The February 12th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Madson suffers a setback in rehab, PECOTA predicts the Angels to win the AL West and much more...
The Story: Ryan Madson has shut down his rehab after suffering a sore elbow on February 1st, making it very unlikely he'll be ready for Opening Day.
The Monkey Says: Zoiks, Scoob! This is very discouraging as it virtually assures that Madson will have to open the year on the disabled list, which will definitely test the depth of the Angel bullpen. Frieri will likely take over as the primary closer until Madson is ready, but it means that Kevin Jepsen is functionally the only semi-reliable right-hander in middle relief. This makes me wonder if the Angels might not float a minor league contract out to a guy like K-Rod to hedge their bet against Madson's health.
The Story: The new 2013 PECOTA projections predict that the Angels will win the AL West.
The Monkey Says: You'll have to pay for the full projections, but it is well worth it. One item I will share is that PECOTA believes that Mike Trout is a mortal and will regress down to not quite MVP levels. It also predicts that Vernon Wells will still stink, so it does know some thing.
The Story: Howie Kendrick is fully recovered from off-season elbow surgery.
The Monkey Says: What the what? When did this happen? Did he have all the GIDPs removed? Because if he did, that would be great.
The Story: Reliever Michael Kohn is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery.
The Monkey Says: Nothing personal, but I kind of wish it was Kohn who was behind schedule and Madson who was ahead. Oh well. Even with this news, Kohn likely doesn't have a great chance at making the team out of spring training, though he could be first in line for a call up if he has a good spring and continues to be effective in the minors.
The Story: Garrett Richards says he is open to being a starter or a reliever this year.
The Monkey Says: Good, because he doesn't really have a choice. If he wants a spot on the Opening Day roster, it will likely be as a reliever, but I wonder if the Angels are willing to compromise their rotation depth like that even though Richards profiles as a potentially excellent reliever.
The Story: Mike Scioscia says who bats second will likely be dictated by match-up and that in the long run, he hopes to move Trout down in the order.
The Monkey Says: Interestingly, he really only entertains the idea of Aybar and Callaspo batting second, so sorry about that Howie. Not so shockingly, Scioscia intimates that he is going to tinker with the batting order. I prefer Callaspo, but switching them up like that makes sense as they are both streaky hitters and Callaspo can't seem to decide what his platoon splits are going to be. As for Trout, I'd hate to see him fall anywhere below second in the order. His power is tempting, but he gets on base at such a high rate and sets the table so well for others that it would be a diservice to Trout and the rest of the roster to not have him in one of the first two spots in the lineup.
The Story: Albert Pujols and Vernon Wells both are amongst the Jonah Keri's 15 worst contracts in baseball.
The Monkey Says: I'm kind of surprised Hamilton didn't even get an honorable mention. The bigger issue I have here is Keri mentioning that Wells gets a $100,000 bonus if he gets the most All-Star votes in the league, which I feel like is just begging for someone to write some bot script that gives Wells tons of votes just to twist the knife in the Angels' wound a little bit more.
The Story: Concern that the Angels' weak farm system will make it hard for the Angels to make mid-season trades.
The Monkey Says: That is a valid concern, but the Angels aren't totally screwed. They won't be able to pull off another Greinke-type deal, but they can probably still be players for mid-tier type players because the Halos have the ability to take on cash, which is very valuable to certain clubs.
The Story: Albert Pujols is ranked as the fifth-best acquistion in Angels history.
The Monkey Says: I'd love to see this poll conducted again in ten years to see where he ranks because it could be much higher or much, much, much lower.