A post-mortem on another disappointing finish for Arte's boys.
There just weren’t enough Mike Trouts on hand to make the Angels a playoff team in 2015.
Trout has been transcendent this season, as much as ever. You’ve probably heard a lot about how close the AL MVP race is, but BP’s numbers don’t see it that way. Trout put up a .352 True Average this year, and 9.9 WARP. (Josh Donaldson comes in at .325 and 7.6, respectively.) I won’t attempt, here, to add to the literature on the remarkable ability of Trout to make adjustments, change his game in radical ways, and still dominate opponents in multiple facets, but it’s worth noting. The Angels went as far as Trout could carry them this season, and no further.
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Mets muster up some runs, but miss out on a chance to climb closer to first place.
The Wednesday Takeaway
The Mets have had an up-and-down July after a terrible June. They had put together some good games entering Wednesday's series finale against the NL East-leading Nationals, winning six of their previous 10 games. Their playoff odds had risen from 25 percent in the beginning of July to 39 percent after Tuesday's win against the Nationals.
The rules say umps should get it right, but not too right.
I’ve been kicking this can for months, looking for a place to dispose of it properly. I could have kept kicking it, too, but for Casey McGehee and Doug Eddings. It was the seventh inning of Friday night’s Angels-Giants tilt, and the Angels had a runner on first base with nobody out. San Francisco led 1-0. Kole Calhoun led off the top of the seventh with a clean single to left field, bringing up David Freese. On an 0-1 count, Freese hit a double-play ball to McGehee at third base. It was a terrifically easy play, leading McGehee just enough to his left to shorten the first leg of the around-the-horn twin killing.
McGehee, however, flubbed it. The ball bounced up past his glove, deflected of his left side and rolled toward shortstop. Brandon Crawford, a great defensive shortstop who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, grabbed the ball and threw to second base brilliantly. It was a great, reflexive, instinctual play, though ideally, he’d have thrown to first base, because there simply wasn’t a play on the lead runner, Calhoun. Calhoun beat the throw, though somewhat narrowly.
Ten years before Arte Moreno's latest P.R. disaster came Arte Moreno's first P.R. disaster. Or was it?
In 2005, when Arte Moreno was still the fresh-faced owner best known for cutting beer prices, Neil deMause wrote about the clunky move to rename the team. The following ran originally on January 5, 2005.
And so it's official. To the legendarily doofy sports names of yore--the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis, the NFL's wartime Phil-Pitt Steagles--we can now add a new contender: the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The diverse and carefully constructed bullpen of GM and former reliever Jerry Dipoto.
Every day until Opening Day, Baseball Prospectus authors will preview two teams—one from the AL, one from the NL—identifying strategies those teams employ to gain an advantage. Today: two AL teams! Projected division winners Angels and their diverse bullpen of specific pieces, plus the Red Sox and their collection of same-position hitters.
Which teams' rotations will survive the inevitable blowing up?
Last year Sam did some analysis to identify which teams had the most effective depth in their starting rotation. Sam noted just how fragile starting rotations are: that only about one team per league per year gets 25 starts out of all five starters, and most of the teams that do make the playoffs. He also linked to an article by Eno Sarris that found two-thirds of teams will have two starters get hurt at the same time—in other words, will need not just a sixth starter but a seventh at some point each season.
With the glut of recent injuries to key starting pitchers (Darvish, Lee, Stroman, etc.) teams are again reminded that no plan is strong enough to withstand 60 Newton meters of valgus stress. And so we will make an attempt to see which teams are best positioned to manage the loss of two key starters.
Dealing with addiction in a sport that wants to punish drug use.
As I write this, Major League Baseball hasn’t quite decided what to do about Josh Hamilton. Reports have suggested that Hamilton has met with league officials to discuss an incident during the offseason in which he used drugs, reportedly including cocaine and alcohol. Hamilton, who has had well-documented battles with substance use in his past, brought the incident to the attention of league officials himself. Now MLB is trying to figure out what the punishment should be for Mr. Hamilton.
Mike Trout plans to be more aggressive on the first pitch, a Cuban sensation faces possible surgery, and a Dodgers outfielder is finding his trade market lacking.
Mike Trout plans to be more aggressive at the plate
“Locked and loaded on the first pitch”—that’s what the defending American League Most Valuable Player told reporters about the mentality he’ll take to the batter’s box whenever he heads there this spring.