Chris Iannetta/Photo courtesy of Los Angels Angels
Angels catcher Chris Iannetta in 2014 had his best overall season with the club. He hit .252 with seven home runs, 43 RBIs, 22 doubles and an on-base-percentage of .373 in 306 at-bats.
It’s been a different story here in 2015, his fourth season with the Angels. This season he’s hitting just .184 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 141 at-bats. He has four doubles and an on-base-percentage of just .287, the lowest of his 10-year major-league career.
He said it’s not as bad as all that.
“Yeah, I had a really bad April,” Iannetta said. “Since then, I’ve been playing really well, to be honest with you. I think if you look at the numbers since May, it’s been what I did all last year.
“I just had an abysmal April. And it’s still reflected on the scoreboard. Since then I think I’ve been hitting roughly around .250 and doing pretty well, doing what I want to do. It’s going to take a long time to change the overall aggregate number on the scoreboard, but I like where I’m at.”
Iannetta hit just .093 in April and he did come back to hit .264 in May. However, he’s hitting just .206 this month. He’s hitting .241 (21-for-87) since the end of April.
In a season full of team meetings, Angels manager Mike Scioscia called another one following an 8-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.
In his comments to reporters afterwards, Scioscia singled out the team’s inability to hold runners on base. The Rangers stole six bases off Angels catcher Chris Iannetta in six attempts.
However, Scioscia refused to blame Iannetta.
“Chris is throwing the ball well,” Scioscia said. “This is about the inabilty of some of our pitchers to make the adjustments they need to make.”
“The reality of it is, if this is going to become an instructional league,” he continued, “we have to make some changes, because guys up here should be able to do a better job.”
More in tomorrow’s editions.
Chris Nelson was claimed by the Angels on Saturday, after he was designated for assignment by the New York Yankees, and added to the major-league roster Sunday. (Associated Press photo)
Chris Nelson didn’t see it coming.
For almost nine years the Colorado Rockies were the only organization Nelson knew, beginning the day he was drafted ninth overall in 2004 and ending when he was traded to the New York Yankees on May 1. After playing 10 games for the Yankees, Nelson was designated for assignment on May 15. On Saturday he joined the Angels, his third organization in three weeks.
“We’ve been living out of a suitcase for too long now,” Nelson said.
One aspect of Hank Conger’s defense has been surprisingly pleasant to watch this season. (Getty Images)
One of the Angels’ catchers is among the top five in the league at framing pitches.
Who would have guessed it’s Hank Conger?
Oh, and the Angels’ starter, Chris Iannetta, is among the bottom five.
Treat everything you read in today’s Baseball Prospectus article with the caution due a 21-game sample size — four, if you include only the games Conger has caught. But there was a point in spring training where merely making an late, accurate throw to second base was enough to lift Conger’s spirits, and this article sheds light on another area of his progress defensively.
Conger hasn’t made an error yet this year. That isn’t to say all his throws have been accurate; some have short-hopped an infielder but were caught anyway and didn’t go down as an error. (None have short-hopped the pitcher.)
For all the nuances that go into fielding the catcher’s position, framing pitches is an easy one to miss. It’s dependent on the pitcher (to find the corners of the plate) and the umpire (to be swayed into calling a pitch based on how it’s received), in addition to the catcher.
Some more recommended reading for a Sierra Leone independence day weekend: