Mike Scioscia: Kole Calhoun could be best right-fielder in AL

Kole Calhoun

Kole Calhoun/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels, MLB.com


Never put it past a manager to exaggerate the talents of one of his players. But Angels manager Mike Scioscia doesn’t seem to be dealing in hyperbole when he talks about his right-fielder, Kole Calhoun.

Calhoun on Saturday night made a spectacular fully laid-out diving catch of a line drive hit by the Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 7-6 victory. Texas had just gone ahead and there were two runners on when Calhoun came through. It wasn’t the first time Calhoun did that, it probably won’t the the last.

With that ability as well as a terrific throwing arm, Scioscia calls Calhoun one of the best corner outfielders in the American League. Perhaps the best right-fielder.

“I think he’s as good as there is in right field, I think he’s gold-glove caliber,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think there’s a right-fielder that stops the first and third like he can, not in the way he charges the ball with his arm and his accuracy.

“And I think that when you have a guy like Mike Trout in center, I think it really enhances what guys can do on the wings and he takes advantage of that. I don’t know if there’s a better defensive right-fielder that we’ve seen than Kole.”

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Josh Hamilton hasn’t, and won’t, apologize to the Angels

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton/Photo courtesy of Texas Rangers, MLB.com


There have been no shortage of people who believe Josh Hamilton should have taken more responsibility for the events this past off-season that resulted in him being traded back to the Texas Rangers, with the Angels taking on a large part of his large salary.

Surrounded by reporters Friday upon his return to Angel Stadium with the Texas Rangers, Hamilton explained his reasoning when asked if he followed Step No. 8 in the 12-step program that basically says one should make amends with all he or she hurt through addiction.

“You know, I did reach out a couple different times, right after the incident, right after the (shoulder) surgery and never got a response as far as from ownership.” said Hamilton, who in February ratted himself out, telling Major League Baseball officials he had relapsed on drugs and alcohol.

“So, you know, all you can do is try. I tried to do my part and, you know, even when I was here I tried to do my part, reaching out to (former general manager Jerry) Dipoto and (team president John) Carpino, let them know I’d love to talk to Arte (Moreno) and just sit down with him and let him know I wanted to be the player that he (was) paying for and putting the work and time in to be that guy.”

But, Hamilton reiterated, there was no reply.

“And whether it was relayed to ’em or not, once it gets out of my hands, it’s not my problem anymore,” Hamilton said. “But looking at it now, I hate the way things went down, I hate the way they happened. I owned my part, I don’t feel like I need to set an appointment up with Arte and go apologize to him for anything”

And what about his former Angels teammates?

“You know, the guys know where I’m at,” Hamilton said. “I’ve talked to many guys on that team and they tell me I don’t owe them anything. So leave the big guy out of it, you know, he can think what he wants to think. But as long as I’m OK with those guys, then I ain’t worried about anybody else.”

The Rangers took two out of three from the Angels over the weekend. Hamilton went 2-for-10 with a double and three runs scored in the series. He went 0-for-5 and was struck out three times in Sunday’s 13-7 Angels victory.

Hamilton, 34, is hitting .233 on the season with three home runs and eight RBIs in 86 at-bats.

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David Freese placed on 15-day DL, Kyle Kubitza recalled

David Freese

David Freese/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


The Angels, as expected, have placed third baseman David Freese on the 15-day disabled list. Freese sustained a fractured right index finger when Minnesota Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey hit him with a pitch in the fourth inning of the Angels’ 5-2 victory on Wednesday night at Angel Stadium.

The Angels recalled third baseman Kyle Kubitza from Triple-A Salt Lake City to take Freese’s roster spot. Taylor Featherston started at third in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to the Twins. Kubitza pinch-hit for Featherston in the eighth inning and lined out to first.

Kubitza was up previously with the big club. He’s hitting .200 with one RBI in 30 at-bats. He was hitting .276 with five home runs and 33 RBIs at Salt Lake.

Freese is hitting .240 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs.

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Five things to take from Angels’ 7-0 victory over Minnesota

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels


– Big outing for Matt Shoemaker in this one. Shoemaker, who has struggled this season to find the rhythm that helped him go 16-4 in 2014, pitched six innings of two-hit ball. He struck out 10 and walked three on 88 pitches to move to 5-7 on the season. Even so, his ERA dropped only to 4.55. It was 3.04 a season ago.

Chris Iannetta continued his recent surge at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBIs. He is 9-for-32 over his past 10 games, which equates to a .281 average. That’s not spectacular, but it did raise his average from .181 to .199.

C.J. Cron went 4-for-4 to raise his average to .278. That is quite impressive since it was just .204 upon being recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City in late June. Cron is hitting .488 (21-for-43) this month.

Daniel Robertson has continued to make the most of his opportunity. Typically, he’s been platooning with Matt Joyce in left field. But with Mike Trout taking the day off with a sore left heel, Robertson was in center for this one. He had two more hits and raised his average to .271.

– Speaking of Trout, he told reporters that he woke up Tuesday morning and his heel was sore. He said he didn’t remember doing anything specific to cause it. He is day-to-day.

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