September 8, 2011 |
You hate to have your closer on the shelf for too long in a heated pennant race. Holding narrow ninth-inning leads in such important games is tough enough. Battling cobwebs can make the job more difficult. But Angels rookie Jordan Walden said there have been benefits to appearing in only three of 13 games before getting his 29th save Wednesday night with a perfect ninth inning against Seattle. For one, Walden's arm feels "as strong as it did in spring training. " The 23-year-old right-hander battled what he called "a little dead-arm phase" in late August, when he blew saves in consecutive appearances against Toronto (Aug.
May 3, 2011 |
Reporting from Boston — Only two teams in baseball hit worse with runners in scoring position than the Angels' .242 last year. Yet, five weeks into the this season, things have gotten worse. After Tuesday's 7-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox, the Angels are batting .227 with runners on second base or third base, striking out a quarter of the time. "We need to just take what a pitcher is giving you a little more," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're setting the table, we're just not consistently getting that one or two hits a game in that situation [that]
May 29, 2011 |
Reporting from Minneapolis Perhaps the best way to describe baseball is to say it's a game of averages. And a third of the way into the season that may also be the best way to describe the Angels — average. After holding on for a 6-5 win over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, the Angels are a game above .500, leaving them on pace for fewer than 83 wins this season. And though that left the team only a game out of first place in the American League West, no one has won the division with fewer than 84 victories in a non-strike year, and only four times has the division champion won fewer than 90 games.
July 25, 2011 |
Reporting from Cleveland — The Angels reportedly remain interested in San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell , but they could turn their attention to the Marlins, who are prepared to deal relievers Leo Nunez and Randy Choate . The Marlins are scouting the Angels closely, with assistant general manager Mark Wiley following the team from Baltimore to Cleveland this week. And while Nunez, who has 28 saves and is in the final two months of a $3.65-million deal, would provide depth at the back of the Angels' bullpen, the two teams don't appear to match up. Florida is looking for a third baseman or a center fielder and the best the Angels could offer would be a deal built around either Alberto Callaspo or Maicer Izturis . The Marlins are likely to get much more elsewhere, but it is curious that Izturis played in the first four games of the trip, the first time he's played four consecutive days in more than a month.
July 26, 2011 |
Reporting from Cleveland — Mike Scioscia caught some great pitchers in his playing days with the Dodgers. Fernando Valenzuela. Orel Hershiser. Don Sutton. And what he has seen from Jered Weaver this season is in the same class. "Every number you look at with Weav has an exclamation point behind it," the Angels manager said. "He's just been terrific. " Just take a look. By beating Cleveland, 2-1, on Tuesday, Weaver improved to 14-4 and dropped his earned-run average to a major league-leading 1.79.
August 31, 2011 |
The Angels will make some moves to address their shallow bullpen Thursday morning. Not in the form of a trade; they have tried and failed at that. Instead, the Angels are calling up reserves from the minor leagues. But the cavalry — such as it is — might be arriving too late. That's because the bullpen gave up another late lead Wednesday, with Mike Carp's two-run, two-out double against Scott Downs lifting the Seattle Mariners to a 2-1 win that cost the Angels a chance to gain ground on the Texas Rangers in the American League West race.
August 11, 2012 |
The Angels' bullpen collected something other than a loss or blown save before opening a 10-game homestand against Seattle on Friday: some good news. Season-opening closer Jordan Walden, on the disabled list since July 15 because of a strained right biceps and nerve problems in his neck, was moved to triple-A Salt Lake to begin a two-game rehabilitation assignment planned for Saturday and Monday and could rejoin the Angels next week. Also, co-closer Scott Downs, out since July 28 with a left (pitching)
December 7, 2012 |
Jerry Dipoto will never say never, because an opportunity might arise or Angels owner Arte Moreno might hand him the equivalent of a blank check to pursue a player like he did with Albert Pujols last winter. But based on the general manager's actions over the past 10 days and his comments as he left the winter meetings Thursday, it is clear that pitcher Zack Greinke will not be returning to Anaheim. "We're prepared to move on from Zack," Dipoto said. "Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is make practical decisions.
May 7, 2012 |
MINNEAPOLIS -- There was bad news and some not-so-bad news for the bullpen Monday, a day after the team lost its two best relievers to injury within a three-pitch span of the ninth inning. Set-up man LaTroy Hawkins , who has a 1.08 earned-run average in 10 appearances, will be out four to six weeks because of a broken pinky finger on his right (throwing) hand. He was injured when he fielded Omar Vizquel's game-ending line drive in a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
April 19, 2011 |
Reporting from Arlington, Texas — You can blame it on injuries, credit it to talent or split the difference and say both had something to do with it. But whatever the reasons, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia has grown comfortable with a lineup that includes rookies at catcher and first base, a center fielder who came into the season with just 62 days of big league experience and a closer who hadn't pitched in relief until last April. "There's a lot of youth on that field," Scioscia said.