Tag: Los Angeles Angels

Ben Revere to Angels: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Los Angeles Angels have added free agent Ben Revere to their outfield mix for 2017.  

ESPN’s Buster Olney and the Los Angeles TimesMike DiGiovanna reported Revere’s agreement with the Angels. Olney wrote Revere’s deal is for one year and $4 million.

The Angels will be hoping Revere is due for a bounce-back season in 2017. The 28-year-old never got going last season with the Washington Nationals, suffering an oblique injury on Opening Day that kept him out until May 6. He wound up losing his starting spot to Trea Turner in the second half. 

Revere’s performance when he did play was lacking. He hit just .217/.260/.300 in 103 games with an OPS more than 100 points below his career mark (.662), per Baseball-Reference.com

Despite his own numbers, Revere never caused problems for the Nationals. He told Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post in August that winning was all he focused on:

I don’t want to be the teammate pouting and everything. I want to do everything I can to be a good teammate, help him out in the outfield and feeling good at the plate. The main thing now for me to do is just anything I can to help this team win a championship. Get to the playoffs, win a championship. There will be some times when they may need me. If that case comes, I got to be ready.

The poor offensive numbers caused Revere’s stock to plummet heading into free agency, though there are reasons to believe he can be successful for the Angels in 2017. 

Age isn’t a problem for Revere, who is among the youngest free agents this offseason with other outfielders like Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler over the age of 30. He is just one year removed from posting a .306/.342/.377 slash line in 152 games for the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays

Revere does have to prove his injury woes are a thing of the past. He’s only reached the 150-game mark twice in six full MLB seasons. 

The Angels can plug Revere into a corner spot with Mike Trout entrenched in center, as he has played all three positions in his career. His ability to get on base and set the table for run producers like Trout, C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun in the middle of the lineup gives Los Angeles’ lineup more depth. 

There are plenty of questions for Revere to answer on this contract, but a successful season for the Angels would give him a chance to rebuild his value and hit free agency next winter at the age of 29. It’s a smart short-term investment for both the player and team. 

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Albert Pujols Injury: Updates on Angels Star’s Recovery from Foot Surgery

Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols‘ status for Opening Day in 2017 could be up in the air after undergoing surgery on his right foot.

Continue for updates.

Latest on Pujols’ Timeline to Return

Friday, Dec. 2

The Angels issued a statement announcing Pujols underwent surgery on his right plantar fascia, and the normal estimated recovery time is four months.

This is yet another physical setback for Pujols, who underwent foot surgery in the offseason, which jeopardized his status for the start of the 2016 campaign. He also had arthroscopic knee surgery in 2012 and suffered through plantar fasciitis in 2013.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register noted before the 2016 season that Pujols seemed “more open to DHing now,” given his injury history.

Pujols played a career-high 123 games at designated hitter in 2016 because of his foot problems and declining skills in the field. He did hit 31 home runs, but his .323 on-base percentage was the second-lowest mark of his career. 

When healthy, Pujols has been one of the best players in baseball over the course of the last 15 years, and the 10-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger, three-time National League MVP and two-time Gold Glove winner gives the Angels power in their lineup alongside Mike Trout. 

Despite that sterling resume, Pujols hasn’t been the same dominant force for the Angels as he was with the St. Louis Cardinals during his prime:

Injuries and age have been factors in the decline in production, and it’s unlikely he will ever return to being anything close to what he was at his peak or even when he had an .859 OPS in his first season with the Angels.

The Angels can use a combination of Jefry Marte and C.J. Cron at first base or designated hitter if Pujols is unable to be back before the season starts in April. 

While the Angels at least have some pieces to help them remain afloat without Pujols, they are a more dangerous offense when he is in the lineup and producing behind Trout.

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Mike Trout Is Bull’s-Eye Choice for AL MVP as MLB’s Consensus Best Player

It feels like an upset that Mike Trout won the American League MVP. That says enough about where the baseball world is.

Or rather, where it’s been.

In the weeks, days and hours leading up to Thursday’s big announcement, it seemed like everyone was bracing for Trout (and fellow finalist Jose Altuve) to fall short of Mookie Betts in the AL MVP vote.

Trout had numbers, as usual. But Betts had numbers and what’s historically a big advantage: His Boston Red Sox made the playoffs and also won 19 more games then Trout’s Los Angeles Angels.

But whaddya know! Turns out the Baseball Writers’ Association of America had a surprise in store. For the second time in his career, Trout is the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

And it wasn’t even close. Trout received 356 points to Betts’ 311 and Altuve’s 227. Trout also received 19 first-place votes to Betts’ nine and Altuve’s zero.

“It’s crazy,” the 25-year-old said on MLB Network, via Austin Laymance of MLB.com. “Can’t take anything away from Mookie and Jose Altuve, great guys, great team guys. I’m speechless, man.”

The Houston Astros would have struggled to get to even 84 wins without Altuve. The tiny-yet-fierce second baseman won the AL batting title with his .338 average and also chipped in 24 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

Likewise, the Red Sox would have been a lot worse without Betts’ .897 OPS, 31 homers and 26 steals. This is not to mention the defense he played in right field, which earned him a Gold Glove and more defensive runs saved than any other defender.

With respect to Altuve, it’s Betts’ performance that stands out. And the fact it was all in service of a winning team would have earned him some hardware on Thursday under normal circumstances.

You know, the same circumstances that contributed to Trout’s falling short in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The circumstances that said, “Sorry, dude. You’re really good, but your team missed the playoffs.”

This year, the writers flipped the script and chose circumstances many have been begging them to choose for the last five years: All that matters is who’s the best.

Because this is an article in honor of Trout’s value, here are the three letters you’ve been expecting: W-A-R. 

Yeah, it just wouldn’t be a proper AL MVP discussion without referencing Trout’s value as measured by wins above replacement. And whether you prefer the Baseball-Reference.comFanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus version, he easily topped both of his competitors:

Betts and Altuve shouldn’t feel bad. Everyone else in the AL finished behind Trout in WAR this year too. That’s the way it’s been for five seasons now.

And no, that’s not normal. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Trout’s five straight seasons leading the AL in WAR is the longest stretch since a fella named Babe Ruth back in the 1920s and ’30s. There’s your daily reminder that when it comes to Trout and WAR, the most relevant names are typically legendary ones.

WAR, of course, is a convoluted stat. But as a measure of all-around value, it usually has the right idea. 

Trout was a monster at the plate in 2016. He hit .315 with 29 home runs and a .991 OPS. He led all of baseball with his .441 on-base percentage and his 174 OPS+, which adjusts his OPS in part to account for the huge dimensions of Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

After a couple of down seasons, Trout also got back to being a monster on the bases. He swiped 30 bases after stealing just 27 in the last two seasons combined and finished barely behind Betts for the MLB lead in total baserunning value.

On defense, the advanced metrics rated Trout’s play in center field as somewhere between acceptable (minus-0.3 UZR) and quite good (six DRS). Given that center field is more difficult and more important than left field and right field, even merely acceptable center field defense is welcomed.

Trout has offered nits to pick in past seasons. In 2014, he struck out too much. Last season, his already declining baserunning got especially mediocre. Et cetera.

But in 2016? A guy who was already regarded as the best player in baseball turned in arguably his best season yet. The best got even better.

The only reason to deny Trout the MVP was the one most everyone expected to be used against him: He didn’t play for a winning team. This is true. The Angels won just 74 games, and even that seems like a lot for a team that was a ghostly shimmer outside of Trout.

But as Dayn Perry did a wonderful job of breaking down at CBSSports.com, the notion that MVPs must come from winning teams is manufactured. The voting guidelines mention no such thing, nor are there any ambiguous hints toward such a guideline. The only thing ambiguous is how to define “valuable.”

If we’re being fair, that means voters need not consider only WAR and its assorted parameters when weighing MVP options. It would be perfectly reasonable, for example, to make a case for why Betts deserved extra consideration over Trout because of how he specifically helped the Red Sox get to 93 wins and into the postseason.

Thing is: That case doesn’t exist.

You could make the case that Betts pushed the Red Sox into the playoffs when it mattered most in September. But he didn’t. His OPS in the season’s final month was just .762. Among the many players who outperformed him was Trout, who had a .948 OPS.

You could also make the case that Betts had a lot of clutch hits throughout the year. But he didn’t do that either. He had a .907 OPS in high-leverage situations. That landed far short of the MLB leader in that category.

Who, by the way, was Mike Trout.

His upset on Thursday is therefore of the pleasant variety. This is not a case of the MVP going to the best player who also had X, Y and Z. It’s a case of it going to the best player, period.

What a concept! What’s say we try it again sometime?


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Andrew Bailey Re-Signs with Angels: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Andrew Bailey was an All-Star closer early in his career, and the Los Angeles Angels hope he can become a bullpen force once again after re-signing him to a new contract.  

The Angels announced they signed Bailey to a one-year contract on Wednesday, and Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reported the deal is worth $1 million with incentives.

Bailey has played for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Angels and Philadelphia Phillies in his career. He was a dominant force in his first two seasons with Oakland and made the 2009 and 2010 All-Star Games.

He won the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year behind a 1.84 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. He also notched 26 saves in the process. He followed that up with a 1.47 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 42 strikeouts and 25 saves in 49 innings in 2010.

However, injuries sapped him of much of his effectiveness after those initial two years.

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe chronicled his physical ailments before the 2012 season and said Bailey underwent thumb surgery in 2012, suffered a forearm injury in 2011, had elbow surgery in 2010 and had knee surgery after the 2009 season.

What’s more, he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2013 and didn’t make a single appearance in 2014 as a result. He pitched in just 8.2 innings in 2015. 

Bailey’s numbers were still solid in 2011, but he was plagued by inconsistency and a couple of lackluster seasons after that:

The silver lining for Bailey is his performance with the Angels last year. His overall numbers left much to be desired because of a 6.40 ERA in 33 appearances for the Phillies, but he sported a 2.38 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and six saves in 11.1 innings down the stretch for Los Angeles.

While they weren’t pressure-packed appearances for a team well out of playoff contention, the positive results were a welcome sign for the 32-year-old veteran.

The hope for Los Angeles is that foreshadowed a return to prominence for the two-time All-Star and wasn’t just a small-sample blip. The injury concerns are still quite real, but the chance Bailey finds his form again makes this a high-upside deal.

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Mike Trout Injury: Updates on Angels Star’s Shoulder and Return

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout left Wednesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics with an injury after being hit by a pitch. However, he is not expected to miss game time.

Continue for updates.

Trout Comments on Playing Status

Thursday, Sept. 29 

Trout told reporters he hopes to play on Friday, after X-rays on his shoulder were negative.  

Scioscia Comments on Trout’s Timeline

Thursday, Sept. 29

Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced that Trout is expected to be play against the Houston Astros on Friday, according to the Orange County Register‘s Jeff Fletcher. The Angels have Thursday off.

Trout in ‘Significant Pain’

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times said, “Trout was just nailed in the left shoulder by a 96 mph John Axford fastball. He’s in significant pain and being examined by the trainer.”

Trout’s Stats and Accomplishments

As of Wednesday, Trout was slashing .318/.441/.556 with 29 home runs, 99 RBI and 27 stolen bases. 

He is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year and 2014 American League MVP. He also finished as the runner-up in MVP voting in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Trout drilled 41 home runs last year, tallied 111 RBI in 2014 and demonstrated his speed in 2012 with 49 stolen bases.

If Trout misses any time, Nick Buss or Shane Robinson will likely see action it center field for the 72-87 Angels.

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Matt Shoemaker Injury: Updates on Angels Pitcher’s Recovery from Head Surgery

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Seager on Sunday and was sent to the hospital.

He underwent surgery after being diagnosed with a “small skull fracture and hematoma,” per Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles TimesIt is uncertain when he will return to action.

Continue for updates.

Shoemaker Released from Hospital 

Tuesday, Sept. 6

Angels general manager Billy Eppler confirmed Shoemaker is at a Seattle hotel and might return to Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to Moura

Shoemaker Undergoes Surgery

Monday, Sept. 5

Eppler told reporters Shoemaker had surgery Sunday night to stop the bleeding. Eppler added Shoemaker is “recovering well.”

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reported, “Shoemaker is expected to make a full recovery for next season.”

Shoemaker Walks off Under Own Power After Scary Incident

Sunday, Sept. 4

Moura noted the line drive came off the bat at 105 mph. The crowd in Seattle gave Shoemaker a standing ovation as team doctors helped him off the field.

Seager Comments on Shoemaker’s Injury

Sunday, Sept. 4

“That was terrifying,” said Seager, per Shannon Drayer of MyNorthwest.com. “The scariest thing I have seen on a baseball field. That was bigger than [baseball], that was real.”

Shoemaker Has Been Bright Spot for Disappointing Angels

Entering play Sunday, Shoemaker had 26 starts on the season for the Angels. He sported a 3.91 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 158.2 innings, and the strikeouts and innings pitched were both already career-high totals.

He was also formidable in 2014 with a 3.04 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 27 appearances (20 starts) but struggled some last year with a 4.46 ERA in 25 games.

This is a lost season for the fourth-place Angels, who were 21.5 games behind the Texas Rangers entering Sunday. He wouldn’t be rushing back to a pennant race, and teams can expand their rosters to 40 players in September to help account for injuries.

Los Angeles still has pieces in its starting rotation, including Jered Weaver, Tyler Skaggs and Ricky Nolasco, who can shoulder more of the load and attempt to save the bullpen innings while Shoemaker is out.

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Mike Trout Uninjured in Highway Car Crash Following Reds vs. Angels

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was uninjured after being involved in a car accident following Wednesday’s 3-0 home win over the Cincinnati Reds.

“I have spoken with Mike this evening, and he feels fine. He is at home with his roommate and is planning on traveling with the club to Seattle tomorrow afternoon. We will update as more information becomes available,” Angels general manger Billy Eppler said in a statement.

A 27-year-old woman was sent to the hospital as a result of the crash, according to Scott Schwebke of the Orange County Register. Emergency personnel needed to use the Jaws of Life to remove one person from their vehicle. The extent of that person’s injuries are unknown at this time.

Trout said he felt fine on Friday, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. 

“It was scary,” Trout said, per Fletcher. “It could have been a lot worse.” 

The California Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash, which happened at 8:50 p.m. PT. CBS Los Angeles captured a photo of Trout, seemingly uninjured, speaking with a police officer at the scene:

Trout, 25, it hitting .319/.436/.562 with 25 home runs and 84 runs batted in this season. The Angels have an off day Thursday before playing the Seattle Mariners on Friday. Sitting well out of playoff contention at 59-74, the team will likely proceed with caution if Trout has any problems after the accident.


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Albert Pujols Passes Mark McGwire with 584th Career Home Run on Wednesday Night

Fact: Albert Pujols hit his 584th career home run on Wednesday night, passing Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on the all-time list. 

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Source: B/R Insights

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Tim Lincecum Designated for Assignment by Angels: Latest Details and Reaction

The Los Angeles Angels designated starting pitcher Tim Lincecum for assignment Saturday, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lincecum started nine games for the Angels, recording a 2-6 record with a career-worst 9.16 ERA. 

Angels manager Mike Scioscia spoke with the media about the decision, per Moura: “It’s very clear now that he hasn’t progressed from his first couple starts. He’s kind of regressed a little bit.”

Scioscia said he hoped Lincecum would accept an assignment to Triple-A, but Moura noted the pitcher “has the right to turn the assignment down and become a free agent, assuming he clears waivers.”

The 32-year-old started his Angels career in impressive fashion June 18, going six innings against the Oakland Athletics while allowing just one run on four hits.

In his following eight starts, he allowed three or more earned runs in each appearance, including a 1.1-inning effort against the Houston Astros on July 24 in which he allowed eight earned runs on seven hits. 

His latest start Friday night against the Seattle Mariners wasn’t much better, as the M’s tagged him for six runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings.

The writing was on the wall when Scioscia was asked if Lincecum would make another start after Friday’s game.

So, if you ask me right now, I could say yes,” the manager said, per Moura. “But, obviously, we have to sit down, review his video, see where the positives were, and see where we are.”

Lincecum began the season as a free agent while he recovered from the hip surgery he underwent in September.

It was an unceremonious ending to his time with the San Francisco Giants, a team he won a pair of Cy Young Awards with. He saw his play dramatically decrease over the past few seasons, as he compiled a 39-42 record from 2012 to 2015.

He threw 41 pitches in a May showcase for numerous MLB scouts in Arizona as he searched for a new home in the majors.

Given Lincecum’s struggles, he’ll likely go unclaimed on waivers. If that’s the case, he will have to hope another team is willing to give him a chance to prove he can rediscover the form that made him one of the best pitchers in the game five years ago.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Tim Lincecum’s Latest Flop Is End of Once-Great Starting Career

It’s finally time to admit something that’s been increasingly apparent for five seasons now: Tim Lincecum is done as a major league starting pitcher.

For now, it sure seems like he’s started his last game for the Los Angeles Angels. Three months and nine starts after they took a flier on the two-time Cy Young winner with a pro-rated $2.5 million contract, the Angels aborted the Lincecum experiment Saturday afternoon:

The move takes the former San Francisco Giants ace off the Angels’ 40-man roster. There’s a possibility he’ll be traded, but the signs point to Lincecum clearing waivers and getting a choice between his release and a trip to the minor leagues. The Angels are hopeful for the latter.

“In order to get Tim to be that finished product of where we feel he can come up here and be a winning pitcher in the major leagues, it’s going to take some work,” said manager Mike Scioscia, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. “We hope he’ll go to Triple-A and work on it and see how it progresses.”

However, it’ll take more than just some work to get Lincecum, 32, to where he needs to be. What he needs is more like a miracle.

Lincecum’s tenure with the Angels got off to a promising start, as he debuted with six one-run innings back on June 18. But the good vibes fell apart in his next outing, and a stinker against the Seattle Mariners on Friday was the last straw. When Lincecum was done giving up six runs in 3.1 innings, his ERA had risen to 9.16.

There’s no blaming bad luck for that ugly figure. In 38.1 innings, Lincecum balanced out 23 walks with only 32 strikeouts. He also surrendered 11 home runs. FanGraphs classified 41.3 percent of the balls hit off him as hard hit. He basically allowed the average batter to hit like Giancarlo Stanton.

So it goes for the artist formerly known as The Freak.

Lincecum’s career took a hard turn when he posted a 5.18 ERA in 2012, and what’s happened this year is just the latest in a series of failed course corrections. He’s put up a 4.94 ERA in his last 122 appearances and, per Baseball-Reference.com, accumulated minus-4.2 wins above replacement. By that measure, he’s been baseball’s least valuable pitcher.

Lincecum’s “decline,” if you can even call it that, was preceded by a sparkling 2.74 ERA in 2011. That was the latest in a four-year stretch of success that included National League Cy Youngs in 2008 and 2009, earning him a solid spot among the top five pitchers in the sport.

But by now, it’s no secret what’s at the heart of Lincecum’s downfall. He lost two miles per hour in average fastball velocity from 2011 to 2012, and the trend continued downward in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This eradicated Lincecum’s margin for error and turned him into a nibbler.

The one silver lining of his 2016 season is he did gain back some velocity. He went from an average of 87.2 mph in 2015 to an average of 87.7 this year.

A fastball like that still isn’t going to cut it without pinpoint control, however, and Lincecum’s has remained anything but pinpoint. During his peak, he walked 3.2 batters per nine innings. He’s averaged 4.0 walks per nine since then, peaking at 5.4 per nine this year.

If the Angels really are hoping Lincecum will go down to Triple-A and figure out how to be a competent starting pitcher again, they’re kidding themselves. For that to happen, he either needs more velocity or better control. Five years’ worth of data says not to count on it.

Rather, the best hope for Lincecum is one Mike Axisa of CBS Sports highlights: “I imagine a club will be willing to try Lincecum as a reliever at some point, hoping he could regain some effectiveness while pitching in short bursts and only having to go through the lineup one time.”

This idea has been on the table ever since Lincecum dazzled in a few relief appearances in the 2012 postseason. It is still appealing to some degree. He probably doesn’t have any more mid-90s fastballs in him, but a relief role might allow him to at least touch 90 consistently. 

It’s doubtful any team would hand Lincecum a relief role, though. Be it this year or next year, whatever chance he finds will likely come in the form of a minor league contract.

It’s a good question whether Lincecum would even be interested in such a role. It’s a route he could have pursued as he was working his way back from offseason hip surgery this year, but he was adamant about latching on to a team as a starter.

“I know I’ve been working my butt off with pitch counts, working off that five-day rotation to try to elongate myself as a pitcher and as a starter,” he said after a May showcase (via Chris Cole of USA Today).

Plus, it’s not like Lincecum needs the work. He’s raked in nearly $100 million in his major league career. That’s enough to get through life.

If this proves to be the end, there’s more than just money to vouch for Lincecum’s career. He’s one of 17 pitchers who have won multiple Cy Youngs. He’s also one of only 34 pitchers to toss multiple no-hitters, accomplishing that in 2013 and 2014. There’s also no forgetting the fact he owns one of the best postseason pitching performances in history. Or his three World Series rings, for that matter.

That’s a lot of good memories for a career that’s spanned only 10 seasons. If this is the end for Lincecum, he has nothing to be ashamed of.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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