By Glen McKee, Staff Writer
So it’s the All-Star break now, which means a few things: first, I won’t be writing this article next week and reliving the misery, and B, the Angels will have Mike Trout back on Friday (no whammy). It was a bad week, a very bad week, as if the Angels decided to just say “eff it” until Trout gets back. How bad was it? Let me count the ways.
- The record. 2-4 against two teams the Angels are, judging by record, in the same neighborhood. Well, they were before the week started.
- The offense. 16 runs in six games, or an average of 2.66 runs per game. 11 of those runs came in three games in Minnesota. Against the Rangers, they managed 1.66 runs per game and yet still somehow won one of them.
- The starting pitching. In six games, the starters tallied 28.2 IP and 20 ER. True, those stats are skewed by Nolasco’s horrible start in Arlington: 1.2 IP, 8 ER. And if you want to look at the positives there were a few (more on that below), but in addition to Nolasco’s fiasco, three times last week the Angels had a starter go only five innings and in those starts they gave up 5 ER, 4 ER, and 3 ER. Hey, at least the trend line is encouraging, right?
- Cameron Maybin. There’s a thread right now talking about extending Maybin and as I’ve said in that thread, let’s wait and see a bit on that, shall we? Last week Maybin went 2-20 with 5 BB and 8 K. He’s hitting .148 with a .273 OBP in July. Sure, a hot week or two can make those numbers a lot better and I certainly hopes he returns to his June form (.284, .333), but he’s more likely to bounce back to his career averages of .258 and .324. That .324 OBP would be the best for an Angels leadoff hitter in quite a while, so I’d be happy with that.
- Kole Calhoun. .240 last week, .194 for July. He’s hot then he’s Kole. If he warms up after the ASB the Angels have to think about trading him, as much as I’d hate to see him go.
- Mike “Get a Brain” Morin. He’s the new Kevin Jepsen, but worse. Last week he had 3 IP, 6 H, and 2 ER. He is who his stats say he is, a career 4.49 ERA pitcher with a strangely low (for that ERA) 1.25 WHIP. I get that he has options, but he’s not a good option for the Angels. It’s easy to predict: the Angels will release him and then some other team will pick him up – probably Oakland – and turn him into a dominant closer and trade him for a prospect that turns into the next Sunny Grey. Que sera sera.
- Danny Espinosa. 0-8 last week, but his “replacement” didn’t do much better (Nick Franklin: 1-10). Seriously, who does Caleb Cowart have to blow to get a legitimate shot in the bigs? Neither of these guys is a solution or even a good option.
OK, enough with the negatives, what went well last week? I’m glad you asked! Well, there was…um, let’s see…yeah, there were these few things:
- Parker Bridwell. Not to be confused with Blake Parker or Peter Parker or even Peter Piper, Parker Bridwell threw six shutout innings in Minnesota and the Angels hung on for one of their two wins last week, 2-1. For the season Bridwell, Parker is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA, 10 BB and 19 K. The 7 HR, while in keeping with the tradition of Angels pitchers year, is a bit worrisome but he has potential.
- Mike Trout rehabbing. If he isn’t back this Friday then something is very, very wrong.
- Albert Pujols. Last week he hit .381 (!) with 2 HR but only 2 RBI (that last stat is for you, Claude). If Pujols stays hot with Trout getting back, that bodes well for the offense. If only some other hitters could warm up as well, that is.
- Ben Revere, CJ Cron, and Martin Maldonado. Both of them hit .250 last week, which means they were tied for second place behind Albert Pujols. Yunel Escobar was fifth with a .238 average. That’s how moribund the offense was.
What’s next. Four merciful days off, perhaps a trade, and then three at home versus the 47-43 rays.
Predictions. I don’t think the Angels will make a trade although it wouldn’t surprise me to see either Escobar or Calhoun gone before the Angels play again. Last week I predicted a generous 3-3 and I was only one game off, but what a difference one game makes.
Worth noting. Even after that miserable week, and even though it matters not, the Angels are still tied for second place in the AL West. They’re only 16.5 games behind the Astros! To close out this miserable week, here’s Kate Upton illustrating where we stand in the AL West:
I’ll be taking next week off because there are only three real games, and possibly the week after that due to personal reasons (what other kinds of reasons are there?). Please, feel free to relive the misery on your own until I return. Cheers.