Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 5/16/12
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The May 16th, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including reactions to Hatcher's firing, Pujols will stay in the three-hole, the evolution of Mark Trumbo and much more...

The Story: Mickey Hatcher's firing is a sign that Mike Scioscia's grip on the franchise has loosened.

The Monkey Says: Dipoto's comments make it pretty clear that he, possibly prompted by Arte Moreno, was behind this decision.  This could be a good thing because Scioscia does seems to have become too stuck in his ways and this potentially forces some new ways of thinking on him.  What remains to be seen is if Scioscia will be receptive to the new ideas.

The Story: Mike Scioscia has no intention of removing Albert Pujols from the three-hole.

The Monkey Says: Like I said, stuck in his ways.  Not dropping Albert even one or two spots in the order just reeks of "old school" managing.  Contrary to what Scioscia said, the team is NOT better off with Pujols batting third while he tries to figure things out.  The Halos actually have been getting production from the top two spots in the order lately, but that is being largely wasted because Pujols has been so bad.  In the long run, the Angels need him to be the linchpin of their batting order, but until he starts hitting that way again, the offense would likely improve with him batting lower in the lineup.

The Story: A look at how Mark Trumbo has improved this season.

The Monkey Says: I was definitely a skeptic of Trumbo after last season, but he is almost a totally different hitter this season.  His newfound plate discipline has transformed him into a legitimate star slugger.  His .390 BABIP is ridiculously unsustainable, so he will come back to earth before long, but even then he will still be putting up better numbers than anyon could've hoped for coming into this season.

The Story: An encouraging look at what Albert Pujols' numbers would look like if he started his previous seasons like he has in 2012.

The Monkey Says: Those wouldn't be the numbers that the Angels paid $240 million for, but they are still pretty dang good.  Now all we need is for Albert to flip a switch and turn back into The Machine overnight.  Easy, right?

The Story: The Angels are on a record pace for being shutout in a season.

The Monkey Says: Aaaaaaaand back to the depressing statistical trends.

The Story: Torii Hunter's situation sheds light on the little-used restricted list option.

The Monkey Says: It really is wonderfully progressive for MLB to offer the restricted list for such situations, freeing players up to tend to personal and family matters when they are truly needed.

The Story: Ryan Langerhans and John Hester are valuing what might be their short time in the big leagues.

The Monkey Says: This is a lovely fluff piece, but what I like about it is that the Angels actually have veterans in the minor leagues that they can call upon.  One thing that always drove me nuts about Tony Reagins is that he almost never brought in older players with big league experience to serve as insurance policies in the minors, often resulting in the Angels having to call up prospects or non-prospects who were completely overmatched.  I think we all still have nightmares over the abbreviated Paul McAnulty era.

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