Duren, Duren

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Duren, Duren

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Duren, Duren


    Last night was a defensive embarrassment in left field. Bringing in raw rookies means living with a pretty extensive defensive earning curve. Each ballpark has it's own quirks and subtleties that are only recognized through experience. Rookies in the field have no experience facing MLB batters so positioning and anticipation are also things that can only be processed through experience. No matter how good a rookie was in the minors, they still will have to adjust to many new things along the way. That's why it usually takes some years for a roster of many young players to gel and fit together on defense. Talent has to be backed by knowledge. Take the Blue Jay vaunted trio of rookies. Lots of flash and power, but also a fair share of blunders and defensive mistakes. Trout and Calhoun have spoiled fans with their consistency and ability in two of the three positions, making it easier to live with Upton's presence.
  2. Duren, Duren

    This f'n season

    Watching this season has been an unrelenting nightmare when the Angels are pitching. No point in even breaking it down at this stage. Wait for the season to end, then try and reconstruct a staff that aspires to be at least middle of the pack average. Fitting that Cole is getting even better as the season winds down. A legitimate Cy Young candidate with elite numbers all over the place. If he shines in post season then his price will be astronomical. From an Angel perspective, better that he fails in the big games and brings some hesitation in the bidding war. If the elite contenders have some doubts it may help the Angels cause. Ironic that two of the best comeback, surprisingly productive seasons are by Calhoun and Pujols. Who will have minimal connection to the future. Who will replicate the 50 plus homers and probably about 175 RBIs that tandem will provide this year? Hard to expect Pujols to equal this season. Most likely one of those uncharacteristic situations when his health has remained stable and he maintained a second half surge. But with his age and history, it would be overly optimistic to count on this continuing. More likely a reversion to 2016 - 2018. Can a Kole-less right field put up 30 plus homers approx. 80 RBIs? Possibly a combo or mix of Adell, Goodwin, La Stella and whoever else may combine for respectable production, but you lose on defense, leadership, and a regular everyday player. Neither player has been great for average, but their power output has been consistent. And besides Trout, (and Goodwin to a degree) about the only other consistent positive amongst the hitters. Fletcher has had a nice year too, but has a different role. Ohtani as just a batter has been a mild disappointment. Basically because he has shown more weaknesses than in 2018. I expected a lot of buzz from him at the plate. He had a few hot spells but slumped more than anticipated. Not sure what to expect next year as a hitter who takes a regular place in the mound. Hopefully still a 15 plus homer output. Power and production may be the second biggest question mark beyond pitching next year. Especially if Trout is not near his best. It would be nice if some help came from third, catcher and a healthy Upton. Who himself will be another big question mark.
  3. Presuming he returns healthy next season, how will these two injuries/surgeries in successive seasons affect his psyche? Remember, he has a lot of international attention and scrutiny. Also factoring in the uniqueness of his two way play, everyone in baseball has been paying attention to what he does. A bit of a sideshow or curiosity for the casual fan and non Angels media. But Ohtani still has to deal with off field, time consuming distractions unlike any other player. And in two languages. In his first year he handled things remarkably well, and showed his natural talent despite the circus around him. But as with every sophomore, the second year become a more of a challenge. Opposing teams get a book on him, the novelty factor wears off and the cycle of adjustments and adaptation goes on. Confidence can get shaken the second year when pure talent faces new challenges. And I think we have seen some of this regarding his hitting mechanics. As well, he seems to be getting fooled more at the plate. Many really wild and off balance swings. Pitchers more attuned to his weaknesses? And this just as a hitter so far. It remains to be seen how his second year pitching works out. Especially after TJ surgery and a year without throwing. I would think it will be a very delicate process. If he gets hammered early that may also affect his confidence. Remember, he came to MLB extremely self confident. He has his list of ideal goals and actually was progressing nicely to those objectives. Again, assuming he comes back healthy, he will have to continue adjusting as a batter. That is how career great players stay great. And as a pitcher, it may be more complicated. His velocity was elite. Without that he will have to develop a different pattern. At least till we see if his upper limit can be regained. Still, all in all a great natural talent and fun to watch. I expect him to settle in as a 15 - 20 homer guy, maybe a 10 - 15 win pitcher. Together, the sum being worth more than each part in terms of his presence.
  4. Duren, Duren

    Ken Rosenthal: No more excuses for Eppler

    This thread is like an off season thread the day before free agency. And still with a month of ball left to play out the season. Remember, from what we have seen in media reports, Eppler is close friends with Trout. Lives (or did) on the same street, obviously was a key factor in getting the long term deal signed. He probably has had many in depth discussions about short and long term plans, personnel, philosophy and so forth. Mike is tuned into everything within the organization and can differentiate between hype and fact. If it was convincing enough to get the deal done then it must sound good and realistic. In theory. Until reality sets in with unexpected events all over the place. All things considered, the team would be a playoff contender except for the black hole of starting pitching. Skaggs was totally unexpected. Ohtani was a major depletion. The damaged free agent signings were acts of desperation. Everyone knew right from the start that starting pitching was going to be anywhere from poor to disastrous. With the possibility of some unlikely heroics or quick maturation from the younger staff. Didn't happen. With the starters going the fewest innings in baseball, they have been an embarrassment. Tune in a bit late and the team is already behind and the starter about to be pulled. How in hell can you be a winning team with such a handicap? Maybe it relates to coaching, managing, pre game scouting and other factors too. Eppler has been good, or at least competent at most other things. No whiz kid or genius, but pretty solid. The organization can do better, but at what cost? Even the best GM would need a few years of evaluation and restructuring. Everyone knows that pitching is the dominant priority. Eppler is under the spotlight now. How he deals under this pressure will define his future. He has to make a pretty big impact this off season. Just asking for patience might have been fair a year or two ago. But hitting rock bottom burns away some of the fan goodwill. Not sure that gambling everything on Cole will happen. Look how agonized fans have been for years about Pujols and his never ending contract. Imagine a similar scenario with a pitcher who has a higher probability of injury or decline in effectiveness. But given the current situation, it still might be worth a serious pursuit. Even three or four great years would be worth a dead last half of his contract. By then other system bred starters should emerge. Realistically, trades and more under the radar free agents seem likely. I wouldn't be surprised to see Simmons traded. Goodwin is at his highest value now and a possible trade candidate. Upton if anyone would take him. Really, no one other than Trout and Ohtani are untouchable. Fun, fun, fun till Arte take's Eppler's keys away! (Sorry for the Beach Boys reference, but I just saw them on the weekend).
  5. Duren, Duren

    No-Win September

    This severely disappointing season may affect Trout's MVP chances. An interesting article about the relationship between WAR numbers, team results, media perceptions. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mvps-used-to-need-a-good-team-behind-them-then-mike-trout-came-along/ He is still the favorite at his current pace, but the team being so bad does have a negative influence.
  6. Over hype or substantive future stars? The Dodgers are realistically one of the best team in baseball. And just keeping bringing in young talent year after year. Strings of consecutive rookies of the year. Mid season callups who dazzle or at least are almost all productive and find their way onto the roster. This year alone, in a runaway playoff spot they have introduced five seemingly quality new players from their farm system. Alex Verdugo, Will Smith, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, and now Gavin Lux. The law of averages says they all won't be stars, but that team just keeps replenishing and builds up a perennial contender. And prospects with Dodger hype are always attractive on the trade market if necessary. What do they do that separates them from most teams? Money to some degree. But that doesn't produce the final product. It would seem that they spare no effort in scouting, training, coaching, indoctrinating, their prospects in the 'Dodger way.' Rolling off an assembly line the way the classic Yankees did for decades and still do to some extent. Plus you add in the modern analytics departments, which the Dodgers highly value. Mystique may also be part of the equation. Especially in Latin America. The Dodgers haven't had the greatest mangers for a while, and that may be partially responsible for post season failure. But they sure put good teams together year after year.
  7. Would be nice to stall the Red Sox a bit. Glad to see Goodwin in the three spit. He's pretty patient and hot right now. Just watched Verlander no hit the Jays. What a treat to watch a masterful pitcher operate. Didn't have his best stuff but was a surgeon operating around the four corners of the strike zone. Struck out 14 with a mid 90s fastball, high 80s slider and 12 to 6 curve. A tense 0 0 game till the eigth, when a recently promoted mid level prospect homered in just his eigth game. And a Canadian on Canadian soil no less.
  8. Duren, Duren

    Gameday Thread: 8/31 Red Sox @ Angels

    What if ... In quasi fantasy mode. Hypothetically speaking, Albert keeps getting better. And actually revives the end of his career with a flourish? Sort of like Ted Williams. Does that change the equation for next year? If Albert can be expected to replicate his second half next year, does that delay or change plans for promotions and trades? Even if an extra year can be squeezed out of him with this productivity it can have a domino effect. Too tired to think this through in detail, but no one counted on him actually upgrading his play at this stage.
  9. Duren, Duren

    Gameday Thread: 8/31 Red Sox @ Angels

    Goodwin may be the biggest positive surprise. From the start of the year he has maintained a consistent approach. Quick bat, good power, punishes mistakes, nice plate coverage. Absolutely a lock for the roster next year. Possibly an everyday player, depending on what happrns in the offseason. Trending up while Upton is trending down.
  10. Duren, Duren

    Gameday Thread: 8/31 Red Sox @ Angels

    The term 'quality start' came into baseball a few decades ago I think. It meant a starter giving up 3 runs or less in 6 innings or more. For the Angels that should be renamed an 'impossible start.'
  11. This can get terribly ugly and hostile if it hits the courts. If the Angels attorneys play hardball, the Skaggs family will be open to all kinds of personal exposure. Motive will be explored, financial arrangements, lifestyle habits and so on. The family lead attorney is already known as an aggressive operator. He will pry into all sorts of sensitive areas of team and organizational personnel. Including team mates and their off field behavior. Terrible PR for the team and family alike. I expect a settlement. The organization just wants to end this in benign a way as possible and move on without having to rip into the family. But if the family are outrageously greedy then they may bite off more than they can chew and ruin any good will the public has felt.
  12. Positives. Pujols quasi revival is unexpected. Probably finishes with 20 plus homers, 90 plus RBIs. And actually getting better as the season progresses. Calhoun probably over 30 homers. Still very good defense. Most likely his final season here. Goodwin maintaining a surprisingly effective season. Pretty good seasons by a group of over worked relievers. The early surprise first half all star performance by La Stella. Could have he made a big enough difference if he maintained his pace all year? Another MVP type season from Trout. And his long term commitment. The negatives? Too obvious to need restating. And the Skaggs tragedy shaping the emotional tone of the season.
  13. Duren, Duren

    Gameday Thread: 8/30 Red Sox @ Angels

    Season symbolized by this game. First batter homers and fall behind big, early. Starting pitching shaky. Chip away, relief holds and a late comeback ties the game. Chances frittered away to win, including bases loaded. The worst pitcher on the team serves up a fat pitch for the losing homer. Other than Goodwin early and a spray hitting Pujols, one of the worst displays of team hitting. Trout's bat speed is off. Ohtani has a likely career worst game. 0 for 8? Do they even have a precedent for that? The golden sombrero would be an upgrade. Will any catcher ever get a hit? Calhoun fishing all night. Simmons and Fletcher mostly easy outs. The positives were in the pitching between the starter and the loser. Lots of good innings wasted. Also note that the Red Sox media carry a lot of influence in the east. And they don't see Trout that often. They already mentioned that he's slumping (I had to watch the obnoxious Boston feed). A poor series and MVP doubts will be spread. Last impressions sometimes determine overall opinions. Trout will have to finish the season strong to compensate for playing on an irrelevant team. A fitting end to another devestating day in a frustrating season.
  14. Duren, Duren

    Tyler Skaggs autopsy results

    It would have been worse for the team and organization if this came out in October. The entire off season clouded and under investigation with all personnel scattered and on their own. At least now they are all together, and can work through to try and reach a collective state of closure. Not that it makes things any better, but at least they can process things and head into the offseason on the same page. The investigative and legal stuff will get ugly. Hopefully the person(s) within the organization will be identied and face justice. And any clubhouse malaise or toxic culture will come to light and be cleansed. Easier said than done. Presumably Arte will bring in outside resources with professional medical/psychological/social work expertise. Eppler is a baseball man, not a counselor. Some young athletic multi millionaires are surrounded by enablers. Or think they are invincible. Many are sadly naive and ignorant of things beyond sports. I lived through first hand family experience (sister in law who was a nurse) every nuance of this addiction or overdose pattern. With the same ultimate result. If Skaggs was unfortunate enough to have met his fate after one bad decision then maybe it was purely a personal mistake. But if a pattern had been ongoing then there should have been warning signs and signals. Sadly, until the facts are known there will be constant innuendo and speculation. With the potential to carry into next season.
  15. Duren, Duren

    Payroll and Roster management for 2019/20

    You also have to factor in fan excitement and passion. There is a relatively finite ceiling to what maximum income can be. Attendence, TV/media, advertising, and so on. But there is no limit to how far the floor can go. I think it's important for the team to finish strong to maintain interest and by extension, a stable stream of income. Obviously the next six weeks can't make a dramatic dent. But it could set a negative tone going forward. If the fan base becomes cynical with a devestating finish, attendence will likely decrease next year. As will TV and media consumption. Sponsers will expect better rates, and so on. Arte must have strict parameters based on expected income, and will have to do some serious soul searching about the value of his commitment. It's about realistic expectations next year and maybe 2021. A disastrous end to this season will have a ripple effect for the future. His budget will reflect his belief in how the books should balance as well. I think we will see a cautious approach. And more pressure on Eppler to get more bang for the buck. No more reclamation projects and high risk gambles. More action via trade and promotions than free agency. But the fan base will demand a big name and keeping them. passionate will require some concessions and risks.