Halo Headlines: Trumbo cleared for full activity, Abreu gripes about his role again, Morales steps up his rehab program
The March 1st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Mark Trumbo cleared for full baseball activity, Bobby Abreu complains about his role again, Kendrys Morales takes his rehab to the next level and much more...
The Story: Mark Trumbo has been medically cleared to participate in full baseball activity.
The Monkey Says: One important distinction to make here is that Trumbo is cleared but not yet back at 100%. That being said, this is still good news. It also means that he can start doing real work at third base instead of the very limited range of practice he has taken there. His crash course at the hot corner is about the heat up.
The Story: Bobby Abreu is now complaining about being limited to designated hitter.
The Monkey Says: Make it stop! The Abreu Self-Delusion Tour doesn't seem like it is ever going to end. Whether you are familiar with the advanced metrics or not, there is little arguing that Abreu has been a miserable defender for the last several years. He has no business playing more than a handful of games in the outfield for any team. And even if we accept his theory that it is harder to hit when not playing the field (which is highly debatable), whatever added offensive value it would bring would be more than canceled out by all the value he subtracts with his glove. Frankly, his 2011 offensive numbers are not that much worse than his 2010 numbers (when he started 134 games in the outfield), so his argument doesn't really hold much merit. The bigger issue here though is that he won't stop grumbling to the press. It is pretty clear he wants out and the Angels would surely love to oblige him, but the more he complains about his role, the less attractive he looks to prospective trade partners. This isn't going to end well.
The Story: Kendrys Morales is taking right-handed batting practice and running S-patterns in the outfield, with the aim of running the bases next week.
The Monkey Says: The right-handed swinging is huge as he never got that far last season, nor did he ever run anything other than straight lines. I'm done being cautiously optimistic. This is happening. He is going to be ready for Opening Day. How good he will be is a HUGE question mark, but at least there is now a strong likelihood that we will get a chance to find out.
The Story: There is now an agreement for the playoffs to be expanded to include an extra Wild Card team in 2012.
The Monkey Says: A lot of fans are against this, but since the Angels are one of six teams that are widely considered to be serious playoff contenders in 2012, I fully embrace them having an extra spot to compete for.
The Story: Putting Bobby Abreu's situation in perspective.
The Monkey Says: My only hope is that Bobby has a Baseball Prospectus subscription, because he needs to read this.
The Story: David Eckstein was in Angel camp as a guest instructor yesterday.
The Monkey Says: The best part is that he worked at third base with Mark Trumbo, which makes me fondly remember back to the day when Manute Bol and Muggsy Bogues shared the cover of an issue of SI for Kids.
The Story: Cardinals reporter takes aim at Albert Pujols via cartoon.
The Monkey Says: Well done, but it does smack of sour grapes some. Face it, folks. Great players staying with one team their whole career just isn't going to happen much more in the current era of professional sports.
The Story: The Angels will play an intra-squad game this Saturday.
The Monkey Says: It is open to the public. I highly recommend camping out on the sidewalk outside Tempe Diablo Stadium starting... wait for it... now.
The Story: It sounds as if Mike Scioscia will mostly use Mark Trumbo at third based on who is pitching for the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Great idea. Glad I thought of it.
The Story: Ruby's Diner will be replaced at Angel Stadium this season.
The Monkey Says: And Carl's Jr. too? I'm sure Arte and the boys can come up with some new restaurants eager to serve the hordes of fans flocking to Anaheim to see Albert Pujols.
The Story: Baseball Prospectus previews the AL West and the Angels.
The Monkey Says: Thoroughly entertaining but for the fact that they still call the Angels the "Anaheim Angels."
The Story: 10 Angels that could feel the heat this season if they don't meet expectations.
The Monkey Says: It should be nine. Manager-for-life Scioscia is not going to feel any pressure. I'm fairly certain he could post a YouTube video of him drowning a bag of puppies while he defecates on a burning American flag and his job still would not be in jeopardy.
The Story: Jerome Williams main concern this year is mental focus.
The Monkey Says: If you follow Jerome on Twitter, you can see he is all about mental motivation. Considering what he came back from to earn a roster spot last season, let's hope he can keep that focus and keep his comeback story going.
The Story: Mike Scioscia is not worried about the overabundance of infield depth.
The Monkey Says: Nor should he be. Most of the Angel infielders have some kind of history of being a bit brittle, so having depth all over the infield is only a good thing.
The Story: The fact that the Dodgers are even having to field questions about the Angels shows that they have cause for concern in the LA baseball market.
The Monkey Says: Believe it or not, I actually tried to be impartial when I wrote that.
The Story: The Angels were the runner-up this off-season.
The Monkey Says: The Halos added the most talent, but paid a fortune and a half to acquire it. That the Yankees were able to make significant upgrades while spending a fraction of what the Angels did is very impressive and somewhat of an oxymoron.
The Story: Kendrys Morales is the player that could push the Angels over the top.
The Monkey Says: Co-sign, especially now that it looks like he might actually be close to healthy. Yes, I do realize that I am jinxing it, but I can't help myself.
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