Angels hold another team meeting, Mike Scioscia blasts pitchers.

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.

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Chris Nelson is ready to settle down with the Angels.

Chris Nelson

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.

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Daily Distractions: Where Hank Conger shines on defense; Yu Darvish gif, etc.

Hank Conger C.J. Wilson

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:

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Daily Distractions: Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton gave Rangers fans the football sign. What’s the football sign?

Josh Hamilton

Did Josh Hamilton strike a Heisman pose over the weekend? How does one confuse that with a middle finger? (Associated Press photo)

So a 2-4 record is no good, and losing two of three to the Texas Rangers is no good, and Jered Weaver hurting his elbow on national television is no good for the Angels. But this exchange, as relayed by USA Today, is good:

There were comments posted on Twitter that [Josh] Hamilton, who spent the last five years in Texas, reacted to the Rangers’ boos and taunts with an obscene gesture, but Hamilton vehemently denied the accusations.

“I would never do that, ever,” said Hamilton, a devout Christian. “I think it was the other way around. Many times.”

The only gesture that Hamilton made, he said, was making football signs, poking fun at the fans’ outrage over his comments calling the Dallas-Fort Worth area a “football town.”

“I gave him the football sign,” Hamilton said. “But I would never flip anyone off.”

Hamilton said he didn’t find irony in the fact that Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday, whom he met before the game and took pictures.

My follow up: Do you find irony in the fact that there’s a “football sign” in Texas? Pardon my Californian ignorance, but can anyone in Texas tell me what the football sign is?

Onto some links:

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How Mike Trout solved Derek Holland and gave the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Mike Trout‘s RBI double in his third at-bat Friday against Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland was a quintessential example of Trout’s ability to adjust to a pitcher mid-game.

Trout saw two mid-90s sliders over the outside corner in the first inning and grounded out to shortstop on the second pitch. Holland struck out Trout in the third inning, tying Trout up on an inside slider.

The double came on another inside slider, one that caught a bit more of the plate. Holland had been pounding Trout inside during the at-bat (only one of the five pitches was not), and Trout clearly knew what to look for. The double drove in Chris Iannetta with the go-ahead run. The Angels still lead 2-1 in the sixth inning.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com cited a scary Trout stat the other day on his blog, breaking down Trout’s performance against a pitcher the first, second, third and fourth time he faced him in a game in 2012:

1st : .860 OPS 7 walks 35 strikeouts
2nd: 1.042 OPS 10 walks 25 strikeouts
3rd: 1.198 OPS 17 walks 17 strikeouts
4th: 1.244 OPS 4 walks, 6 strikeouts

Today was just another example of Trout being Trout.

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Three throws can do a lot for embattled Angels catcher Hank Conger.

Hank Conger

Angels catcher Hank Conger made three throws to infielders in Thursday night’s exhibition game against the Texas Rangers. Two came on stolen base attempts at second; both runners were safe. The other came when Conger tried to pick off the runner at first base, starting a rundown that resulted in Leonys Martin being caught stealing, 2-3-4 in your scorebook.

It was only three throws and only an exhibition game in March.

And yet …

“It’s huge,” Conger said.

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Angels pitcher Sean Burnett criticizes his ‘sloppy’ Cactus League debut.

Sean BurnettSean Burnett could have dismissed his first outing of spring training as easily as his catcher, Chris Iannetta.

“It’s the first day out,” Iannetta said after Burnett allowed four hits and two runs in one-third of an inning Wednesday against the San Diego Padres. “You’re not worried about results.”

Burnett was.

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Angels spring training preview: Catchers.

Chris Iannetta Bobby Wilson signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees, leaving Chris Iannetta, Hank Conger and John Hester as the only catchers on the Angels’ 40-man roster. Who will back up Iannetta? Will they sign a veteran backup like Southern California native Matt Treanor? These are two of the key questions facing a team with a loaded starting lineup and several options for filling out its bench.

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