Wednesday, April 27, 2016

 photo simmons_1280_hfgxfgg6_fg4flybt - Copy_zpsqiavvwtm.png

By Christian Ilten, AngelsWin.com Writer - 

It is no secret that in at least one position so far this season, the Angels definitely have gotten stronger defensively. The acquisition of shortstop Andrelton Simmons in exchange for shortstop Erick Aybar and top pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis (sent to the Atlanta Braves) has truly paid off for the Angels defense so far, as Simmons has brought his highlight-reel play to center stage in Anaheim, California.

Angels fans might have been hesitant when the team traded away Aybar (32), who had spent ten years in Anaheim before being dealt to Atlanta. Since the trade, though, the 2014 All-Star has struggled in his transition to National League Baseball. Through nineteen games in 2016 Aybar is batting .155 in seventy-five plate appearances, with just three doubles and one run batted in.

Simmons, 26, has been known as one of the best defensive shortstops in the game since his debut with Atlanta in 2012. Just twenty-one games into his Angels career, Simmons has put on quite the show on the field as well. The most impressive of his plays so far under the halo might have taken place on Saturday, April 23rd, as the Angels hosted the Seattle Mariners. With a man on third and two outs, Nelson Cruz skied a bloop fly ball into mid left field, and with Raphael Ortega playing the slugger deep in left, Simmons had to cover some extra ground on the fly ball, basically becoming a fourth outfielder. Simmons then made an over the shoulder catch for the ages. Then, Simmons did it again... this time to Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals three days later. The catch forced Fox Sports West (TV home for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) play-by-play broadcaster Victor Rojas to beg the question: "Are you serious?" While his glove is to be credited for most of his highlight-reel plays, the cannon he has for an arm assists as well, making throws from deep in the hole to first base.

From his debut to the end of 2015, Andrelton Simmons had 113 DRS, or Defensive Runs Saved. Aybar's defensive runs saved in that same span (2012-2015)? -10. Simmons' best year in that time period was 2013, when he had a DRS of 41, while Aybar's best year in that same time period was 3 in 2012 in that category. All of a sudden, the numbers start making it clear why the Angels decided to make this big move. In 2015 Aybar's DRS for the Angels was -3, while Simmons for the Braves was 25. So far in 2016, Aybar has posted a -1 DRS for the Braves, while Simmons already has put up a 6 for the Angels.

 photo Aybar_zpsogxicsmx.jpg

Even when Andrelton Simmons does not have the ball, he still is able to play great defense. On April 24th, with a man on first (Leonys Martin) and no one out, Ketel Marte of the Seattle Mariners flied a ball to center field. While although the ball was clearly on a route to center fielder Mike Trout, Simmons pretended as if he was fielding a ground ball and fooled Martin who would eventually be doubled up when Trout threw the ball to first baseman C.J. Cron. With Simmons' fake ground ball pick up, Martin had no idea where the ball was. While although it will not show up on any statistics sheet, Simmons clearly does not need the ball to have an effect on the game.

Andrelton Simmons' biggest thing to work on is still his offense. A career .255 hitter, Simmons will not be accused of being a slugger in any definition of the word. While although he has only driven in four runs to this point, he has saved six runs from going up on the board against the Angels. With a WAR (Wins Above Replacement, measuring how many more wins a team will get using a player instead of any other player in that position) in his career is 17.6. Simmons WAR, which has been highly touted by the sabermetric minds of the sport as the best evaluation of a player, still has him at the top of the list of shortstops, despite his offensive woes.

The Angels will definitely look to improve his offense, in a lineup that is desperate for some extra bats, throughout 2016 and beyond. Having players like veteran Albert Pujols and super-star Mike Trout in the same lineup would pose an opportunity for Simmons to learn a few things on offense to possibly better his game. If Simmons were able to improve his batting average even just to somewhere between .270 and .280, along with his defense, the 26 year old shortstop could become an extremely vital piece of the Angels lineup.

The acquisition of Andrelton Simmons could definitely continue to benefit the Angels, who have control of Simmons for the four years following the still young 2016 season. The Angels have many questions still surrounding them when it comes to their team in 2016 and beyond, but the shortstop position is clearly not one of them as Andrelton Simmons continues to make highlight-reel plays.

Statistics found at Fangraphs.com, Baseball-Reference.com.
 photo 500_zps973ww99y.jpg

By Geoff Stoddart, AngelsWin.com Director of Social Media - 

What is it about the Angels and April?  

And what is it about Angel Fans and April?

Year in and year out it’s always the same.  It looks a little something like this …

End of March/Beginning of April:  The team comes off a solid Cactus League performance down in Arizona.  They appear to be firing on all cylinders and ready for the season.  Fans are excited to shake off the cold of winter, a subpar performance by their NFL team (unless you happen to be a fan of my Denver Broncos!  Suck it, Cam!) and dive head first into some Angels baseball.  

First Week of the Season:  The Angels come out of the gate flat.  Any and all concerns coming out of Spring Training are magnified as the pitching and/or hitting and/or fielding struggles.  Like clockwork the Facebook posts, tweets and new threads on AngelsWin.com cry out in one voice:  “Fire Scioscia!”

Second & Third Week of the Season:  The team shows flashes of brilliance.  Some bats start to heat up, there are some solid pitching performances and the team begins to deposit some victories in the win column.  The performance is just good enough to re-energize the fan base with some hope.  The cries begin in earnest, “It’s still early!  Remember 2002!”

End of April:  The team ping pongs back and forth between wins and losses.  The final days of the month present themselves as fans begin to wonder, “Will we end the month at or above .500?”  

Honestly folks, there is no greater pattern life more consistent than the Angels and their fans in April.  Makers of atomic clocks look to us as the gold standard for precision and consistency.  

As the Angels look to complete their sweep against the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals tonight, the question is yet again:  “Will we end the month at or above .500?”

The Halos currently own a 10-11 record with three games left in the month. 

Best-case scenario:  The Angels will be 13-11.  Two games over .500!

Worst-case scenario:  The Angels will be 10-14.  Four games below .500.

My bet:  The Angels will go 2-1 and complete their journey on the road to .500 in April.  

And honestly, should we expect anything different?  

Noted social media free spirit and bathroom aficionado, Curt Schilling, once said, “I think I've earned a certain level of respect, based on my accomplishments and my consistency.” As fans of this team, do we not owe them that same level of respect based upon their consistency?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Did you know....

That Kansas City has been a Royal pain in the ass for the Angels over the last couple seasons. The club matched its win total vs. KC from a season ago (1-6)…Royals claimed 2015 season series 6-1 (LAA was 0-3 at home), Angels second-fewest wins in a season series vs. KC. The Angels have won 15 of last 20 season series vs. Royals. From 1976-86, either the Angels ('79, '82, '86) or Royals won 10 of 11 A.L. West titles, a significant rivalry in the division for a decade. See how the Angels fair over the next two contests at Online MLB lines.

Tonight's starting pitcher, Jered Weaver in 14 career regular season starts against Kansas City, is 7-6 with a 2.77 ERA (87.2 IP – 27 ER). In two starts vs. Royals last season, went 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA (10.1 IP – 8 ER). In six prior starts against the Royals from 2008-12 was 5-0 with a 0.87 ERA (41.1 IP – 4 ER). Did not factor in decision in 2014 ALDS Game 1 start vs. KC after tossing seven innings and allowing two runs on three hits in Game 1 of the ALDS. Jered Weaver recorded the 1500th strikeout of his career on April 16 at Minnesota (Miguel Sano swinging in 3rd inning). Became third player to record 1500 strikeouts in an Angels uniform, joining Nolan Ryan and Chuck Finley. Is one of six active pitchers to record 1500 strikeouts while pitching exclusively for one franchise in their career (Matt Cain, Felix Hernandez, Clayton Kershaw, Tim Lincecum and Justin Verlander).

Last night marked the 26th time that Albert Pujols and Mike Trout have homered in same game and 52nd career multi-HR game for Pujols, 10th time as an Angel. Pujols is one of two players to hit home runs 564 and 565 in the same game, the other is Babe Ruth. Pujols is 4 for 8 with three HRs in his last two games following a career-high 0-for-26 skid. ESPN Stats and Info

Pujols is hitting .319 (98/307) with 22 HRs and 67 RBI in 80 career games vs. Royals. Trout has hit safely in 11 straight games vs. KC (.459) with six homers, 11 RBI and 13 runs…He is batting .361 (35/97) with 24 runs, 8 HRs and 16 RBI in 27 career games vs. Royals. .361 clip marks his best vs. any A.L. team.

Just three players in Major League history have started their career with 25+ HR and 100+ runs scored in each of their first four MLB seasons:

Joe DiMaggio (1936-39)
Albert Pujols (2001-04)
Mike Trout (2012-15)

Trout is 10 for 20 with three homers during current six-game hit streak…Has recorded at least one hit in nine of last 11 games, batting .372 (16/43) with three home runs, two doubles, and seven runs. Oh yeah, if you haven't listened to the song everyone is buzzing about, check out "A Fish Like This" a song dedicated to Mike Trout's greatness. Our own founder's daughter, Trinity Richter, sings the bridge on the song. 

Oh yeah.. Trout has scored 457 runs over the last four years (2012-15), no other player has more than 384 in the span.

The Angels are second in Starting Pitching ERA in the American League:

White Sox 2.88 (121.2 IP – 39 ER)
Angels 3.37 (115 IP – 43 ER)
Rangers 3.40 (119 IP – 45 ER)
Royals 3.49 (108.1 IP – 42 ER)

Offensive Woes: 63 runs are Angels’ fewest after 20 games since DH added in 1973. Offense has been limited to four runs or less in 16 of 20 games (LAA has scored more than five runs twice in 20 games). Club has plated 63 runs (fewest in MLB) in the 20 games (3.1 per). Halos have second-fewest HRs (16) in A.L. and .334 team SLG pct. ranks last in A.L. (29th in MLB).

Mike Scioscia is the longest tenured manager in the Majors (17th season) and the only active manager to collect over 1,000 victories with a single club…His 17 years with the Angels are tied with Sparky Anderson (17 straight years with Detroit, 1979-95) for second longest tenure with an A.L. team (trailing only Connie Mack’s 50 seasons with Philadelphia A’s). Scioscia’s current .546 (1,425-1187) winning percentage and 1,425 wins are both tops in franchise history…He ranks 24th on the all-time win list (56 victories behind Earl Weaver for 23rd (1,481).

On Saturday, Huston Street recorded career save #320 to pass Todd Jones for 18th all-time. Jose Mesa sits 17th with 321.

Monday, April 25, 2016

 photo BS_zpszfjpen4n.jpg

By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Senior April Blues-Singer - 

The Bad. Where do I start? There is so much garbage to choose from.

- Our record for the week: 3-4 (more on that later).  

- Our bullpen: surprisingly not as bad as I thought, with a collective 3.90 ERA, 19th in the league.

- Our hitting: dead last in average (.217), OBP (.287), 29th in slugging (.322), 29th in OPS (.602). 

 Folks, it doesn’t get much worse than that.  Again, my personal thanks to the Atlanta Braves for keeping us from being the worst offense across the board.

- One of our most expensive players: No, not Josh Hamilton, he’s a sunk cost at this point.  I’m talking about Pujols, of course.  .153, .228, .292, .520.  Mang, that’s horrible.  He managed to run into a few HR this week and he admired them like they were newborn children, but other than that it was a miserable week for The Machine.  God forbid Scioscia give him a day off or something.

- Johnny Giavotella:  .136, .156, .136, .292.  The writing has to be on the wall for him.  The Angels as currently constructed have several people who just cannot hit and Johnny G is the worst, so he’s the most logical one to be replaced first.  Abysmal isn’t too strong a word for how he’s looked so far.  He may be out of options, but with these stats he can’t continue to be an option for the Angels.

The Good.  Yes, there is some good.

- A slow AL West: at 8-11 the Angels are only two games back of the first-place Rangers and two games ahead of the last-place Astros.  I know, right?  It’s still early!

- Mike Trout: Dude is waking up.  In the last seven days, he’s hitting .417, .517, .708, 1.226.  It sure sucks that Pujols is behind him, because right after Pujols we have…

- Kole Calhoun: .294, .360, .441, .801.  The logical candidate to bat behind Trout until Pujols runs into his annual hot streak.  

- Geovany Soto: in a handful of games he’s hitting .304, .360, .478, .838.  Probably not sustainable but he has the potential to be the Mike Napoli (minus the lousy work ethic and stewbum facial hair) to Carlos Perez’s Jeff Mathis.  It’s been a while since we’ve had a catcher controversy.  Bring it on.

- The starting pitching.  Outside of Matt Shoemaker it was solid last week.  Inside of Matt Shoemaker it was like you’d just had a Del Taco macho burrito that had been sitting in the sun for a few hours prior to consumption.  As a person I like Shoey, but he’s the Giavotella of the starting pitchers: the first to go and it’s gotta happen soon.

The rest. If you consider a .500 road trip to be successful, then the last road trip was a success.  If you consider losing two of three to the Mariners to start a homestand to be a bad omen, then you shouldn’t watch the next three games, at home versus the Royals.  Play some Jenga.  Reconnect with your wife or husband before he/she leaves you for good.  Exercise a little bit, you fat-ass.  Do something besides watching these next three games.

What’s next.  Three at home versus KC, a day off, and three at Texas.

My predictions versus last week.  I predicted a split with Chicago and losing two against the Mariners.  Actual record: a split with Chicago and lost two against the Mariners.  Please applaud. Totals for my predictions this year versus reality (two weeks):  7-6 versus 6-7.  Feel free to post your predictions for the week below and challenge my soothsaying skills.

My predictions for this week.  

1-2 versus the Royals and 1-2 versus the Rangers, 2-4 total.  More pain.

Friday, April 22, 2016


By Adam Dodge, AngelsWin.com Senior Columnist - 

The Angels return to the Big A after their 10-game road trip to Oakland, Minnesota and Chicago. 

By the way, what the hell, Major League Baseball? You send a southern California team out on a 10-game road trip in April? I don't know who is ultimately responsible for signing off on the final MLB schedule, but his wSE+ (weighted schedule efficiency +) is the equivalent of Fernando Salas' "out pitch." Come on, MLB! Get your ass in gear and send those cold-weather teams out west and down south in April. There's a reason the White Sox are 25th in home attendance in 2016 - if you're a fat and pasty from the windy city it's about 50/50 you'll get shot by Chicago PD by the time you make it to the Red Line, a quest that is much more appealing in June. Obviously, you can't send every cold weather team on the road for a month to open the season, but you can certainly let those teams visit each other and weight the home/road split in favor of the warm weather teams to begin the season. 

Onto the Seattle Mariners:  I love the city of Seattle - a great place to visit, provided you're happily married. If you're looking to pick up broads, you'd better have a fetish for North Face and social justice. 

The Seattle Mariners, otherwise known as Felix Hernandez and 24 other guys who hate living in the Pacific Northwest, are perhaps those most below average baseball team since the 2015 Seattle Mariners. As I sit here writing this edition of Foe Fodder on Wednesday at 4PM, the M's are off to a 5-8 start through their first 13 games, which means they're on pace to suck. 

The 2016 version of the M's is led by new General Manager, former Major League shitty relief pitcher Jerry Dipoto, who completed 28 transactions between his hire date and the end of 2015, most notable of which were naming Manny Acta 3rd base coach on November 10th & claiming infielder An

**Editor's Note: We apologize for this abbreviated version of Foe Fodder, as the writer abruptly quit before completing it.  Like many of you, he lost interest in the Seattle Mariners early into the piece.  

Monday, April 18, 2016


By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Staff Writer - 



The Good: Last week started on a sour note for the Angels.   They were coming off a 2-4 start at home and heading up to Oakland to play three against the (then) first-place A’s.  It was the first road trip of the year and so far nothing was clicking.  Every aspect of the team was struggling.



And then, Oakland.  In the first game the Angels faced Oakland’s ace, Sonny Gray.  They got to him for three runs (all of them earned!) and won the game 4-1.  I know!  I was just as surprised as you. That set the tone for the series and the Angels busted out the brooms.  All was well again!  The hiccups of the first week were forgotten.  The team was in first place!  Now the Angels had a day off and then a series against a Minnesota team that was winless in the season.  Perfect opportunity, right?


The Bad: Anyone who has followed this team for more than a few weeks knows they are unpredictable, unless you predict them to defy expectations, most often negatively.  The Twins were pitching well (uh oh) but couldn’t hit a piƱata even if they weren’t wearing a blindfold (zoiks!).  The Angels were the cure for those hitting woes.  Did you expect anything less?  The Twins averaged 1.6 runs per game in their first nine games (all losses) and then the Los Angeles Slumpbusters of Anaheim rolled into town.   They averaged 4.7 runs in the three games to the Angels 3.3, winning three games by a combined 4 runs.  

The Stats  

- Of the 14 runs the Twins scored in the series, the Angels bullpen gave up seven of them.

- In his two other starts, Sonny Gray has given up one earned run each.  Against the Angels, he gave up three.

- Yunel (not Kelvim) Escobar, brought in to be the Angels leadoff hitter, has a ridiculous stat line of .327/.411/.510/.921.  

- Kole Calhoun is also off to a blazing start.  .349/.404/.488/.893.

- Mike Trout, however, isn’t.  .233/.333/.372/.705.  

- Neither is Johnny Giavotella (.107/.138/.107/.245) or CJ Cron (you don’t want to know).  

- I wanted to share some more bullpen stats, but never mind.  Chuck's tweet says it all.

The Record:  5-7, third place, 1.5 games behind the Rangers and 0.5 games behind the A’s.  Tied with the Mariners and 0.5 games ahead of the Astros.  In other words, nobody in the AL West is doing anything right now.

Predictions versus reality:  Last week I predicted a 4-2 week (2-1 versus each team) and the Angels went 3-3 (3-0, 0-3).

The Week Ahead:  The road trips finishes with four games in Chicago against the first place (8-4) White Sox and then back home for three against the Mariners.

My predictions: 3-4 for the week.  The Angels will once again surprise at the start of the week and split the series with the White Sox, and then choke at home and lose two against the Mariners.  I have a dental appointment today and I’m looking forward more to the dentist giving me my semi-annual “You need to floss better!” pep-talk than I am to the week of baseball ahead.  Prove me wrong, Halos.

Friday, April 15, 2016


The first place Angels are set to play the 0-9 Twins who are tied with the Braves for the longest losing streak to start a season since the 2002 Detroit Tigers were 0-11. The problem is, the Twins are due. The good news is, the Angels are arguably missing Minnesota's best two starters in Phillip Hughes and Ervin Santana. For more about the Angels chances for this weekend's series vs. the Minnesota Twins, go to online MLB sports book. 

Garrett Richards who owns a 2-1 record and 2.52 ERA (1-0, 2.08 at Target Field) will look to mow down the swing-and-miss Twins at Target Field. The Twins have struck out 94 times already vs. just 28 walks, so it looks like a great match-up for the Angels' fireballer this evening. Twins young slugger Miguel Sano is tied for the lead in strikeouts with 15, with Park & Buxton not far behind with 13 whiffs a piece. Read more about the Twins youngsters struggling with the strikeout

Joe Mauer is the only Twins player who has had any success of the Garrett Richards, going 3-10 (.300). Albert Pujols is hitting a robust .409 (9-22) against the Twins southpaw, Tommy Millone. Millone owns a 7-3, 4.91 ERA at Target Field and he's 6-2 with a 4.55 ERA lifetime vs. the Halos.

The Angels won five of their seven games against the Twins last season, after going 7-0 against Minnesota in 2014. They've won 11 of their last 13 season series against the Twins.

Next Up:

Saturday: Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 1.29), vs. Angels RHP Jered Weaver (1-0, 1.50), 11 a.m.

Sunday: Twins RHP Kyle Gibson (0-2, 4.22) vs. Angels RHP Nick Tropeano (1-0, 0.00), 11 a.m.

AngelsWin Media

We Recommend

 photo 8fbce79f-4964-43ef-a13d-ff1832b5e9a4_zpsd3c2ece7.jpg
Click on the picture above to pick up a copy of Rob Goldman's latest on Angels' great, Nolan Ryan. A Must Read for every fan of the Angels!

AngelsWin.com Website Store

 photo t_zps6af139fc.gif
Copyright © 2013 Los Angeles Angels Blog | AngelsWin.com

AngelsWin.com is the unofficial website of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Our comments and views do not express the views of the major league club or anyone affiliate with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  AngelsWin.com blog content, articles and opinions are provided "as is" and without warranties of any kind.  We disclaim warranties, express or implied, including warranties for a particular purpose, accuracy, completeness, availability, security, compatibility and non-infringement.  Blog material, articles and other information furnished or supplied by you to AngelsWin.com become the ownership of AngelsWin.com for use at our discretion.  Your use of AngelsWin content is at your own discretion and risk. We do not warrant that any content here be error free that access thereto will be uninterrupted or errors will be corrected. We do not warrant or make any representations regarding  the use of any content made available through AngelsWin.com  You hereby waive any claim against us with respect thereto. AngelsWin.com may contain the opinions and views of other members and users. We cannot endorse, guarantee, or be responsible for the accuracy, efficacy or veracity of any content generated by our members and other users. The content of AngelsWin.com is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Such content is not intended to, and does not, constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis, and may not be used for such purposes. Reliance on any information appearing on AngelsWin.com is strictly at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in, or accessible through, the AngelsWin.com without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer or professional licensed in the recipient's state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.