The February 15th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Trout up to 240 pounds, wondering if Hamilton's weight loss is PED related and much more...
The Story: Mike Trout is up to 240 pounds after adding 15 pounds this off-season.
The Monkey Says: I'm going to assume it is 15 pounds of muscle. Either way, I'm not sure I like this. The muscle could give him more power, but threatens to slow him down. More power is great, but he already has good power that was likely going to improve naturally regardless. Yet his speed is going to degrade, and probably soon. Adding the weight only serves to hasten that process and thus strip him of the his greatest tool. Who knows? Maybe Trout won't be affected at all, but I think I'd rather he not have put on the weight.
The Story: Speculating about whether or not Josh Hamilton's weight loss might be PED related.
The Monkey Says: I knew someone was going to try and connect these two dots eventually. I think it is totally baseless here, but at least it is handled in a somewhat non-loathsome manner. Personally, I just don't get why we all have to obssess over who might or might not be using PEDs anyway. It is never going away and MLB is trying to keep it to a minimum, why can't that be good enough?
The Story: Ernesto Frieri's new pitch is apparently a cutter and not a change-up.
The Monkey Says: This is even less encouraging. While a cutter can be very effective, there are plenty of guys who throw a cutter that isn't great and really just a crappy slider in disguise. With Ernie, I'd rather see him have a secondary pitch that introduces a big change in velocity, like a change-up, as opposed to a cutter which is usually just two miles per hour slower and runs the opposite direction of a two-seamer. I just don't think it is as good a complement to his best pitch.
The Story: Ryan Madson thinks his setback might actually be a good thing in the long run.
The Monkey Says: He pretty much owns up to maybe pushing himself too hard to try and be ready for Opening Day. I'm not sure how that will prevent him from once again pushing too hard once he realizes he might not get the closer job back from Ernesto Frieri though.
The Story: Albert Pujols has started doing agility drills and light running on his surgically repaired knees.
The Monkey Says: It is starting to look more and more like he could be playing a lot of DH to start the season, which is fine by me so long as he hits a homer before the end of April this year.
The Story: Albert Pujols is content to let Josh Hamilton take the spotlight.
The Monkey Says: Who is he kidding? The spotlight is clearly Trout's and Trout's alone. Also, I'm not sure I want Hamilton in the spotlight. In fact, I think he could benefit from not being such a focal point like he was in Texas.
The Story: Mike Scioscia plans to use the DH role to keep Hamilton and Pujols fresh.
The Monkey Says: I think this was always a given, but at least Scioscia is letting everyone know early that they should be ready to DH a fair amount if the situation calls for it.
The Story: Highlights from the Trout, Pujols and Hamilton press conference yesterday.
The Monkey Says: There were only nine God references yesterday, which was well below the 14.5 over/under for the presser.
The Story: Grading the Angels' off-season as a B-minus.
The Monkey Says: Finally a grade I agree with, not that the grade matters, but it pleases me to see someone get it right.
The Story: Looking at the odds of whether or not young stars like Mike Trout can improve in 2013.
The Monkey Says: I've been trying hard to come up with an article on this topic, but ultimately, I think we can all just safely say that he is still going to be really good. How good is up for debate, but I don't envision many scenarios in which he is actually considered disappointing.
The Story: Could the Angels' three new rotation member end up being a bargain?
The Monkey Says: No need to overthink this one. If Tommy Hanson pitches well, they are a bargain. If he doesn't, then they'll probably just be properly paid.
The Story: Vladimir Guerrero ranks as the second-best acquisition in Angels history.
The Monkey Says: An overlooked additional positive for his acquisition was that the Halos pretty much swiped him out from under the noses of the Dodgers.