The March 8th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Frieri pleased with progress of his cutter, Angel players explain why they aren't participating in the WBC and much more...
The Story: Ernesto Frieri is pleased with the progress of his cutter.
The Monkey Says: I am still not sold, but I am hardly a pitching coach. If the results are there, great. I would just hate to see him fall too in love with this shiny new toy and neglect his awesome two-seamer which needs to remain his primary pitch.
The Story: Weaver and other Angels explain why the timing of the World Baseball Classic makes it hard for them to participate.
The Monkey Says: I see the issues for sure. Doing it in spring training just doesn't seem to work for anyone and I can't say that I think fans are particularly excited for it. Joe Sheehan's idea of extending the All-Star break by a week makes a lot of sense and I can't help but think that doing the WBC right after the World Series might not work as well since there are so many domed stadiums around and a large number of players play winter ball anyway.
The Story: Albert Pujols increased his running program and expects to DH again on Friday and maybe be in the field late next week.
The Monkey Says: Slow and steady, Machine. Slow and steady.
The Story: Jonah Keri selects a new Simpsons' Springfield Power Plant softball team with Josh Hamilton in left field.
The Monkey Says: Having Hamilton fall into league with the Flanders family is absolutely perfect though I am a bit ashamed that Keri didn't bring back Mike Scioscia, who has made a recovery from his tragic illness, to serve as a coach on the team.
The Story: The Angels are waiting for Hank Conger's throwing arm to catch up to his bat.
The Monkey Says: Conger should be the back-up this year but he might be on the way to literally throwing himself off the roster. He has already made a few horrific throws this spring, including a throw down to second on the pre-inning warm-up that was so off line that he nearly decapitated Jered Weaver, forcing Jered to duck and fall flat on his ass to avoid the errant throw.
The Story: Mike Trout is amongst the players with the most to prove in 2013.
The Monkey Says: I don't know that I agree with that. He definitely is a great story to watch to see if he can put up MVP numbers again, but I don't think there is much of a chance that he "disappoints." I just don't envision a lot of scenarios in which Trout doesn't at least perform at All-Star level.
The Story: Pessimism about the Angels season because of their tough division.
The Monkey Says: I'm not so sold on that. Personally, I think Texas is in for a fall this season and I am far from convinced that Oakland can win 90+ games again. Seattle should be better, but not by that much and everyone gets the added cushion of playing Houston, which also means fewer games against the rest of the division which had been much like cannibalism in 2012.