July 14, 2013 |
SEATTLE - The Angels lost to the Seattle Mariners, 4-3, Sunday in Safeco Field, but they didn't go down without a fight … among themselves. Struggling right-hander Joe Blanton knocked a water cooler off the bench and snapped at pitching coach Mike Butcher in the dugout after the fourth inning, the lowlight of an afternoon in which the Mariners completed a three-game sweep that dropped the Angels 11 games behind first-place Oakland in the American League West entering the All-Star break.
July 11, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Mike Scioscia couldn't say for certain whether a 12-pitch at-bat that resulted in a third-inning single in the Angels' 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on June 12 is what sparked Erick Aybar's monthlong hot streak. Nor could he rule it out. "I guess you can rationalize and go back and say that's why this happened," the manager said. "There's nothing wrong with a 12-pitch at-bat. You can connect some of the dots. The quality of his at-bats has improved, no doubt about it. The last 75 at-bats, you're seeing a tough out from both sides of the plate.
July 10, 2013 |
CHICAGO - Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas, who represent two-thirds of the Angels rotation, both took significant steps in their return from injury this week. Hanson, on the disabled list since June 26 because of a forearm strain, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session in Wrigley Field on Wednesday that left pitching coach Mike Butcher very encouraged about the right-hander. “There was no hesitation of turning anything loose,” Butcher said. “The ball came out nicely. He threw some good sliders, changeups and breaking balls.
June 26, 2013 |
The Angels say they're not sure what, if anything, is wrong with right-hander Jered Weaver, who has lost his last three starts to fall to 1-4. But pitching coach Mike Butcher says Weaver's role as the staff ace remains unchanged -- and with that comes added responsibilities. "Jered is an elite pitcher and the expectations are what not only does he put on himself but we expect a lot out of him as well," Butcher said of Weaver, who is scheduled to start Thursday against the Tigers in Detroit.
June 20, 2013 |
Angels right-hander Tommy Hanson will start the series finale against the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night. The Angels hope the Mariners don't turn the game into a track meet. Opponents have been successful on 14 of 15 stolen-base attempts in the 45 2/3 innings Hanson has pitched, which is hardly a surprise. Because of a pause in his motion when he cocks his arm behind his head, Hanson has difficulty holding runners on, often leaving catchers little or no chance to throw them out. “As long as I can remember, it's been hard for me to hold runners effectively and make a pitch,” said Hanson, who is 4-2 with a 3.94 earned run average in eight starts in a season that has been interrupted by stints on the bereavement and restricted lists.
April 17, 2013 |
MINNEAPOLIS - Mike Butcher is aware of the chatter. The pitching coach knows there are legions of fans who look at the Angels' major league-worst 5.43 earned-run average and think he should be fired. He also knows people above him in the organization might feel the same way. After hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was fired last May in the wake of the team's sluggish start, who's to say the Angels wouldn't make a similar move with Butcher if the pitchers continue to struggle? "It doesn't bother me, not at all," said Butcher, when asked before Wednesday's rainout whether Hatcher's dismissal, the first off Manager Mike Scioscia's coaching staff in 13 years, made him feel less secure about his job. "It's not going to make me do my job any different or make me feel any different.