Texas Rangers acquire Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox.

The Texas Rangers have been in the market for a right fielder ever since Nelson Cruz was suspended for the remainder of the regular season — 50 games — for alleged performance enhancing drug use. David Murphy started in right field in Anaheim that night, and you might recall how that went.

So on Friday the Rangers and White Sox worked out a trade that sends Rios and cash to Texas for a player to be named later, expected to be minor leaguer Leury Garcia.

In 28 at-bats over seven games against the Angels this season, Rios has batted .357/.379/.714, with two home runs and six RBIs. The Rangers and Angels play seven more times before the season is over, giving the Angels just one more thing to look forward to in an increasingly long season.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Howie Kendrick leaves Angels’ game with hyperextended left knee.

Howie Kendrick left in the fifth inning the Angels’ game against the Texas Rangers on Monday with a hyperextended left knee and did not return. He’s listed as day-to-day.

Kendrick and right fielder Collin Cowgill converged in pursuit of a fly ball to shallow right field hit by Elvis Andrus. Kendrick’s knee collided with Cowgill’s arm as the two players dove for the ball, which bounced between them into right field. Two runs scored on the play, turning a 1-1 game into a 3-1 Rangers lead.

The Rangers led 5-1 in the seventh inning.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson to PED users: ‘Stop being a baby and move on.’

C.J. WilsonAngels pitcher C.J. Wilson, the Angels’ player representative to the MLB Players’ Association and a former teammate of suspended Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, addressed a crowd of reporters in the Angels dugout today. Here’s a sampling of his responses:
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Texas Rangers’ Nelson Cruz accepts 50-game ban, issues statement.

Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz issued a statement today after accepting a 50-game PED suspension from Major League Baseball. Here it is, courtesy of MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan:

“I have been notified by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball that I have been suspended for 50 games for violation of the Joint Drug Agreement,” Cruz said in a statement. “I have decided to accept this suspension and not exercise my rights under the Basic Agreement to appeal. From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error. I should have handled the situation differently, and my illness was no excuse. I am thankful for the unwavering support of my family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time. I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Rangers organization, my teammates, and the great Rangers’ fans, and I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the team for the playoffs.”

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Reports: Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz will accept Biogenesis-related suspension.

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz (sliding) is one of 12 major-league players connected to the shuttered Biogenesis clinic who will accept suspensions today, according to multiple reports. The Angels play the Texas Rangers tonight. (Getty Images)

According to multiple reports Monday morning, Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz is among the players who will be suspended today by Major League Baseball for using banned substances obtained through the shuttered Biogenesis clinic. Cruz is reportedly facing – and will accept – a 50-game suspension.

According to USA Today,

Rangers officials were blindsided by the news, only learning of Cruz’s decision Monday morning, hours before MLB was set to announce its discipline in the Biogenesis matter. They struggled to land a potential replacement for Cruz at the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline, and now will attempt to add depth by making a waiver trade before Aug. 31, a process that guarantees little.

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

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:

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Daily Distractions: The All-Star ballot is out and, hey, Mike Trout is on it this time!

Mike Trout

Angels left fielder Mike Trout has the distinction of making his first All-Star ballot after making his first All-Star team. (Getty Images)

For all the virtues of Mike Trout‘s 2012 season, a place on the All-Star ballot was not among them.

Trout, who started the season in Triple-A, wasn’t one of the three Angels outfielders listed on the 2012 fan ballot. Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos were. Mark Trumbo was listed as a third baseman.

That’s because players’ names must be submitted to the league before MLB’s deadline for printing the ballots, which varies from year to year but typically falls somewhere in late April. The general manager or the assistant GM of each team is responsible for submitting the names. Even Jerry Dipoto couldn’t have foreseen Trout leading the world in runs, stolen bases and WAR last season.

Trout played in the 2012 All-Star Game anyway. He was listed on the players’ ballot distributed in June and collected enough votes to make the American League squad as a reserve.

This year, fans get their chance to vote Trout in. The ballot was released today. The Angels’ other candidates are predictable: Chris Iannetta (catcher), Albert Pujols (first base), Howie Kendrick (second base), Erick Aybar (shortstop), Alberto Callaspo (third base), Mark Trumbo (designated hitter), and Peter Bourjos and Josh Hamilton (outfield).

Some bullet points for a Wednesday morning:

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Michael Roth, not Jerome Williams, will start for the Angels on Wednesday.

Michael Roth

Angels left-hander Michael Roth will become the first pitcher drafted in 2012 to start a major-league game on Wednesday. (Getty Images).

Manager Mike Scioscia threw a bit of a curveball Tuesday night, naming Michael Roth his starter for the rubber match of the Angels’ series against Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email

Daily Distractions: Josh Hamilton’s 4 for 4 night gives Angels something to think about.

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton’s 4 for 4 performance Monday extended a career’s worth of success batting fifth, for whatever that’s worth. (Associated Press photo)

Josh Hamilton was 4 for 4 as the Angels’ number-five hitter last night. It wasn’t always pretty – two of the hits were weak infield grounders – but it allowed Hamilton to score twice.

“I don’t know what it is about the five hole but it seemed to work,” he said.

You’d think Hamilton would have figured this out by now. Here are his career splits by batting order position:

This is one of those tricky stats because of all the variables involved. For one, the number-five hitter is slightly more likely to bat against relievers than a number-three or number-four hitter. Given a large enough sample size, there will be a noticeable difference. (This wasn’t the case last night, when Jason Frasor relieved Derek Holland after number-eight hitter Chris Iannetta batted and doubled in the sixth inning.)

More importantly, when you see a player like Hamilton who gets a plurality of his at-bats in the three-hole then moves to the five-hole on occasion, it’s often because the manager made the move based on matchups. This was the case last night. Maybe Holland pitched Hamilton differently because he didn’t want to face Howie Kendrick , who owns a 1.074 career OPS in 43 career head-to-head at-bats. Maybe he pitched Hamilton differently because Hamilton’s batting average was below .200.

Either way, it was a good matchup.

Mike Scioscia said that Hamilton is likely to move down in the lineup against right-handers tonight (Alexi Ogando) and tomorrow (Yu Darvish).

Maybe Scioscia will reconisder. There’s something about the five-hole.

Some bullet points for a Tuesday morning:

Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Reddit Tumblr Email