Five things to take from Angels’ 13-0 victory over Texas Rangers

Hector Santiago

Hector Santiago/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Angels

 

Hector Santiago had another solid outing. He tossed seven scorless innings to lower his ERA to 2.40 on the season, which is fourth-best among AL starters. Santiago, who struck out three and walked just one on 104 pitches, is now 5-4. The lack of victories could hurt him for consideration for the All-Star game, but his ERA and WHIP of 1.10 suggest he’d be a good pick.

– The day the Angels saw their GM – Jerry Dipoto – resign, they scored just one run in a 3-1 loss to the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium this past Wednesday. But after a day off to absorb everything, they scored eight times in an 8-2 victory Friday at Texas. Then they scored 13 runs on 17 hits in this one. It makes one wonder just how much tension there was on this team because of the uneasy relationship manager Mike Scioscia and Dipoto apparently had. There is no better way to participate in sports than being free and easy.

– The Angels, who have had season-long issues with their offense, went to a season-high five games (43-38) over .500 with this win. But they won’t stay there if this offense doesn’t score more runs on a regular basis. Even with scoring 21 runs over the past two games, they were still 11th in the league in runs scored (with 324) before Sunday’s series finale at Texas. The Angels were first in the league in 2014.

– The Angels had to feel really good about C.J. Cron’s day. He drove in six runs – he had a three-run home run in the sixth inning – while going 3-for-4. Still, he’s hitting just .216. If the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Cron, who has been up and down from Triple-A a couple of times, can drive in runs consistently, that would be a huge shot in the arm for this team.

– Don’t look now, but after struggling most of the first half, shortstop Erick Aybar has found his groove at the plate. Aybar hit just .222 in April, but then he hit .308 in May to raise his average to .271. He went back in the tank and saw his average dip all the way down to .246 on June 17. He since has gone 22-for-48 (.458) to raise his average to .280. His career average over 9 1/2 seasons – all with the Angels – is .278.

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Matt Joyce sent to the bench, OF Daniel Robertson recalled

Matt Joyce/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Angels

 

The Angels had played 62 games before Sunday. Left-fielder Matt Joyce – acquired in an off-season trade that sent Kevin Jepsen to the Tampa Bay Rays – had played in 55 of them. But in 174 at-bats and 196 plate appearances, he was hitting .178 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. Manager Mike Scioscia’s lineup card Sunday for the Angels’ series finale against the Oakland A’s did not include Joyce’s name.

“He’s not going to play today,” Scioscia said. “But Matty needs to exhale, for sure. And I think he needs to find some things in his game that are … in the batters box right now, he’s just not in sync, not squaring the balls up.

“And he’s much better than he’s shown over these last, I mean, we’re going almost … it might be close to what, 180-200 plate appearances? He just has not found it.”

Efren Navarro, who also plays first, started in left field on Sunday. For more outfield coverage while Joyce finds himself, the Angels called up Daniel Robertson and optioned first baseman/designated hitter C.J. Cron to Triple-A Salt Lake City.

Scioscia said Joyce will get more opportunities to prove himself.

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Angels will send eight prospects to Arizona Fall League.

C.J. Cron

Angels first base prospect C.J. Cron will participate in the Arizona Fall League. (Getty Images)

Double-A Arkansas first baseman C.J. Cron was among eight Angels prospects listed on the preliminary rosters for the 2013 Arizona Fall League season Tuesday.

Infielder Taylor Lindsey, catcher Jett Bandy, outfielder Zach Borenstein and pitchers R.J. Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Mike Morin and Michael Roth are the other Angels scheduled to play for the Mesa Solar Sox. Bill Richardson, who is currently managing the Angels’ Pioneer League affiliate in Orem, Utah, will manage the club.

Roth made his major-league debut earlier this season and has appeared in 15 games (one start) with the Angels. Cron entered the 2013 season as the Angels’ third-ranked prospect by Baseball America, Lindsey seventh and Alvarez eighth. Borenstein was recently named MVP of the California League and sang the national anthem at an Inland Empire 66ers game.

The Mesa roster will be comprised of prospects from the Angels, A’s, Cubs, Nationals and Tigers organizations and will play its home games at Hohokam Stadium. The Arizona Fall League season begins Oct. 8.

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Daily Distractions: Another potshot at the Angels’ organizational depth.

We know that the Angels’ farm system is in rebuilding mode. How far have the mighty fallen?

ESPN.com’s Keith Law chimed in with his organizational rankings today and put the Angels 30th – dead last. Here’s what he had to say:

When you don’t pick until the third round and then trade three prospects for Zack Greinke, this is something of an inevitable consequence. They did place one player on the top 100 and have a lot of guys who project as big leaguers, but more as role players than everyday guys or better. First baseman C.J. Cron didn’t make my top 100, but if he can stay healthy and remain at first base, he could break into impact status.

Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have yet to release their organizational rankings, but it’s no secret that the Angels have fallen mightily since they topped BA’s rankings in 2005.

Some links that have nothing to do with yesterday’s football game:

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