack Greinke wide range of pitch speeds, Mike Trout is better than you realize and much more...
The Story: Scott Downs could return to the active roster in a matter of days.
The Monkey Says: Downs is likely to skip a rehab assignment which is both an indication of how quickly he has recovered as well as how desperate the Angels are to get him back into the bullpen mix. Walden might be back soon as well as his second rehab appearance last night went very well.
The Story: Zack Greinke's on-mound experimentation and wide range of pitch speeds.
The Monkey Says: This is fascinating and I have nothing to add other than you are a bad person if you don't have a Baseball Prospectus subscription.
The Story: Mike Trout is better than you realize.
The Monkey Says: This is an interesting exercise in perspective. The author here suggests that Trout's phenomenal season has somehow gone under the radar outside of California, but that just might be the writer's own personal feelings leaking through. From my perspective, a guy who spends more time than can possibly be healthy thinking about the Angels, the notion of Trout being under the radar is laughable. I literally link to at least one article talking about how amazing Trout is everyday, or at least very close to that. One of us, or maybe both of us, has a skewed view on this matter.
The Story: The impact of injuries on each of the AL contenders.
The Monkey Says: This is where counting strictly by DL days is a little inaccurate because it totally ignores the probably dozen starts that Dan Haren made while being severely limited by his back problems. Even considering that, the Angels have had a relatively healthy season, so they can't really use that excuse if they wind up missing out on the post-season altogether (I hate that I even have to bring up that possibility).
The Story: The Angels signed reliever Tony Pena to a minor league contract.
The Monkey Says: There is nothing to see here. Pena is just minor league depth and hasn't really been a remotely useful big league reliever since 2009.
The Story: Mike Scioscia kept it light and pleasant in the recent closed door team meeting.
The Monkey Says: The players were surprise that it wasn't his usual tactic of getting loud and angry, which is actually nice to here since Scioscia has been criticized in recent years for failing to evolve in any way as a manager. On the other hand, the Angels lost to the Indians the very next night, so maybe a little fire and brimstone would've been better.
The Story: The Angels could be well positioned for the stretch run since teams with workhorse pitchers tend to finish strong.
The Monkey Says: This is Jim Bowden so he offers no real evidence to back up that claim, but with the way things are going for the Halos right now, I'll take whatever I can get. So, sure, hooray for workhorses!!!
The Story: As goes Albert Pujols, so goes the Angels?
The Monkey Says: Well sure, take the win-loss splits for any teams three-hole hitter and you are pretty likely to see the exact same thing. Still, it isn't like the Halos are losing because Albert's slump is somehow causing the bullpen to be unable to hold a lead or the starting pitching to go into the tank.
The Story: Kevin Jepsen recalls his Olympic moment.
The Monkey Says: Man, I forgot all about that. Not baseball in the Olympics but that Jepsen was ever well-thought of enough to be on the Olympic team.
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