The February 13th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Ryan Madson to get an elbow MRI, Josh Hamilton is in the best shape of his life and much more...
The Story: Ryan Madson underwent an MRI on his elbow yesterday and he could start throwing again if it is clean.
The Monkey Says: The results should be available today, if they aren't already. The scary part here is what happens if it doesn't come back clean. They are saying this is a precaution, but it definitely raises alarms that they even felt an MRI was needed.
The Story: Josh Hamilton reported to camp 20 pounds lighter than normal after a juice, fruit and veggie heavy diet in the off-season.
The Monkey Says: Apparently Jesus sent him secret signs that he needed to give up carbs. That isn't a joke. That is essentially what he said about why he changed his diet. He also says he reduced his caffeine intake, which is significant given that a caffeine dependency caused him some vision problems last year.
The Story: The Angels are featured in seven of FOX's national baseball broadcasts.
The Monkey Says: They face the Rangers in FOX's first weekend and then are on the schedule three of the next four weeks. Strangely, they aren't on national TV once after July 27th though it seems like a good bet that they'll get on TV when they play Texas in the final two weeks of the season.
The Story: Sean Burnett says he is 100% recovered from elbow surgery and is on the same schedule as all the other relievers in camp.
The Monkey Says: Finally, some good injury news.
The Story: Jim Bowden ranks the Angels as having had the third-best off-season.
The Monkey Says: That seems too high, especially now in light of the fact that Madson might not be ready for Opening Day. The Angels added a lot of talent but they also lost a lot of talent and only but greater strain on the long-term financial flexibility, so I don't see how they can be given such a high grade.
The Story: Mike Scioscia has "no doubt" that Tommy Hanson will regain the velocity he lost off his fastball last season.
The Monkey Says: If he knows that for certain, he is either a warlock or is the secret identity of Dr. Tony Bosch. Guys with rotator cuff injuries and honked up mechanics don't just regain 3 MPH on their fastball like that. There's a reason the Braves traded him for an erratic reliever, after all.
The Story: Albert Pujols reported to camp early but won't get much defensive work just yet to protect his surgically repaired knee.
The Monkey Says: He took BP, so he must not be feeling too bad. If this knee injury lingers, it sounds like all it will do is force him to DH with Trumbo moving to first, which is not the end of the world.
The Story: Jason Vargas is trying not to worry about his looming free agency.
The Monkey Says: Let's hope not because this is a huge year for him. He isn't flashy, but if he can put up good numbers away from Safeco, he is going to make himself a lot of money. If not, he is going to join the ranks of back-of-the-rotation veterans who jump from team-to-team on one- and two-year contracts.
The Story: Ernesto Frieri has no problem working on a setup role and is working on developing a new pitch.
The Monkey Says: He says he can't be like Mariano Rivera and live off just one pitch, but I don't see why not. His two-seamer is practically unhittable... when he can locate it. I'd much rather he work on commanding that pitch than screwing around with a new off-speed pitch that he probably will have to scrap by the end of the spring since that is what happens 99% of the time a pitcher tries to learn a new pitch in one off-season.
The Story: A look at the surprisingly fantastic season of Nick Maronde.
The Monkey Says: I think I am higher on Maronde than most and can't wait to see what he can do as a starter in Double-A. Also, I have no idea who Angel Guerra is either.
The Story: Bobby Grich ranks as the fourth-best Angels acquisition of all time.
The Monkey Says: I am fully on board with the idea to get a campaign going to get Grich into the Hall. He is criminally underrated, especially given the era he played in. It will probably never happen though.