Friday, May 23, 2008

Engel Notitzen

  • Yes, the Angels have finally come to my city. No, I won't be going until Sunday night's game. And really, this is the worst game to go to, since it's on ESPN. That means it's the one game that won't have Hawk and DJ calling the game in this town. Then again, I LOVE listening to those guys when the Angels win, like they did tonight. I do have tickets for two games when the Angels return in the fall.
  • I think we're far enough into the season where we can say that Joe Saunders is a stud, and Ervin Santana is turning into the pitcher we thought he could be. He had his issues last night, but he pitched well enough to win. Saunders, meanwhile, was awesome again tonight. His BAD games are still pretty good. And he's what, 23-9 in his major league career? Those are MLB '08 - The Show numbers.
  • Nick Adenhart hasn't been lights out since returning to Salt Lake, but he still hasn't given up a homer this year, and that includes about 50 innings between Salt Lake and Los Angeles of Anaheim. Pitchers can control three things - walks, strikeouts, and home runs. He's already doing one about as well as it can be done. If he can start keeping the ball closer to the strike zone, he'll be very good
  • Meanwhile, John Lackey is already very good, and his return has been excellent. Two starts, 14 innings, two runs. That's a little better than Dustin Moseley and Adenhart were doing. And even without him and Escobar, they're still in first place. This is what we call 'poised to deliver'.
  • As for Escobar, the emergence of Saunders and the resurgence of Santana, coupled with the struggles of the bullpen have to have the Angels braintrust thinking. It's like a perfect storm. Five fully functioning starters, a lackluster pen, and a terrific arm that a) may have trouble pitching deep into games, and b) can be very effective in short spurts. Might we see a 2005 redux with Escobar coming back but pitching primarily out of the pen? I'm up for it.
  • It's nice to see how much the Mariners suck, isn't it?
  • Remember how much A's fans whined last year about injuries? The Angels have been hammered by injuries this year, and yet they're still winning series after series. That's all about depth. And you may get discouraged if you're a subscriber to The Prospect Report. The Angels don't have the boatload of young prospects that they've had in years past. But almost no team in baseball has the depth that the Angels have right now. And there's more more to this depth than just an ability to fill in. I'm a firm believer that a taste of the bigs from time to time makes a prospect a better, hungrier player. The Angels are competing with Sean Rodriguez and Brandon Wood in the majors right now, when they shouldn't be here. I believe it will make the Angels better when those guys should be here.
  • Still, I want to see this team in October with Lackey, Escobar, Figgins, and Kendrick at full steam. I think with a full roster, they're one of the two or three best teams in the game. They happen to be fortunate this year that they may still be able to cruise in the division with a depleted roster.
  • The 2010 All-Star game. If you haven't been before, you should pay a lot of money and go to all of the events. I was there in 2003 when it was at Commiskey, and it was a lot of fun, though I don't feel the need to go again. I got to see GA win the home run derby AND the MVP, so it was worth it, but it was expensive. Still, if you have the means, go and enjoy.