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Torii hunter merece una leccio

by xerova March 13, 2010 @ 10:08 am (Category : Blogs )

Torii Hunter Merece Una Leccion Latina

Torii hunter latinos want an a

by March 11, 2010 @ 3:21 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Torii Hunter: Latinos Want an Apology

 

Torii
Hunter.jpgBefore the next time Torii Hunter opens his mouth, he should think over what he wants to say or get a dictionary.

 

If Hunter gets a big booing on Opening Day in Los Angeles, he better know for the future. He deserves it.

 

Hunter referred to Latinos as “impostors” while discussing the number of present African-Americans in the Major Leagues.

 

Hunter’s original comments were made two weeks ago in one of a series of USA Today roundtables about baseball and published in Wednesday’s editions.

 

According to a story published in USA Today’s Thursday edition, he meant no harm or disrespect to Latin American players. However, he made very clear he is not apologizing even though he admits using the wrong choice of words.

 

I really would like to know if, during a similar interview, a Latino player in a similar context would have said the word “Negro” before calling such people “impostors” in the majors.

 

I bet the whole media would have exploded on it.

 

If it would have been a Dominican Republic or Venezuelan player, no matter his skin color, people would have asked immediately for his deportation. No matter if it was an All-Star like Hanley Ramirez or Miguel Cabrera.

 

If it would have been Cuban, the outcry would have made its way back to Fidel Castro. No matter if it would have been Alexei Ramirez or newcomer Aroldis Chapman.

 

Puerto Rican players cannot be deported as the island is a United States territory, but they would have felt the wrath all season long. Ask Carlos Delgado how much he was booed when he refused to stand all the 2004 season for “God Bless America.”

 

There would have been no pardon no matter what they would have said later, like they were misquoted because of their poor English.

 

Hunter should look around in his own Angels locker room and start apologizing to his teammates such as Kendry Morales, Bobby Abreu, Joel Piñeiro, Erick Aybar, Fernando Rodney, and Juan Rivera.

 

Maybe it’s understandable that Hunter has some bitterness and resentment of the present situation of the lack of African-Americans in Major League Baseball, but he has to admit and apologize he was wrong.

 

By the way, we are in the 2010s, and, for the good sake of baseball, stop the differentiation of whites, African-American, and Latinos.

 

Major League Baseball must leave alone the diversity issue and understand more than ever it is an international game and there should not be any differentiation of colors.

 

If you know the Latino Angels players mentioned above, there are some from the lightest (Piñeiro) to the darkest (Rodney) skins. Latinos are brothers no matter their color.

 

Hunter is saying he did not want to imply he was a racist. Sorry, but if he feels that way, he needs to apologize and move on.

 

Thank goodness he did not take it also with the Japanese players. New teammate Hideki Matsui would have not been very happy either.

 

Get ready, Torii, that large Mexican population in Los Angeles will be waiting for you.

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Highest paid latinos in mlb

by @ 3:21 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Highest Paid Latinos in MLB

 

alex
rodriguez.jpgNext time Torii Hunter not only should have a better choice of words but also his facts right.

 

The Angel outfielder should know that the latest sensation to come from Latin America Cuban left-handed Aroldis Chapman was signed to a 6-year, $30 million deal by the Cincinnati Reds.

 

Hunter should no better that is not true that Major League Baseball prefers scouting and signing Latino players because they are willing to sign “for a bag of chips.”

 

Again he should ask his fellow Angels Latino teammates whom Arte Moreno is not paying them in corn or potato chips.

 

As of the end of 2009, seven of the best 10 paid players in the Majors according to a report from The Associated Press are Latinos.

 

Just for the facts, these are the best 10 Latino Players paid in Major League Baseball.

 

Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees: $33,000,000
Manny Ramirez,
Los Angeles Dodgers: $23, 854,494

Carlos Beltran: New York Mets: $19, 243,682
Carlos Lee,
Houston Astros: $19,000,000

Magglio Ordoñez, Detroit Tigers: $18,971,576

Johan Santana, New York Mets: $18,876,139
Carlos Zambrano,
Chicago Cubs: $18,750,000

Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs: $17,000,000

Aramis Ramirez, Chicago Cubs: $16,650,000
Mariano
Rivera, New York Yankees: $15,000,000

 

Hunter should know some history too.

 

Among the top 25 Major League Baseball players who have earned over $100 million total salary over their career through the end of 2009, not including bonuses, 10 are Latinos. The earnings definitely are not “bag of chips”.

 

Alex Rodriguez: $231,416,252

Manny Ramírez: $186,112,763

Pedro Martínez: $147,259,585

Carlos Delgado: $146,299,000

Sammy Sosa (retired): $124,068,000

Iván Rodríguez: $116,573,932

Mariano Rivera: $114,530,125

Vladimir Guerrero: $112,430,000

Magglio Ordoñez: $105,644,770

Bernie Williams (retired): $103,100,001

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Spring drags on

by @ 12:09 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Spring Drags On

Mid-March is about the time when I begin to find Spring Training dull and get anxious for the real games to begin.  Ok yes, Joe Blanton had a good outing against the Tigers today after a shaky spring start.  Cole Hamels looks like he is in good shape with two solid performances so far.  The bats are jumping and as a team, the Phillies are hitting at an average of .301 with 7 homers and 36 RBI.  And still, I am a bit sleepy about the whole thing.

In my boredom today, I decided to scan through this week’s MLB headlines to see what was going on around the league.  Here are a few fun tidbits I came across in my search:

  • Yankees shortstop and baseball God, Derek Jeter, sat out of a Spring Training game with flu symptoms.  And then an Angel lost its wings :O(

  • Reyesa.jpg The Mets Jose Reyes may not be ready to play on Opening Day.  His thyroid hormone blood levels are elevated and he is not supposed to do anything that could raise his heart rate.  You know, things like showboating on the base paths or talking to Federal agents about his Canadian doctor’s link to performance-enhancing drugs…stuff like that.
  • At age 39, Brian Giles, former Padre, has decided to retire.  It was either that or start taking the same magical, fountain of youth pills that Jamie Moyer takes.
  • Angels center fielder Torii Hunter told USA Today that Latin Americans are “imposters” in relation to black ballplayers.  Hunter was then rushed to Jose Reyes’ Canadian doctor and diagnosed with “foot-in-mouth” disease.  He was given a “special” injection and should be back to hitting homers in no time.
  • 86224234_jpg_25207_cropped.jpgRed Sox Nomar Garciaparra also retired this week.  He now has plenty of free time to write a memoir about the many baseball adventures of his gigantic nose.  Did it provide shade when trying to catch a pop fly in the sun?  How many times did the nose save his life by blocking a high, inside pitch?  It will be a must-read.
  • Braves Manager Bobby Cox reported that Derek Lowe was suffering from a blister.  “He gutted through it, and it’s a mess,” Cox said about the blister. “I don’t know how he pitched at all.”  I know what he means; last week, I broke a nail and was not sure if I could go on typing.  I toughed it out as I could not disappoint my readers - that is how much I love you guys.
  • In an interview with ESPN, Milton Bradley whined that he received hate mail from the Cubs last year.  He went on to note that unless you’re “Superman or you’re Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks or [in the] Hall of Fame, then it’s going to be tough” for African-American players in Chicago.  I don’t suppose his .257 batting average had anything to do with his difficulties?  Oh, and wasn’t Superman a white dude?  Just sayin’…
  • Going back to the drug-dealing Canadian doctor, Alex Rodriguez was treated by this same guy after hip surgery last year.  In response to the investigation, A-Rod said, “I am aware of an investigation, and I plan on cooperating.”  The last time he “cooperated” there were no real consequences; so hey, no biggie.

Come on Opening Day!  Get here….quick!

 

Reyes photo by Jenn

Garciaparra photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

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Baker defends hunter

by March 10, 2010 @ 1:22 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Baker defends Hunter

Reds manager Dusty Baker was a member of the panel that recently discussed the status of African American players in baseball, and he was taken aback by quotes attributed to Angels center fielder Torii Hunter in a national publication.

“I must have left before any of that,” Baker said. “I didn’t hear it at all. I know Torii was probably trying to make light of the situation - and that’s not Torii Hunter, how it came out in print.

“He’s one of the most respected players around the game by everyone in the game. All I know is that whatever way it came out, I refuse to believe Torii believes that. He’s a unifier. He’s always treated everybody the same, with respect. That’s one of the reasons why he has such a great reputation in the game, along with the way he competes.”

Hunter was stunned and hurt by how the story portrayed his perception of the racial balance in the game. He said he was merely trying to point out that “black kids from America are different from kids growing up in Latin America, with different cultures, but we all share a love of the game.

“I’ve spent my whole career trying to get young kids involved in this great game,” Hunter said, “and that’s not going to change. It’s hurtful when something like this causes perceptions that are not accurate.”

>>>>>>Kazmir ready to go

Snuffed by the Reds, 6-0, on three hits on Wednesday, the Angels got some good news on the pitching front. Southpaw Scott Kazmir, whose spring started slowly with residual pain from a right hamstring strain, made it through 31 pitches in a camp game and is set to go in the rotation. His turn comes up on Monday when the Dodgers visit Tempe Diablo Stadium.

“He looked great,” Scioscia said. “It was a really good workout for him.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Come on joe get your head in the game

by March 9, 2010 @ 1:34 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Come on Joe, get your head in the game!

We were up 7-4 in the eighth inning, and I had no worries. We had runners on for Travis Hafner and all I needed was to sit back and watch.

 

relaxed_jpg_w560h373.jpg

 

Everything was perfect. The Indians were cruising along, and in the ninth they brought in Joe Smith. This was going to be an easy finish, or maybe not… Noonan!

 

noonan!.jpg

 

But Joe got the first out of the ninth easily, and I thought that I was just being optimistic, but then maybe I was wrong? There were then two outs with no one on, when a guy laid down a perfect bunt single, with two outs!??! And this is how I looked…

 

huh.jpg

 

I bit my nails, and I knew we were in for a big finish. Joe delivered and all of a sudden, BOOM! Single down the right field line. Luckily he was thrown out at second, whew.

 

whew.jpg

 

But the game was still tied, and I danced around the house throwing things.

 

angry.jpg

 

But I didn’t fret, I knew that we played a good game, but we tied. But we are still the best team in the Cactus League! undefeated! And hopefully we can keep it that way. We have two ties on the year, and we might get caught in another one along the way.

 

caught.jpg

 

Let’s just hope Joe can keep his head in the game.

 

gget your head in the
game.gif

11 Comments

That RBI baseball screenshot just brought back lots of good memories. Ted, you weren’t even born when that came out! Still, you should check it out sometime. Today’s youth is a bit spoiled by the unbelievably realistic graphics and game experiences available.

–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Don’t the Cavs have a guy named Joe Smith? Or was that last year?
MLB 10 the show is the best video game ever, besides NHL 10. I am terrible at it, but it’s awesome. I was drafted by the Tigers!

Jeff: Us kids are spoiled by the gaming graphics of real life, but still there are always those glitches. :) And then all of a sudden you have 30 million people trying to post them on Youtube, that’s our society.

TotalBases: That was a few years ago I’m pretty sure. You were drafted by the Tigers, what a shame…

Ted

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

I think it was last year, because I remember the Celtics wanted him. Yeah, I was hoping to be drafted by the Red Sox.

Game is at 3PM ET, but it’s not televised. Tomorrow will be televised on STO.

Total Bases: It never works that way, dang video games.

Indians: Okay thanks consider me turning on STO then.

Ted

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Tomorrow I’m in Ft. Myers to watch the Red Sox-Twins game :D

Totalbases: Well that’s good for you, nothing like getting out to ole Fla and seeing nice weather.

Ted

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

Yeah, woohoo! LOL
Wish the Tribe well this year. Too bad their out in Arizona, I’d love to see them play. Question: As an Indians fan, how did you feel seeing Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia in the World Series? There was a lot of talk on Boston sports raidio about that. Just interested on an Indians fan’s take.

“The fans are ruthless and don’t deserve a winner. I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured. I know at times I wasn’t great. I hope and pray I’m playing when my team comes to town and [we] roll them.”
–Former Browns quarterback Derek Anderson
Whoa, what do you think of this Ted? I think browns fans are very loyal and deserve winners. (Sounds like Bruins fans!)

Total Bases: On your question regarding Lee and Sabathia, it’s fine. They had to go. We weren’t a contending team and we got great prospects out of it!

I really liked the trades, and I wouldn’t have taken them back.

It’s fine that they were in the World Series, it just shows how good the Indians General management is, they got both Sabathia and Lee. Lee came over from the Angels.

Does Derek know that he sucked? Obviously not.

Ted

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

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Al west crystal ball

by @ 1:34 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

AL West Crystal Ball….ALwestcrystalball.jpg
What will the American League West look like come October 2010. I know we are not even halfway through spring training and already I am looking to October. This is a time when I want to have a record i look back at and say “Jeeez  was I wrong” or “Wow I nailed that one”.

Like it or not here are a few suggestions for fans of the American League West teams…

Oakland A’s fans, I am suggesting that you…
As-pillow.jpg

…invest some of your money in this Northwest Bolster Pillow at $19.99 Item no. 3538060 from the MLB shop, because the Oakland A’s are going to put you back to sleep this year and finish at the bottom of the division.

 L.A. Angels of Anaheim should consider reviewing the possible purchase of this….
angels-piggybank.jpg …Memory Company ‘Born to be’ Piggy Bank for $19.99, Item no. 3055337, from MLB shop, so you can start saving for game tickets for the 2011 season, because the Angels this year will disappoint as they struggle to stay in contention with the teams above them.

Texas Rangers fans should seriously consider splurging on the purchase of…
texas-holder.jpgKolder Jersey Bottle Holder for $14.99, Item no. 3094273, from the MLB shop as I fear this is the only thing the Rangers will hold in 2010 as they once again fall short of the division title.

Seattle Mariners fans will need one of these….
mariners-calendar.jpg….Turner Licensing 2010 Box Calendar & Paper Cube for $21.99, Item no. 3785928, from the MLB shop, so that they can keep track of the post season games they will enjoy after winning the AL West division title for 2010.

any sarcasm is not meant to offend, unless it does, then consider the possibilities of more during the season.

…..and finally so as not to generate any hard feelings with a fellow blogger I have added a link to his blog to my side bar, so now you can navigate to both of these Tampa Bay fan blogs Rays Renegade and More Cowbell from my site…..

product images above are all from the respective teams online MLB shop, no guarentees on accuracy of pricing, please visit each teams MLB shop through the specific teams official website to make any purchase or for more information on these or any other products, trademarks, trade names, copyrights and patents are the property of their respective owners.

1 Comments

Rather remarkable turn around since they fired the GM. Because the Angel’s farm is a machine, I never count them out. But this looks like Seattle’s division to loose.
http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.mlblogs.com/

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Shields jepsen pass tests

by @ 1:34 pm (Category : Uncategorized )

Shields, Jepsen pass tests

TEMPE, Ariz. - Scot Shields and Kevin Jepsen, constant companions throughout Spring Training in the clubhouse and on the field, were beaming on a cool Tuesday as they made the walk back from the Minor League fields to Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Accompanying the two Angels relievers was the club’s all-time saves king, Troy Percival, who is in camp with a pair of southpaws of renown, Chuck Finley and Mark Langston, providing equal measures of wisdom and good humor.

Percival had watched two of his heirs in manager Mike Scioscia’s bullpen throw 20 pain-free pitches in a simulated game, taking what they hope were the final steps leading to their Cactus League debuts sometime this week.

Shields is coming back from June surgery on his left, landing knee, while Jepsen got a late start because of some stiffness in his pitching shoulder when he arrived in camp.

“A good day,” said Shields, the game’s most durable and productive setup man since 2004 and the club’s elder statesman in terms of service with the Angels. “I threw fastballs, three or four curveballs, no changeups. I got behind a couple guys but got back [in the count]. The movement was there.

“Everything felt good. I think I’m ready to get in a game, but it’s their call on that.”

Jepsen, who threw 54 2/3 innings for the Angels last season and 18 more for Triple-A Salt Lake, felt the wear and took it relatively easy in the off-season, highlighted by his Nov. 13 Cabo San Lucas, Mex., marriage to Andre Foisy.

“It didn’t feel like 20 pitches,” Jepsen said. “I felt great, ready to go. I felt strong for the first time throwing to hitters this spring. I’m ready to go at it.”

How these two valuable right arms feel on Wednesday in response to the workouts will factor into whether they’re turned loose next in live game action or given another outing against hitters wearing their own jerseys.

Joel Pineiro, scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Padres, had a meeting with the dentist instead when he showed up with a very sore mouth. Anthony Ortega took his place and pitched effectively in the 6-5 win, holding the Padres to one earned run in three innings. Brian Fuentes also had a strong second outing, and Trevor Bell (two unearned runs in two innings) impressed Scioscia along with Francisco Rodriguez, who pitched a perfect ninth.

Ryan Mount homered, and Bobby Wilson’s two-run triple and Reggie Willits’ two-run single were the big offensive blows of the day. Right fielder Michael Ryan — a “real sleeper” in Scioscia’s eyes — had another superb game with a diving catch in right center and a double, RBI single and walk for a perfect day at the plate.

Bobby Abreu was a right field scratch, giving Ryan the start, as rain delayed the game’s start and created damp conditions.  - Lyle Spencer
 

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Lookin good

by @ 1:54 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Lookin’ Good

On Saturday we lost 7-4. Jerry Hairston had three hits, though, which is super cool. Jon Garland pitched really well. He went two innings, only allowing one run on two hits. Definitely good to see. On Sunday, the game got rained out.

Yesterday I turned on the radio at about 12:45 and checked XX 1090 to see if the game was going. All I heard was Darren Smith, so I assumed that the game had been rained out again. I’m so stupid. Actually, the radio stations are being stupid. I had completely forgotten that they’re going to be broadcasting most of the games on 1700! That’s really annoying ’cause 1090 was coming in bad enough, and I wonder if I’ll be able to hear the games at all on 1700. Sigh. They’d better keep all the regular season games on 1090, and even better, go back to 105.7. Oh well.

Anyways, so we did play yesterday, even though I didn’t hear it. We played the Rockies and lost 5-4, though we did pretty well. K-Cor started, allowing two runs over three innings. Clayton Richard and Heath Bell had scoreless innings, but Cesar Ramos allowed three runs in his inning.

 kcorspring.jpgWe did pretty well on the offensive side. Adrian got a hit. Whew. I was getting a little worried there.

And look at Chase…that guy’s on fire! He hit a home run yesterday, so now he has two hits so far with three RBIs. Chad Huffman had a two-run double. Matt Antonelli also had an RBI double.  

chasehomer.jpgWe’re playing the Angels in Tempe today. Chris Young’s going to pitch again, so that’ll be cool.

So how does this team look so far? We’re 1-3, but that doesn’t matter a bit. So far, I’m really liking the defense, the baserunning, and the pitching. Our pitchers haven’t been perfect, but they’re doing very well. Things are looking goooood.

In other news, the A’s lost 10-3 to the Cubs, but Kouz still doesn’t have a hit. I know you can do it KOOOOZ!!!!! Miss you!!!!

GO PADRES!!!  

2 Comments

Anyone with the name Chase has to do well just by viruteof name association with Utley… I still like Jon Garland and think he’s going to do well for the Padres this year…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

i saw kouzmanoff on baseball tonight in his A’s jersey. weird sight, i can only imagine how you feel about it.
http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

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Spring training preview

by @ 1:54 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Spring Training PreviewAs I prepare to visit Phoenix Municipal Stadium for my first game of the Spring, with the Angels as the visitors against the A’s, there are a few things on my mind regarding what the club hopes to accomplish this preseason in terms of its personnel.  Hopefully the Angels can get through Spring Training without any major injuries, but if they do they’ll have some hard decisions to make and will likely end up letting a player or two go without receiving anything back in the form of compensation.  There are four young position players in particular that are out of minor league options and thus cannot be sent down again without effectively clearing waivers first.  These are Brandon Wood, Reggie Willits, Terry Evans and Bobby Wilson.

Wood is the odds on favorite to win the third base job and has been the prodigal prospect for some few years now.  The Angels appear ready to struggle through any Major League learning difficulties that he might still have as he tries to adapt to a more regular role in the big show this season.  Brandon’s versatility is a huge plus, as he can play not only third and short, but also first and likely second in a pinch.  As most baseball people know, if you can play shortstop you can probably play effectively anywhere on the field.  Wood’s problems with the Angels have not been with the glove but with the bat and regular plate appearances are expected to remedy any residual afflictions in that regard.  He needs to develop better plate discipline and be less strikeout prone, which is why Hatcher has worked with him to shorten his swing this past season.  Still Mike Schmidt started off his career with similar problems and obviously overcame them famously, and Troy Glaus was another Angels’ shortstop prospect who made the switch to third when he came up to stay and that worked out rather well too.  If Brandon has a career anywhere near resembling what those two accomplished he will have succeeded handsomely.

Willits had a big year with the Angels as a rookie three seasons ago but has failed to follow up on that promise since then.  He’s suffered through an assortment of ailments and has not gotten the playing time he received as an emergency stopgap in his rookie year, mainly because the same rash of injuries that thrust him onto center stage back then have not recurred.  Still, Reggie has great plate discipline and good speed, even if his routes to the ball are not always optimal in the outfield.  The problem is that he has very little power and has yet to hit a Major League homerun.  However, he is a serviceable replacement in center field for whenever Torii Hunter might need a day off and he can play the corner outfield spots equally well.  He’s also a good bunter and has performed well in the past as both a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner.  Reggie could be a very valuable bench player if he could demonstrate the same skills with the bat that so impressed everyone when he first came up.  The problem is that it may well come down to a choice between him and Evans for the final available outfield spot coming out of camp, so he needs to be especially impressive this Spring.

Terry Evans is another story as he’s still just trying to make the squad as a reserve outfielder after coming over from the Cardinals organization three seasons ago, when he had somewhat of a breakout year at the AA level.  However, his production was off a bit at Salt Lake City last year and I think that has the Angels a tad wary, as the Pacific Coast League is a hitter’s haven and his offensive numbers perhaps were not what everyone was hoping to see.  Still, he’s got some pop in his bat and good speed, and can play both corner outfield spots and man center in a pinch as well.  He’ll be battling Willits and Quinlan for a reserve outfield spot, although two of them might make the club if Matsui is relegated strictly to the designated hitter role.  Matsui’s status vis-a-vis the outfield will be determined during Spring Training but he isn’t expected to play out there this season more than one day a week at the most regardless.  If Terry demonstrates an ability to play centerfield effectively this preseason it would definitely give him a leg up on the competition since Willits has already proven that he’s capable of fielding that spot and Quinlan is not likely to be considered a centerfield backup option.  If the Angels don’t put him on their twenty-five man roster going into the regular season then another team is almost certain to pick him up and unless there’s a trade involved the Angels will receive nothing in return.

Bobby Wilson is another catcher in the Jeff Mathis mode, a  good glove and a questionable bat.  His problem is that the Angles are unlikely to carry three catchers through the entire season and Napoli and Mathis are already well entrenched in their respective roles.  I would expect to see one of these three traded during the season if Wilson makes the team, and if he doesn’t of course the Angels will need to trade him before the regular season begins or they will get nothing in return, as he will be free to sign with the team of his choice.  This obviously makes such a trade problematic since any team that wants him can simply wait the Angels out.  Wilson has not yet demonstrated the ability to hit Major League pitching and he put up rather pedestrian numbers with the bat in AAA, in a hitter’s league.  He appears to be a good defensive backstop and can play some first base as well, but the Angels already have both of these needs covered fairly well.  One other possibility of course, is for the Angels to keep Wilson and trade either Mathis or Napoli, but they have not indicated a willingness or desire to pursue this avenue up to this point.

Mathis could possibly have turned the corner is his struggles with the bat, if his performance in last year’s playoffs can be carried over into this season then the Angels could have two catchers adept in the art of hitting.  Otherwise, he may continue to struggle around the Mendoza line for the rest of his career, in which case the Angels would be wise to deal him now when his value is at an all-time high, coming off his stellar performance in the AL Championship Series.  Napoli has already proven his worth with the  bat and has become one of the most formidable and powerful hitting catchers in the bigs.  His struggles have been mostly defensive in nature, although he’s not that far behind Mathis in his catching skill-set and the team actually had a better record with him behind the plate last year than Jeff.  However, Mathis has typically had the better catcher’s ERA over the last couple of years, for whatever that’s worth.  Many think that Napoli should see more time at designated hitter and he well may, but Matsui was signed to fill that role this year and will almost certainly get the majority of the plate appearances there barring injury.

For the Angels to keep all four of these guys on the twenty-five man roster to start the regular season, they would have to go with an eleven man pitching staff.  That means six relievers and the Angels currently have seven proven Major League bullpen arms at the ready.  Scioscia often likes to start out the year with seven relievers to give him more options without overusing the staff and to compound the dilemma the only two relievers with minor league options still available are the guys who showed perhaps the most promise last season, Matt Palmer and Kevin Jepsen.  So that is the double-bind that Manager Mike may find himself in at the end of the Spring, demote one of the critical bullpen cogs from last year or give away either Willits, Evans, or Wilson without receiving a return on our investment in player development.  Of course injuries in the preseason could make this a moot point but that’s probably an even less desirable outcome.  We’ll all just have to wait and see how it all plays out during Spring Training and whether or not the players involved make this fateful decision making process easy or hard.

 

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