Found April 25, 2013 on
Monkey with a Halo:
There is a philosophical war coming amongst the Angels fan base and maybe amongst Angel management too. In the next few weeks, Alberto Callaspo will come off of the disabled list only to find himself pitted against his fill-in rookie Luis Jimenez. It isn't a position battle that anyone anticipated happening, but boy is it going to spark a debate.
Pretty much nobody like Alberto Callaspo. He is as unsexy a player as there is. He's a slap hitter who's main offensive skills are that works counts, draws a decent number of walks and doesn't swing-and-miss much. He has virtually no power nor much any speed. He rates as a strong defender at third base but is not the sort who is given to make the highlight play so nobody ever really notices. He is also something of a dirtbag off the field as his arrest record shows, so that doesn't endear him to many people despite his steady ability to perform as a league average or slightly above third baseman.
Now Luis Jimenez, there's a player people love! He's got a fun nickname, LUCHO LIBRE! He can actually drive the ball and has shown himself to be a slick defender at the hot corner in his own right. He's also a rookie off to a hot start, something that is universally loved by fans of every creed. He's also a narrative dream. The kid that was underrated as a prospect but endears himself to the fans and team because he "plays with fire." He's gritty. He's a grinder. He's a hustler. He's the grittiest grindiest hustling hustler that ever hustled. And did I mention that he's got a cool nickname? It is just so much fun to call someone "Lucho." LUCHO LIBRE!
Without realizing it, the Angels are reacting a much smaller scale and less divisive old school vs. new school debate in the vein of the Cabrera (RBIS 4 EVA!) vs. Trout (WAR what is it good for?). Despite being a rookie, Lucho is a throwback to the old school with his swing at everything, walks are boring, go all out all the time style of play whereas Callaspo is something of a sabermetric darling because he is perceived as being underrated for his on-base ability and shiny UZR and DRS scores. And this is not just a conflict occurring in the minds of the fans and media, Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto both figure to have plenty to say about it before all is said and done.
For his part, Scioscia has already gone on record as being very impressed with Lucho's style of play and defense, stating that one way or another Jimenez will have a role with the team when Callaspo returns. What exactly that role will be he did not say, but he certainly left the door open for it to be a prominent one. The invocation of defense is one Scioscia loves to resort to as a justification for playing someone who isn't batting, lest we all forget that Jeff Mathis era. Of course he only deploys it when convenient, lest we forget the Wells over Bourjos dilemma. Callaspo is probably the better defender, but if Scioscia can keep talking up Lucho's glove so that he at least believes in his mind that they are close, then that is all he needs to favor Jimenez's offensive upside and fiery, gritty attitude.
Meanwhile, Jerry Dipoto has been mum on the topic, which is no surprise since he doesn't speak about such matters all that often. Even if he did, we've all learned by now that JeDi speaks entirely in cliches and half-truths. But one thing he was very candid about upon getting hired was his philosophy that a team must "control the count" which is a PC way of saying he likes guys that get on base. Lucho may be able to put the bat on the ball, but Lucho does not walk. In fact, he drew just 19 free passes at Triple-A in 2011 after walking only 27 times in Double-A the season before. It is pretty telling that Dipoto declined to make Jimenez a September call-up in 2012 despite a strong campaign at Salt Lake for Lucho. Jerry just wasn't interested in him because he is not his kind of player. It was only through the necessity of attrition that Lucho got the call up this year.
What this could reveal to us all is where the power divide between Scioscia and Dipoto exists. If Scioscia develops an affinity for Jimenez, is that something that Dipoto will let stand especially when you consider that Jerry just gave Beto a two-year, $8.975 million contract to serve as the placeholder at third until Kaleb Cowart is ready. Clearly Dipoto has a preference here both personally and philosophically, so he may not be content to sit idly by and watch Lucho steal playing time from Callaspo. In a lot of organizations, the GM has the power to dictate or at least strongly suggest who should be getting playing time, but is that the case between Dipoto and the great and mighty Sosh?
And how will fans react the first time Callaspo slumps after he returns from the DL. There is little guarantee that Jimenez will perform better, but he is new, shiny and young and thus inherently preferable to the masses. Public opinion should never ever sway a manager or franchise, but it sure could be something that affects Callaspo's performance on the field if he gets the sense that his own fans are actively rooting against him so that he can get out of Lucho's way.
I'd like to think that this all ends happily with Scioscia finding a timeshare arrangement between the players, which would be much easier if Callaspo actually had stable platoon splits, thus allowing Callaspo to remain the primary third baseman but also giving Jimenez ample playing time to show whether or not he is actually capable of holding his own in the majors. And in a perfect world this will appease the fans, but in this world of polarized opinions we all live in, that seems highly doubtful. Yep, the philosophy clash is coming, folks.
BEST OF MAXIM
Your browser does not support iframes. Mike Trout has only been in the majors for less than two full seasons, but he has already made more amazing catches than most players will make throughout their entire careers. On Tuesday night, he was at it again as he saved the game for the Los Angeles Angels in the 9th inning against the Texas Rangers. With the score tied 4-4 and a runner...
Earlier Thursday, Dave Cameron made a simple observation regarding the Los Angeles Angels and their batch of position players:
Every Angel with 40+ PAs has been an above average hitter this year, except for Josh Hamilton. fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?p…
— David Cameron (@DCameronFG) April 25, 2013
All right, neat. Now keep that in mind as we go forward.
We don’t talk a whole...
MLB News: The Los Angeles Angels have recalled right handed pitcher Barry Enright. To make room for him, the Angels also optioned David Carpenter to Triple-A Salt Lake. Look for Enright to fill in at long relief and as a mop up guy.
Fantasy Ramifications: The Angels Enright holds no fantasy baseball value.
The post Los Angeles Angels Recall Barry Enright, Option David Carpenter...
ANAHEIM, Calif. It had dj vu written all over it.
On the heels of blowing a three-run lead in the series opener against the Texas Rangers the night before, the club was in danger of blowing a four-run lead on Tuesday night.
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning and the game tied 4-4, Adrian Beltre ripped a shot to left field that sliced toward the foul line and would have...
By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
APRIL 26, 2002
GAME 22 - BLUE JAYS AT ANGELS
ANAHEIM – Kevin Appier threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings and got 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief from Dennis Cook, Al Levine and Troy Percival (3rd save) as the Angels topped the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-0, before 25,296 at Edison Field.
The Angels offense supported Appier with 10 hits...
By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
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GAME 20 - ANGELS AT MARINERS
SEATTLE -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia says he believes the first 20 games his team has played are the exception, not the rule. The track records of his players, he says, reflect different numbers than the ones they have put up so far this season.
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The April 26th, 2013 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels including Weaver resumes playing catch, Hanson might miss another start and much more...
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Howie Kendrick hit his second home run of the game in the 11th inning and finished with four RBIs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Kendrick, who hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Alexi Ogando and an RBI single in the first, drove a 1-1 pitch to left-center against rookie Joe Ortiz (2-1) for his third homer of the season...
One can only hope he was wearing a cup.
Wednesday night’s Angels-Ranger game turned out to be a snoozer, with Texas jumping out to a big early lead on Angels rookie Michael Roth and never looking back. But for home plate umpire John Hirshbeck, the game featured one of the worst instances in a long line of taking pitches and foul tips off his body.
With Angels reliever Nick Maronde...
By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor -
APRIL 24, 2002
GAME 21 - ANGELS AT MARINERS
SEATTLE -- It's difficult to determine which was a bigger
surprise Wednesday night. Was it a loss by the Seattle Mariners, only the
second in their past 16 games? Or was it Orlando Palmeiro, with six home runs
in 11-plus professional seasons, batting third for the Angels?
This season so far has been....some sort of ride. A rash of injuries has plagued the Angels, sending a good number of their starting regulars on the DL. A sudden outbreak of injuries opened up a sizeable number of spots for the kids on their way up from the minors to show off their goods out of the bullpen. Take, for instance, Angels 2012 9th round draft pick Michael Roth. This is...
During Wednesday night’s tilt between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim (does everything involved with the Angels have to include “of Anaheim?” — sheesh), home plate umpire John Hirschbeck had the unfortunate and tremendously painful experience of having a baseball drill him square in his crotch.
With A.J. Pierzynski at the plate...
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Howie Kendrick hit his second home run of the game in the 11th inning and finished with four RBIs, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Kendrick, who hit a two-run shot in the sixth off Alexi Ogando and an RBI single in the first, drove a 1-1 pitch to left-center against rookie Joe Ortiz (2-1) for his third...
Maurer came into tonight’s game with a 7.45 ERA. Apparently, that was good enough because he was able to shutout the Angels through 6 1/3 innings. But, that had more to do with the Angels’ bats, than Maurer’s pitching (I refuse to give him any credit). The Angels just couldn’t find any momentum. It was just one of those games. No player reached third base...