The May 1st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Angels looking to farm system for bullpen help, Jorge Cantu elects free agency, examining why the Angels might move to a new stadium in Los Angeles and much more...
The Story: Can the Angels find some bullpen help in the minor leagues?
The Monkey Says: Right idea, but mostly the wrong guys. Pauley isn't going to be much help, he's a mop-up man at best. Richards definitely could help, but my concern has always been stunting his development as a starter. I, however, continue to stump for Brad Mills to take over Takahashi's spot in the bullpen. After that though, the cupboard is pretty bare. Ryan Brasier has been putting up good numbers, but is a guy who has never even been on a top 30 Angels prospect list, so his upside is likely limited. The only real "upside" guy, which is what the Angels need, not another inning-eater like Francisco "The Other" Rodriguez, is Steve Geltz in Double-A. However, Angel brass doesn't seem to like Geltz as he is repeating Double-A even though he posted a strong performance last season and is currently putting up video game numbers this year.
The Story: Jorge Cantu is no longer an Angel after exercised his option to become a free agent.
The Monkey Says: His contract gave him an out-clause if he wasn't in the majors by May 1st. He is beyond blocked at the big league level, so he was wise to seek out a job elsewhere. At best, he could catch on as a bench player since he has failed to produce much since his big 2008 campaign.
The Story: Examining why the Angels would entertain moving to a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles.
The Monkey Says: I think the general consensus is that this is just Moreno gaining leverage on the city of Anaheim to work out a better deal once he opts out in 2016, but I'm not so sure. I think I smell a longer post on the subject coming later today.
The Story: Should the Angels be worried about their slow start and the historic trend of teams that bad not making the post-season?
The Monkey Says: This is sort of a weird way to look at things because most teams that start the season 8-15 are actually bad and playing to their relative talent-level, so of course they didn't make the playoffs. However, there is nobody who believes the Angels are truly a bad team which makes them different than the other teams they are being compared to, at least theoretically. None of these teams had a second Wild Card spot to pursue either, so the Angels have better odds in general of earning a playoff berth. If there is one thing I am certain of, it is that the Halos have almost no shot at winning the AL West.
The Story: Looking at Jordan Walden's performance and what we can learn from small sample sizes.
The Monkey Says: I still have faith in Walden getting his act together. All he really needs is to iron out his fastball command some and then get his slider to a point where he can get it over the plate on a consistent basis. His slider can be devastating at times, but he doesn't even need it to be since his fastball is so good. He just needs one secondary pitch, maybe even his burgeoning changeup, to be passable enough to keep hitters honest, much like Troy Percival mixed in his curveball two or three times in an inning just so batters had to think about it and not just sit on his heater.
The Story: Albert Pujols promised the rest of the team that he would start hitting during the daily hitters' meeting.
The Monkey Says: With all these meetings and speeches the team has been having, they are a drum circle and a Cumbaya sing-a-long away from starting a hippie commune. It is great to hear that they are building chemistry in the clubhouse, but nobody is going to care if this doesn't start resulting in some runs and wins pretty soon.
The Story: Mike Trout isn't going to let the pressure to spark the offense get to him.
The Monkey Says: Trout said, "You just have to go out there and play my game, not try to hit home runs every time or hit a grand slam with no one on. Just get on base and do the little things." Hmm, maybe he should be the one doing the talking at the team meetings and Pujols should be the one doing the listening.