Related to our recent poll and post comes this thought, which Buster Olney addressed Thursday on his blog for ESPN.com: If you’re going to use the number-two slot in the Angels’ lineup to allow a good-but-struggling hitter to see more fastballs, why not Mark Trumbo? Writes Olney:
If you’re thinking that Mark Trumbo might be a candidate to hit second, keep in mind that he was slightly above average against fastballs (relative to all of MLB): .280 BA, .843 OPS, which ranked in the 57th and 64th percentile, respectively, last season. Trumbo increasingly struggled as the season progressed, which coincides with the decreased percentage of fastballs he saw month to month:
April: 52.7 percent
May: 51.9 percent
June: 50.4 percent
July: 49.0 percent
Aug: 45.3 percent
Sept: 43.5 percent
There’s more nuance to the formula than a batter’s simple ability to hit a fastball. But it’s an interesting argument for Trumbo.
Some links to send you into the weekend:
• If you didn’t stay up until 1:45 a.m. to watch Mexico beat the Dominican Republic in 18 innings in the finale of the Caribbean Series … you missed a long game and got more sleep than us. Luis Jimenez went 2-for-3 in the game, was caught stealing twice, and finished the series with a .500 average (7-for-14).
• Mike Trout (and Bryce Harper) may be key to saving Major League Baseball’s declining Q rating.
• Rant Sports breaks out the Angel-flavored Haterade.
• MLB.com thoroughly breaks down the Angels’ comings and goings. The number of goings is staggering: Ten major-league regulars plus Jean Segura, a prospect for the Angels and now a starter for the Brewers. Let’s not kid ourselves: The Angels’ best players remain but the roster has been overhauled on the whole since last season.
• Starting (later) today, I attempt to break down every camp battle by position (relief pitcher, starting pitcher, catcher, infield, outfield). There may be unintentional omissions. In that case, feel free to spam me with this fantastic MGMT song.