Originally posted on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 7/31/12

The July 31st, 2012 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Trumbo out with back spasms, Haren might miss start with more back stiffness, Angels showing trade interest in reliever Rafael Betancourt and much more...

The Story: Mark Trumbo was held out of yesterday's lineup with an upper back/rib cage problem.

The Monkey Says: He tweaked it during batting practice on Sunday but was held out Monday as a precaution.  The team said he could have pushed through it or even pinch-hit if need be.  Still, this will be something to monitor going forward.

The Story: Dan Haren is likely to miss his next start with a recurrence of back stiffness.

The Monkey Says: We are somehow supposed to feel better about this because it is in a different part of his back.  They are saying though that there is currently no concern that he will have to go back on the disabled list.  However, it seems pretty likely that Garrett Richards will draw the spot start for Haren on Wednesday.

The Story: The Angels have shown trade interest in Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt.

The Monkey Says: He is signed through 2013, so he wouldn't be a rental.  He's also accustomed to being a setup man, so he shouldn't be upset about not working as the closer.  Considering how well he has pitched in Colorado, he could be a pretty fantastic addition to the Angels bullpen.

The Story: Erick Aybar is taking batting practice and could come off the disabled list in time for the upcoming series against Oakland.

The Monkey Says: That is great news considering the initial rumor that he might miss as much as six weeks.

The Story: Exactly how much does adding Zack Greinke improve the Angels?

The Monkey Says: The point that they could've "gotten by" with a lesser starter is probably a valid one since the primary need for the Angels was just finding a dependable starter to help balance out the Santana's struggles, Richards' inconsistency and Haren's back issues.  However, getting by isn't really the goal when you want to win the division and thus avoid that one-game Wild Card playoff.  Furthermore, the Angels basically paid a premium to get a jumpstart on trying to sign Greinke before anyone else gets a chance to.

The Story: Tim Kurkjian believes the Angels did not trade for Zack Greinke without intending to do everything they can to re-sign him.

The Monkey Says: That doesn't really sound like a news scoop so much as basic common sense.  I suspect we will start hearing about extension talks with Greinke some time in the next two weeks.

The Story: Comparing how Mike Trout is surging while Josh Hamilton is faltering.

The Monkey Says: Not going to lie, this made me smile.

The Story: Maicer Izturis says he would like to remain an Angel after his contract expires at the end of the season.

The Monkey Says: That might be a hard sell.  Izturis has been a wonderful utility man for them years, but this season it appears that age and injuries are starting to catch up to him.  The Angels probably aren't real comfortable with handing his role over to Andrew Romine, but it might be worth it if it means saving a few million bucks that would go to Izturis or some other veteran utility infielder.

The Story: Even the Angel players are caught up in the excitement of the trade rumor mill.

The Monkey Says: I'm sure it is a lot more exciting when your club is doing the buying.

The Story: A look back at the Alex Johnson, the unheralded sole batting champion in Angels history.

The Monkey Says: Considering his run-ins with management, it is pretty easy to understand why they have swept him under the rug for decades.

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