The August 5th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Vargas and Bourjos ready for rehab this week, debating Shuck's amazing catch and much more...
The Story: Jason Vargas will make a rehab start on Thursday while Peter Bourjos will begin his own rehab assignment at some point this week.
The Monkey Says: By my math, that means the earliest Vargas could return to the majors is Tuesday the 13th. If he makes that start for the Halos, then the next start he would make would be on the 18th. That seems like a long time to wait to trade him, so I can't help but think that Vargas might be traded once he proves himself healthy during this rehab start. In other words, we may have already seen the last of Vargas as an Angel. As for Bourjos, the team isn't likely to rush him back since it is only going to further muddy the outfield rotation as they try and evaluate Kole Calhoun and Collin Cowgill.
The Story: Mike Scioscia still prefers Mike Trout's grab over the play J.B. Shuck made over the weekend.
The Monkey Says: Am I the only not all that impressed with Shuck's catch? As even Scioscia pointed out, he had time to get to the spot on the field and then made an unimpressive jump. The impressive part was that he fell over the short wall and still hung onto the ball. If that play happened in almost any other stadium, the wall would have been higher and J.B.'s catch probably wouldn't have even been the play of the night and certainly not the play of the year as some are calling it. Nonetheless, I'm sure some will use this one play to justify calling him a good defensive outfielder despite a metric ton of evidence to the contrary.
The Story: The Angels signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract.
The Monkey Says: Talk about scraping the barrel. Willis hasn't been a useful major leaguer since 2006, but he keeps bouncing around thanks to brand name recognition. This seems like another attempt by Dipoto in his never ending quest to build a bullpen by throwing **** against a wall and seeing what sticks. Thus far, the wall is pretty clean.
The Story: Brad Hawpe is being given his unconditional release.
The Monkey Says: I still can't believe he was on the active roster for nearly two months to begin with.
The Story: Chris Nelson is making the most of his opportunities at third base.
The Monkey Says: Said the author who wrote this before Nelson turned into an error machine on Sunday. Look, folks, Chris Nelson is not the answer at third. He doesn't hit that much, so he isn't going to slug his way into the lineup. He also has generally graded out as a poor fielder at third, so it isn't like his glove makes up for his punchless bat. At best, he is a bench player. If/when Luis Jimenez gets healthy, he should be given every shot possible to prove he can hold down third base next season. Or the Halos could actually call up Grant Green, which makes way too much sense.
The Story: A look at Mark Trumbo at the plate.
The Monkey Says: Trumbo is far from the perfect hitter, but this is nothing new. He does his best to stay alive against offspeed pitches, but he really just can't hit them. It is actually kind of impressive that he is as productive as he is despite being utterly helpless against changeups and curves.
The Story: Tommy Hanson made some adjustments to better control the running game.
The Monkey Says: Those adjustments paid off in his last start with Iannetta throwing out three base stealers. I'm not sure if it is helping his pitching though. I recall Braves fans complaining about how poorly he controlled the running game but also how efforts made to get him to be faster to the plate threw off his mechanics and hurt his overall effectiveness. I might be misremembering though.
The Story: Mike Scioscia hopes the Biogenesis scandal and the punishments that will be handed down today help clean up the game.
The Monkey Says: Not to be cynical, but it probably won't help all that much. If anything, it will just make sure that the cheaters are more careful and discreet. I still think that stiffer penalties would help and that seems to be the way things are trending.
The Story: Garrett Richards was guilty of the most wild pitch of the week.
The Monkey Says: This is why I have such a hard time buying into Richards as a starter. His mechanics just go to hell all of a sudden and then something like that GIF happens.