For the first time in his career, Johnny Giavotella can relax. The winner of a four-way battle for the Angels’ starting second baseman job can enjoy a luxury he was never afforded during four seasons in the Royals organization bouncing back and forth from the minor leagues.
The 2008 second-round pick by the Royals was demoted more times than he cares to remember, spending the majority of the last two years with the Royals Triple-A team.
“It’s just the business side of things, but it’s not easy to go back down and pack all your stuff up, you know, drive four hours and play another game that night,” Giavotella said “The atmosphere is a lot different in Triple-A then it is in the big leagues and it’s not a fun road trip to be on.” Continue reading →
Garrett Richards is ready. It’s the Angels who aren’t.
Richards will make at least one start in Triple-A before to test the repaired patella tendon in his left knee before he joins the Angels rotation, delaying the return of the team’s best pitcher last year.
Richards threw 97 pitches in a simulated game on Thursday, his fourth appearance in a controlled environment. It was enough to convince him he’s ready to start on Tuesday.
“I feel like I’m ready to go,” Richards said. “(Thursday) was probably the best I’ve felt from start to finish without fatiguing or anything like that. Covering bases was fine and fielding bunts and stuff was fine…I feel like I’m right where I need to be.” Continue reading →
Josh Hamilton’s recent hot streak landed him back in the cleanup spot Tuesday. The Angels right fielder entered the series against St. Louis 9 for his last 21, having raised his average 16 points in the last week to .223.
Is Hamilton willing to say he has finally turned a corner?
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “Give me a month. I’ll give you a better answer.
“Hopefully the pitch recognition will stay and I’ll keep having better at-bats. That’s all you want to do is have better at-bats, get on base any way you can, try to help the team.”
It may not be too soon to say the St. Louis Cardinals emerged on the better end of the Albert Pujols 2011 sweepstakes.
The 33-year-old slugger has more than eight years of his $240 million contract remaining to provide production, but on Tuesday Pujols faced his former team for the first time sporting a losing record and zero playoff appearances in anything other than a Cardinals uniform.
St. Louis, meanwhile, is only gaining respect precisely because of what it achieving without players like Pujols. The Cardinals entered Tuesday 17 games above .500.