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  1. THE GAME: The Angels snapped a seventh-inning tie for the second straight game, this time to beat the San Diego Padres, 5-3, on Monday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Angels improved to 3-0 this spring. PITCHING REPORT: RH J.C. Ramirez pitched a... View the full article
  2. TEMPE, Ariz. — Monday marked one of the milestones of spring training, the Angels playing their First Game With A Full Lineup. Although the lineup still didn’t include Albert Pujols, who is rehabbing from foot surgery, and there is still some... View the full article
  3. My husband is British, and therefore incredibly picky about Indian food. He bemoans the lack of restaurants that serve “proper curries” in our neighborhood. This is why, on our annual trek back to UK to visit his family over the holidays, we’ve started the tradition of going to an Indian restaurant on New Year’s Eve. We skip the champagne, the sparkles, and the countdown in favor of eating our fill of spicy curry. In an effort to ensure that we’re not deprived of Indian food the rest of the year, I am learning how to cook more Indian dishes at home. I’m starting off with the quintessential British Indian dish: chicken tikka masala. Continue reading "Chicken Tikka Masala" » View the full article
  4. Prospect: Nate Smith Rank: 10 2015/16: 11 Position(s): Left Handed Pitcher Level: AAA Salt Lake Age: Entering Age 25 season in 2017. Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lb. Present – Future Fastball 45 50 Slider 55 60 Curve 50 50 Change 60 60 Mechanics 60 60 Command 55 60 Control 55 60 Overall 45 55 Floor: Swing Starter or lefty specialist in MLB. Ceiling: A workhorse #3/4 starter in MLB Likely Outcome: A consistent #4/5 starter in MLB Summary: It’s been difficult for Nate Smith to get any love as a pitcher, which is unfortunate because there really isn’t much more he could’ve done up to this point. Drafted in the 8th round out of very little known Furman University, Smith was tabbed as a finesse lefty. And for the most part, that was true. He came to the Angels throwing 86-89 with a decent curve and solid change up. Since then, Smith has gotten stronger at every level. Now his fastball sits 88-89, and on nights he’s feeling particularly good, he’ll throw 92-93. which would classify him as a hard throwing lefty. His curve ball is still decent, but has since been surpassed in effectiveness by his slider, which at times can resemble a plus pitch. The solid change up has also turned into a legitimate plus pitch. All of this progression was accomplished while still maintaining his roots in attacking the strike zone. Until this last season, Nate Smith had never once posted an ERA above 3.86 in the minor leagues. He even played for Team USA and led them to an eventual silver medal in the Pan-Am games. Still, every talent evaluator doesn’t classify Smith as anything remarkable. And that’s true, Smith isn’t a high upside pitcher. He simply doesn’t have any real weakness to his game either, and that’s why he doesn’t get any love from big publications the way he should. Smith is basically the Kole Calhoun of pitchers. Nate’s just that pitcher other teams don’t have a ton of success against, but they also don’t remember why. Well the truth is, Nate’s stuff isn’t that bad, and he spots his pitches in a manner that generates weak contact or swings and misses. If the Angels were in any sort of contention last season, it’s likely Nate Smith would’ve been promoted. But since they weren’t, and Nate was injured down the stretch (which also explains the poor showing in August he had), the Angels chose to play it safe and delay his promotion until 2017. While Billy Eppler has done a solid job building depth around Nate Smith like Manny Banuelos, Victor Campos, Alex Meyer and Jesse Chavez, we can still expect to see Nate Smith with the Angels in some capacity in 2017. What to expect next season: Nate was navigating the extremely hitter friendly environment in Salt Lake and the PCL until August, when I suspect Nate was injured and attempted to just pitch through it. Smith can strike batters out, but for the most part he out-smarts them and allows hitters to get themselves out by keeping them off balance and hitting his spots. If he continues this gameplay, we should see Smith in Anaheim by the all-star break, but regardless, I expect Nate Smith to break camp in AAA again. But with all the uncertainty involving the Angels pitching staff, Smith finds himself in a free-for-all competition for the 5th starter spot and bullpen spots. He’ll need to outpitch Alex Meyer, Manny Banuelos, Vicente Campos, Yusmeiro Petit, Brooks Pounders, Daniel Wright and more…. But he can do it, Smith has that capability to be sure. Estimated Time of Arrival: 2017, as a 25 year old. . Grade as a prospect: C+ Grades are given from the 20-80 scouting scale. 20-being non-existent ability, 80-being the best I’ve ever seen. MLB average is 50. View the full article
  5. Prospect: Nate Smith Rank: 10 2015/16: 11 Position(s): Left Handed Pitcher Level: AAA Salt Lake Age: Entering Age 25 season in 2017. Height: 6’3” Weight: 210 lb. Present – Future Fastball 45 50 Slider 55 60 Curve 50 50 Change 60 60 Mechanics 60 60 Command 55 60 Control 55 60 Overall 45 55 Floor: Swing Starter or lefty specialist in MLB. Ceiling: A workhorse #3/4 starter in MLB Likely Outcome: A consistent #4/5 starter in MLB Summary: It’s been difficult for Nate Smith to get any love as a pitcher, which is unfortunate because there really isn’t much more he could’ve done up to this point. Drafted in the 8th round out of very little known Furman University, Smith was tabbed as a finesse lefty. And for the most part, that was true. He came to the Angels throwing 86-89 with a decent curve and solid change up. Since then, Smith has gotten stronger at every level. Now his fastball sits 88-89, and on nights he’s feeling particularly good, he’ll throw 92-93. which would classify him as a hard throwing lefty. His curve ball is still decent, but has since been surpassed in effectiveness by his slider, which at times can resemble a plus pitch. The solid change up has also turned into a legitimate plus pitch. All of this progression was accomplished while still maintaining his roots in attacking the strike zone. Until this last season, Nate Smith had never once posted an ERA above 3.86 in the minor leagues. He even played for Team USA and led them to an eventual silver medal in the Pan-Am games. Still, every talent evaluator doesn’t classify Smith as anything remarkable. And that’s true, Smith isn’t a high upside pitcher. He simply doesn’t have any real weakness to his game either, and that’s why he doesn’t get any love from big publications the way he should. Smith is basically the Kole Calhoun of pitchers. Nate’s just that pitcher other teams don’t have a ton of success against, but they also don’t remember why. Well the truth is, Nate’s stuff isn’t that bad, and he spots his pitches in a manner that generates weak contact or swings and misses. If the Angels were in any sort of contention last season, it’s likely Nate Smith would’ve been promoted. But since they weren’t, and Nate was injured down the stretch (which also explains the poor showing in August he had), the Angels chose to play it safe and delay his promotion until 2017. While Billy Eppler has done a solid job building depth around Nate Smith like Manny Banuelos, Victor Campos, Alex Meyer and Jesse Chavez, we can still expect to see Nate Smith with the Angels in some capacity in 2017. What to expect next season: Nate was navigating the extremely hitter friendly environment in Salt Lake and the PCL until August, when I suspect Nate was injured and attempted to just pitch through it. Smith can strike batters out, but for the most part he out-smarts them and allows hitters to get themselves out by keeping them off balance and hitting his spots. If he continues this gameplay, we should see Smith in Anaheim by the all-star break, but regardless, I expect Nate Smith to break camp in AAA again. But with all the uncertainty involving the Angels pitching staff, Smith finds himself in a free-for-all competition for the 5th starter spot and bullpen spots. He’ll need to outpitch Alex Meyer, Manny Banuelos, Vicente Campos, Yusmeiro Petit, Brooks Pounders, Daniel Wright and more…. But he can do it, Smith has that capability to be sure. Estimated Time of Arrival: 2017, as a 25 year old. . Grade as a prospect: C+ Grades are given from the 20-80 scouting scale. 20-being non-existent ability, 80-being the best I’ve ever seen. MLB average is 50. View the full article
  6. When the Los Angeles Angels were born in 1961, home was a more transient notion than a place for them to call their own. They spent their inaugural season at tiny Wrigley Field, a former minor league ballpark ill suited for Major League play with its 345-foot power alleys and paltry 20,457 seating capacity. The next year, the Angels moved into newly constructed Dodger Stadium, or Chavez Ravine as the American Leaguers called it, where they appeared as sub lessees who got to use the field while the “real” tenants were away. The Angels needed their own home. In the ensuing years, Angels owner Gene Autry was courted by many southland cities, including a strong wooing from Long Beach, but eventually settled on Anaheim, which offered a 160-acre parcel near the intersection of three freeways. Ground was broken Aug. 31, 1964, on the $24 million facility, and 19 months later it was ready for the Angels to move in. The new stadium featured 43,204 seats and outfield dimensions derived from a scientific study intended to insure offensive balance. But the real calling card was the $1 million “Big A” scoreboard in left field. At 230 feet, it was the tallest structure in Orange County at the time and featured a state-of-the-art video display that could not only show fans the score and lineups, but also lead cheers and highlight statistical milestones. The Angels hosted the San Francisco Giants for a pre-season exhibition at their new stadium on April 9, 1966, during which Willie Mays hit the “unofficial” first home run in Anaheim Stadium history. Ten days later, the stadium officially opened Major League play, with Tommy John and the White Sox facing off against Marcelino Lopez and the Angels. Outfielder Rick Reichardt connected for a solo home run, the stadium’s first, in the second inning, giving the Angels a lead they’d hold until the sixth. But the Sox tied it on a Tommie Agee solo homer in the sixth and took the lead with two in the eighth to hand the Angels a 3-1 defeat in their home opener. Jim Fregosi’s first inning double was the stadium’s first hit. The Angels notched their first Anaheim home victory the next night, defeating the White Sox, 4-3, in 11 innings. The new location and facility were both a hit with fans. The Angels drew only 566,727 fans during the 1965 season at Chavez Ravine, but nearly tripled that figure to 1.4 million their first year in Anaheim. Since that first season, the venue has hosted the 1967, 1989 and 2010 MLB All-Star Game and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. It has also witnessed Hall of Fame achievements such as Don Sutton’s 300th victory, Rod Carew’s and George Brett’s 3,000th hits, and Reggie Jackson’s 500th home run. While tenants in Anaheim/Edison Field/Angel Stadium, the Angels have won eight division titles and one World Series Championship. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL196604190.shtml View the full article
  7. When the Los Angeles Angels were born in 1961, home was a more transient notion than a place for them to call their own. They spent their inaugural season at tiny Wrigley Field, a former minor league ballpark ill suited for Major League play with its 345-foot power alleys and paltry 20,457 seating capacity. The next year, the Angels moved into newly constructed Dodger Stadium, or Chavez Ravine as the American Leaguers called it, where they appeared as sub lessees who got to use the field while the “real” tenants were away. The Angels needed their own home. In the ensuing years, Angels owner Gene Autry was courted by many southland cities, including a strong wooing from Long Beach, but eventually settled on Anaheim, which offered a 160-acre parcel near the intersection of three freeways. Ground was broken Aug. 31, 1964, on the $24 million facility, and 19 months later it was ready for the Angels to move in. The new stadium featured 43,204 seats and outfield dimensions derived from a scientific study intended to insure offensive balance. But the real calling card was the $1 million “Big A” scoreboard in left field. At 230 feet, it was the tallest structure in Orange County at the time and featured a state-of-the-art video display that could not only show fans the score and lineups, but also lead cheers and highlight statistical milestones. The Angels hosted the San Francisco Giants for a pre-season exhibition at their new stadium on April 9, 1966, during which Willie Mays hit the “unofficial” first home run in Anaheim Stadium history. Ten days later, the stadium officially opened Major League play, with Tommy John and the White Sox facing off against Marcelino Lopez and the Angels. Outfielder Rick Reichardt connected for a solo home run, the stadium’s first, in the second inning, giving the Angels a lead they’d hold until the sixth. But the Sox tied it on a Tommie Agee solo homer in the sixth and took the lead with two in the eighth to hand the Angels a 3-1 defeat in their home opener. Jim Fregosi’s first inning double was the stadium’s first hit. The Angels notched their first Anaheim home victory the next night, defeating the White Sox, 4-3, in 11 innings. The new location and facility were both a hit with fans. The Angels drew only 566,727 fans during the 1965 season at Chavez Ravine, but nearly tripled that figure to 1.4 million their first year in Anaheim. Since that first season, the venue has hosted the 1967, 1989 and 2010 MLB All-Star Game and the 2006 World Baseball Classic. It has also witnessed Hall of Fame achievements such as Don Sutton’s 300th victory, Rod Carew’s and George Brett’s 3,000th hits, and Reggie Jackson’s 500th home run. While tenants in Anaheim/Edison Field/Angel Stadium, the Angels have won eight division titles and one World Series Championship. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CAL/CAL196604190.shtml View the full article
  8. THE GAME: The Angels won for the second time in two Cactus League games, beating the Oakland A’s, 5-3, on Sunday at Hohokam Park in Mesa. The Angels snapped a 2-2 tie with three runs in the seventh. PITCHING REPORT: RH Bud Norris, one of the... View the full article
  9. TEMPE, Ariz. — As far as Tyler Skaggs is concerned, this is the season the questions stop. Ever since he first set foot in the majors in 2012, Skaggs has been followed by questions about his performance, his health or both. But now, the Angels’... View the full article
  10. Nolan Ryan pitched far more than one man’s fair share of dominant games while wearing an Angels uniform, including all of those games with 10 or more strikeouts, six one-hitters and, of course, four no-hitters – none, perhaps, more dominating than this game in Detroit. Two months to the day after tossing his first no-no in Kansas City, Ryan again seemed up to the task from the get-go. He struck out seven of the first 10 Tigers he faced, including fanning the side in the second inning. A Vada Pinson sacrifice fly in the third inning gave the Angels an early 1-0 lead, but it would be all Ryan would have to work with for most of the game. On this day, it was plenty. Ryan fanned the side in the fourth and added two more strikeouts in the fifth. In the seventh, he struck out the side again. In the top of the eighth, the Angels erupted for five runs and the drama over who would win the game was mostly gone. But by this point, the focus had shifted to the zero in the Tigers’ hit column and the 16 in their strikeout column. Detroit went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, the middle out coming on Ryan’s strikeout of shortstop Ed Brinkman. It was Ryan’s 17th strikeout of the game, the highest total of any of his no-hitters and one short of Bob Feller’s American League record at the time. After retiring Mickey Stanley on a groundout and Gates Brown on a soft liner to start the ninth, Ryan needed only to get 15-year veteran first baseman Norm Cash to seal the deal. Having struck out in each of his previous three plate appearances, Cash strode up to home plate carrying not his bat, but rather a table leg he’d grabbed from the Tigers clubhouse. The umpire immediately ordered Cash to return with a regulation bat, an order to which he begrudgingly complied, telling the umpire it wasn’t as if it mattered anyway. With his regular bat, Cash hit a harmless pop up to Angels shortstop Rudy Meoli and Ryan completed the second no-hitter of his career. “This was definitely a bigger thrill than the first one,” Ryan said after the game. “I had better stuff today and I knew what a no-hitter meant. I was a little more nervous, but I probably had as good as stuff today as I’ve had all year.” Ryan thoroughly tamed the Tigers in 1973, finishing the season 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 39 innings. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET197307150.shtml View the full article
  11. Nolan Ryan pitched far more than one man’s fair share of dominant games while wearing an Angels uniform, including all of those games with 10 or more strikeouts, six one-hitters and, of course, four no-hitters – none, perhaps, more dominating than this game in Detroit. Two months to the day after tossing his first no-no in Kansas City, Ryan again seemed up to the task from the get-go. He struck out seven of the first 10 Tigers he faced, including fanning the side in the second inning. A Vada Pinson sacrifice fly in the third inning gave the Angels an early 1-0 lead, but it would be all Ryan would have to work with for most of the game. On this day, it was plenty. Ryan fanned the side in the fourth and added two more strikeouts in the fifth. In the seventh, he struck out the side again. In the top of the eighth, the Angels erupted for five runs and the drama over who would win the game was mostly gone. But by this point, the focus had shifted to the zero in the Tigers’ hit column and the 16 in their strikeout column. Detroit went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning, the middle out coming on Ryan’s strikeout of shortstop Ed Brinkman. It was Ryan’s 17th strikeout of the game, the highest total of any of his no-hitters and one short of Bob Feller’s American League record at the time. After retiring Mickey Stanley on a groundout and Gates Brown on a soft liner to start the ninth, Ryan needed only to get 15-year veteran first baseman Norm Cash to seal the deal. Having struck out in each of his previous three plate appearances, Cash strode up to home plate carrying not his bat, but rather a table leg he’d grabbed from the Tigers clubhouse. The umpire immediately ordered Cash to return with a regulation bat, an order to which he begrudgingly complied, telling the umpire it wasn’t as if it mattered anyway. With his regular bat, Cash hit a harmless pop up to Angels shortstop Rudy Meoli and Ryan completed the second no-hitter of his career. “This was definitely a bigger thrill than the first one,” Ryan said after the game. “I had better stuff today and I knew what a no-hitter meant. I was a little more nervous, but I probably had as good as stuff today as I’ve had all year.” Ryan thoroughly tamed the Tigers in 1973, finishing the season 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 39 innings. http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET197307150.shtml View the full article
  12. Right-hander Yusmeiro Petit took the mound Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium with two key objectives in mind: Make a strong initial case for a spot on the Angels' pitching staff and continue his preparation for the World Baseball Classic. View the full article
  13. Infielder Luis Valbuena made his Angels debut Saturday, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the Halos blanked the Brewers, 2-0, in their Cactus League opener at Tempe Diablo Stadium. View the full article
  14. The Angels’ undoing last season, they maintained amid it and after it, was the lack of health of their starting rotation. The key to their success this season, General Manager Billy Eppler is now saying, will be the health of their starting rotation. “Let’s call it what it is,” Eppler said. “If... View the full article
  15. The Angels defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-0, in their exhibition season opener on Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium in front of 6,061 fans. AT THE PLATE: Third baseman Kaleb Cowart knocked the Angels’ first hit of 2017 in Saturday’s third inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium, flaring a leadoff single... View the full article