Tag Archives: Mike Trout

Trout selected to start All-Star game; Richards snubbed

Los Angeles Angels Tickets

ANGELS

While Mike Trout was selected for his third All-Star game in three seasons, starting pitcher Garrett Richards was undeservedly snubbed as a starting pitcher. The Angels, who currently sport the third best record in all of baseball, had just one player selected for the All-Star game. Oakland, who lead the Angels by just 3.5 games in the division, had six players picked to the team, something that will sure to be a motivating factor for the Angels in the second half of the season.

TROUT

TROUT

In just his third season Mike Trout is putting together yet another incredible season and should be the leader to take home his first MVP trophy. The Angels superstar center fielder is batting .308 with 20 home runs and 63 runs batted in. He’ll start the All-Star game for the second straight year. Trout, who hit a 489 foot home run in Kansas City two weeks ago, decided not to participate in this year’s home run derby, saying he wants to just enjoy the event. He did go on to say that the home run derby will be an option later in his career. Trout will join Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League outfield.

RICHARDS

RICHARDS

One of the bigger snubs this season was Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards, who earned his 10th victory on Sunday with another stellar performance versus the Houston Astros. Richards has an outstanding 2.71 ERA and 119 strikeouts. He’s evolved into one of the better power pitchers in the American League, holding opponents to a .196 average, best in the American League. Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, Masahiro Tanaka, Jon Lester, David Price, Scott Kazmir and Mark Buehrle were selected over Richards, who’s emerged as a legitimate Cy Young contender. Richards arguably deserved the nod over David Price, but the Tampa Bay Rays needed an All-Star selection and Price earned the nod.

It’s not over yet for Richards, who can make the team as part of the “final five” balloting. Richards will face off against four other American League starters in a banner year for pitching in the AL. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers, Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians are the others vying for the last spot. For Richards to make it Angels fans will need a big showing in the online balloting. In addition to the final five balloting Richards is an option to be selected to the game should a starter drop out because they’re scheduled to pitch next Sunday. Richards pitches on Friday night versus the Texas Rangers, giving him the fight amount of rest to pitch in Tuesday’s game.

Shortstop Erick Aybar made a solid case for his first All-Star selection. The veteran Angels shortstop is having the best hitting season of his career, to go along with his usual outstanding glove work. Aybar leads all American League shortstops in runs batted in. There was not a backup selected at shortstop. Derek Jeter, who won the fan balloting in his final season, will likely play the entire game at shortstop.

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Yasiel Puig leads NL Outfielders in All Star Voting

Yasiel Puig Dodgers MVP

PUIG

After a massive jump that leaped him from fifth place to first place, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig now leads all National League outfielders in All-Star voting. Aided by an extended Dodgers home stand Puig leapfrogged Charlie Blackmon and Giancarlo Stanton to take over the lead among outfielders for the 2014 All-Star Game, to be held July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The increase in vote totals is indicative of the rising popularity of the second year outfielder, who’s improved on his outstanding rookie season with a tremendous sophomore effort. On Tuesday Puig marked the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, where he took the Dodgers and major league baseball by storm to vault Los Angeles to the National League West crown. Like a year ago the Dodgers are hoping for the same kind of resurgence as they have ground to make up in the division. The Dodgers are in second place, a full seven games behind the San Francisco Giants who currently have the top record in baseball. Los Angeles is in a tight battle with the Colorado Rockies, who feature the top overall NL vote getter, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

This season Puig has significantly raised his batting average, on base percentage and OPS, displaying Mike Trout like maturity at the plate. His Cuban exodus story is well documented and his evolution as a player is remarkable considering how little baseball he was able to play for two seasons while trying to leave Cuba. Last season Puig had 36 walks and 97 strikeouts in 432 plate appearances. This season, in just 242 plate appearances Puig already has 27 walks and has struck out just 44 times. Last season there was great debate about whether or not Puig was a worthy all star candidate after spending just six weeks in the big leagues. This season there is no such debate.

Dodgers Yaseil Puig

MVP?

After a defeat to the Chicago White Sox where they scored just a lone run, the Dodgers continued their offensive struggles. While Puig is putting together an MVP-caliber season the remainder of the Dodgers core, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp, are struggling of late. Dee Gordon, who got off to a tremendous start as the leadoff hitter, is in an extended slump. The club also is missing third baseman Juan Uribe, with Chone Figgins forced to fill in everyday at third base. AJ Ellis, who suffered an ankle sprain in the post- Josh Beckett no-hitter celebration, is also out of the lineup, with Drew Butera batting just .218 as the backup catcher.

The Dodgers have one game remaining on the current home stand before they head off on a ten game road trip that takes them to Colorado, Cincinnati and Arizona. Getting away from Dodger Stadium, where they are just 13-18 on the season, may ignite their year. Over the years Coors Field in Colorado has been a great slump buster for many Dodgers players, and the Dodgers have had their way with the Arizona Diamondbacks lately.

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Puig for MVP?

Yasiel Puig Dodgers MVP

PUIG

During his remarkable rookie run in 2013 many wondered if Yasiel Puig should have been an MVP candidate. The Dodgers amazing run of play, in which they won 50 of 70 games, coincided with the promotion of Puig to the big league roster. His incredible talent, enthusiasm and fire was a major catalyst in the Dodgers run, along with the performance of Hanley Ramirez and the Dodgers elite pitching staff. Puig eventually cooled down towards the end of the season, but his performance was one of the biggest stories in all of baseball.

During the offseason and spring training the big stories about Puig was related to off the field issues like traffic offenses and the amazing story of his exit from Cuba. For all of the success Puig was having on the field there were still question marks about how the young star approaches the game, his tendency for make errors on the base paths and his approach to the game. When the Dodgers opened the season in Australia first baseman Adrian Gonzalez purportedly took Puig aside to challenge him to improve multiple areas of his game. Some of the indiscretions of Puig, led some baseball analysts to question whether or not Puig would continue his ascension to superstardom.

Dodgers Puig MVP

PUIG

Well, what a difference a month makes. Six weeks into the season Puig is arguably the best player in the National League, with numbers that rival those put together by fellow Southern California star Mike Trout during his first two seasons. While the Dodgers are in third place and struggling to keep pace with the Giants in the division, Puig is playing like an MVP. His combination of speed and power has ignited the top of the Dodgers lineup, along with second baseman Dee Gordon. Forty-three games into the season Puig has demonstrated better patience at the plate, and is in the midst of a fifteen game hitting streak. Puig leads the Dodgers with a .333 average, 33 runs batted in, a .422 OBP and a tremendous 1.012 OPS. Like a true MVP candidate Puig has shined with runners on base. With runners in scoring position Puig is hitting .408 with 28 RBI. With two outs and runners in scoring position Puig’s average rises to .455 with 18 RBI.

Can Puig win the MVP?

Dodgers Yaseil Puig

MVP?

From a sheer performance standpoint he should be a top candidate. The key is whether or not the Dodgers get out of their early season doldrums. The Dodgers poor record is a bit of a mystery considering the individual position areas have performed well. The bullpen has struggled at times, blowing some late game and extra innings lead, but that should turn around. The Giants have started strong but as spring turns into summer the Dodgers should heat up and make their run towards the top of the National League West.

Puig will have stiff competition from players like Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton and fellow Dodger Adrian Gonzalez. Tulowitzki and Stanton, who have led their respective teams to surprising starts, are the top two candidates so far. The Marlins and Rockies will likely fall back to the pack while the Dodgers should contend. If Puig can continue his impressive numbers he should be right in the thick of the MVP conversation.

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Angels In May Discounts

Josh Hamilton Bobblehead

Hamilton Bobblehead

May 2-4 Texas Rangers: The Angels kick off the month of May with a big three-game series versus the division rival Texas Rangers. The Rangers are in a familiar place, on top of the American League West, tied with the Oakland A’s. Texas made a big trade in the offseason, acquiring Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler. The slugging first baseman is off to a slow start, but when in the groove he’s one of the top sluggers in baseball. The key to the Rangers success so far in 2014 is due to their outstanding pitching staff, led by Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish. After a strong rookie season in 2013 Darvish is once again a Cy Young candidate. Those attending Friday’s game will receive a Josh Hamilton Bobblehead, while Saturday’s game features post-game “Saturday Spectacular” fireworks. Purchase Angels Vs Rangers Tickets today.

Yankees Vs Angels Jeter Night

JETER NIGHT

May 5-7 New York Yankees: After hosting the Rangers for three games the Angels then host the 28 time world Series Champion New York Yankees. The Yankees are off to a solid start after a disappointing 2013, led by rookie right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who’s taken the league by storm after coming over from Japan. Angel’s fans will get an opportunity to see future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter in his final season. Outfielders Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury round out a talented Yankees lineup. Those attending Monday night’s game will receive an Oakley scratcher while the series wraps up on May 7th with a Derek Jeter commemorative giveaway. Score Angels Vs Yankees Tickets now.

Angels Mike Trout Camo Shirt

TROUT CAMO SHIRT

May 15-18 Tampa Bay Rays: After a six game road trip that takes the Angels to Toronto and Philadelphia the Angels return home for a big four-game series versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Led by former Angels assistant Joe Maddon the Rays are a perennial contender. Southern California native Evan Longoria leads a talented Rays batting lineup that includes former Los Angeles Dodger James Loney, talented young outfielder Desmond Jennings, jack-of-all trades infielder Ben Zobrist, and Wil Meyers, one of the best young sluggers in all of baseball. The Rays pitching staff is commanded by David Price, one of the best left-handed pitchers in all of baseball. Those attending Thursday’s game will receive a Mike Trout camo shirt, while Friday’s giveaway is an Angels camo hat. Saturday’s game will feature a “Post-Game Purple Heart Baseball”, a game between wounded warriors from Camp Pendleton, San Antonio and Texas. Order Angels Vs Rays Tickets today.

Albert Pujols Gnome

PUJOLS GNOME

May 19-21 Houston Astros: After four-games versus the Rays the Angels host the divisional rival Houston Astros. After a brutal 2013 season the Astros are struggling again in 2014, but feature a talented but very young roster. The Astros are led by diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve. The Astros recently called up slugging outfielder George Springer, one of the best power hitters in all of minor league baseball. Tuesday’s game includes the giveaway of an Albert Pujols Garden Gnome, while those attending Wednesday will receive an Albert Pujols 500 home run commemorative bobblehead. Get Angels Vs Astros Tickets now.

LA Angels Cooler Night

COOLER NIGHT

May 23-25 Kansas City Royals: The Angels wrap up a ten game road trip with a three game series versus the Kansas City Royals. After a decade of poor baseball the Royals had a winning record in 2013 and are contending for the American League Central in 2014. The Royals attack is led by young third baseman Eric Hosmer, one of the top young corner infielders in baseball. Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Norichikia Aoki, Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar round out a balanced lineup. James Shields leads the Royals pitching staff that includes one of the top closer in baseball in Greg Holland. Those attending Friday night’s game will receive an Angels Cooler. Angels and Royals Tickets are on sale now.

Save Now On Angels Tickets for their Month Of May Home Games at Angel Stadium just use ANGMAY on any order of $100.00 or more and Barry’s will take $10.00 right off your order.

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Los Angeles Angels Ready For 2014 Season

Los Angeles Angels Tickets

Angels 2014

It’s been a disappointing couple of years for the Los Angeles Angels. After a ten-year stretch that saw them average ninety wins a season the Angels have suffered through back-to-back difficult seasons. In 2013, after entering the season as division favorites, the Angels struggled most of the season before a late run gave them a respectable record. While the Angels have struggled the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers have competed for top spot in the division. In the past two winters the Angels have opted for big free agent signings like Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, spending over $400 million combined on the two players who both had difficult seasons in 2013. This past winter Los Angeles went in a different direction, making less high profile moves designed to build the overall talent level and depth of the club, especially the pitching staff. With several good offseason moves and health from Albert Pujols expectations are up again in Anaheim.

Here’s why the Angels will make the playoffs in 2014:

Trout and Calhoun: During his first two major league seasons Mike Trout has produced numbers that rival Hall of Famers such as Willie Mays. The twenty-two year-old sensation is the best overall player in the game at an age that many top level talents are still playing double AA ball. He’s a once in a generation talent who’ll now occupy centerfield after the Peter Bourjos trade. Joining Trout in the outfield is the talented Kole Calhoun. With Bourjos in St. Louis the 26-year-old Calhoun will have an everyday role and look for the lefthander to put together a solid season. He put together solid numbers in 222 plate appearances last season, a performance that should continue since the young outfielder has produced at every level he’s played at.

A Healthy Pujols: Albert Pujols tried to gut it out and play with severe pain from Plantar Fasciitis last season, but the severe pain greatly limited the former five-time MVP and eventually ended his season. His inability to run and play the field greatly impacted his performance and impact on the team. After season ending surgery Pujols looks healthy this spring and should have a big season. If Pujols can rebound with a big season the Angels offense will be extremely dangerous.

Offseason Trades: The Angels used two big assets, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo, to acquire help and fill a couple of glaring needs, third base and the pitching staff. The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese and pitchers Tyler Skaggs, Hector Santiago and Fernando Salas in the Bourjos/Trumbo deals. While Freese, a former World Series MVP struggled last season, he’s a big improvement over what the Angels trotted out at third last season. Skaggs and Santiago are talented young starters that will give the Angels two very good arms behind Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson. In 23 starts for the White Sox last season Santiago had an excellent 3.56 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 149 innings pitched. The 6’5” Skaggs, a native of Santa Monica, is one of the top young lefthanders in the game. Although they are young both players give the Angels and upgrade n the starting pitching department. Salas is a dependable reliever who saved 24 games for the Cardinals in 2011. He’ll join another former Cardinals reliever, Joe Smith, in a revamped bullpen.

Even with the offseason moves the Angels still enter the season with a few question marks. Behind the top five starters there is very little rotation depth, so an injury to a starting pitcher or some tough outings from Skaggs and Santiago could force the Angels to rely on a player like Joe Blanton in the lineup. Offensively the big question mark will continue to be what type of production the Angels can get from Josh Hamilton. The former Ranger had a brutal first half and a somewhat better second half last season, but still well below his career standards. If Hamilton continues to struggle the Angels may miss the big bat of Mark Trumbo in the lineup. Additionally although the acquisitions of Smith and Salas will help the bullpen the Angels relief crew hasn’t been the same since Bud Black left to manage the Padres several seasons ago. They have the depth and several good arms in the pen. If they can find consistency and closer Ernesto Frieri can avoid his bouts of wildness the Angels bullpen should be in good shape.

PECOTA, the advanced statistical system invented by Nate Silver for Baseball Prospectus projects the Angels to be a playoff team in 2014. PECOTA projects a wild card finish for the Angels based on having the second ranked offense in the American League for 2014, based on improved seasons from David Freese, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.

The Angels Start off the 2014 Season on March 31 against the Seattle Mariners. Opening Day Angels Tickets run from $55 to $355 per seat. Of course the biggest series for the Angels this season is going to the the Yankees who will be on the Derek Jeter fair well tour. The first meet up is May 5th – 7th at Angels Stadium. Angels Vs Yankees Tickets from from $95 to $300 per ticket for right behind the dugout seats. By: Chris Cabrera

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Look at the 2013 Los Angeles Angels

LA Angels Tickets

Los Angeles Angels Tickets

With another big offseason splash in Anaheim and the mega-moves made in Chavez Ravine, Southern California just may be the new center of the baseball universe. The baseball arms race has left the Northeast and shifted west. A year removed from the massive Albert Pujols contract the Angels surprised many by doling out another massive contract, this time to the mega-talented but sometime troubled Josh Hamilton. By replacing Torii Hunter with Hamilton the Angels have gotten younger and scarier from an opposing pitcher perspective, with an outfield that now boasts two of the most naturally gifted players in the last twenty years in Mike Trout and Hamilton.

The move to sign Hamilton was coupled with the cost cutting dumping of Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and Hunter. It’s no question the Angels have gotten flashier, but have they gotten better? Here’s a rundown with some analysis of their offseason moves.

Josh Hamilton: There’s no question that if Josh Hamilton is healthy the Angels probably boast three of the top ten hitters in the game. From an outsiders perspective the gut reaction to the deal is that the Angels clearly upgraded over Torii Hunter. Although they clearly got younger, the performance of Hamilton from an advanced metrics perspective was comparable to Hunter’s performance last year. As David Schoenfeld at ESPN has pointed out via Baseball-Reference Hunter actually had a higher Wins Above Replacement (5.5) than Hamilton (3.4) last year. Hamilton clearly outpaced Hunter from a traditional baseball statistical perspective (HR’s, RBI’s, etc) but did so with a higher number of plate appearances and in a much more hitter friendly ballpark. Of course Hunter is an aging player and likely would not have repeated his performance of the previous year. Hamilton should also benefit from the presence of Albert Pujols in the lineup. Of course signing Josh Hamilton to such a big and lengthy contract is not without risk. Although he’s performed pretty consistently in Texas there is the always present risk of addiction, as well as a history of nagging injuries. From a win-now perspective it’s probably a good move.

Questionable back-end of the rotation: The Angels went after Zack Grienke but lost out to the cross-town Dodgers. Instead of using the Grienke money on pitching they used in on Hamilton. This combined with Dan Haren now being in a Nationals uniform has left some question marks in the rotation. Haren clearly regressed last year and it was probably wise to move him based on the sheer number of innings he’s pitched over the past decade. With Haren out as well as rotation fixture Ervin Santana the Angels rotation will have a different look. The big question is who’s the number three behind established aces Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson? They went out and added Joe Blanton and Tommy Hansen who both had ERA’s in the high fours in the National League. It’s questionable how those moves will transfer to the AL. Blanton is an innings eater but in most rotations is typically your fourth or fifth starter. Hansen has respectable career numbers but has a history of injuries. The bottom of the Angels rotation is a big question mark.

The Lineup: The starting pitching question marks may not be that important since the lineup is going to be ridiculous. What can you say about Mike Trout that hasn’t been already said, other than the fact he had one of the greatest seasons in baseball history as a rookie. The projected top six of Trout, Aybar, Pujols, Hamilton, Trumbo and Kendrick may be the top lineup in baseball. It’s difficult to find any weak spots and its likely Trumbo surpasses power numbers from last season.

Burnett and Madson: A traditional strength under Mike Scioscia the bullpen was a bit of a disaster last season and clearly in need of an upgrade. In Sean Burnett and Ryan Madson the Angels made a couple of nice moves, especially with the pickup of the underrated Burnett. Over the past few years in Pittsburgh and Washington Burnett has quietly been one of the more effective left set up men in the National League, pitching a solid number of innings with an ERA under three. Just thirty he’s still in his prime and the Angels were able to get him at a premium, just 8 million over 2 years. Even though Madson is coming off Tommy John surgery and may not be ready for opening day, he’s a compelling pickup who could provide some depth at the back of the pen. Madson and Burnett should provide depth, but there are still some question marks with closer Ernesto Frieri. Last season was a tale of two halves for Frieri, with his numbers regressing after the all-star break, contributing to the Angels total of 23 blown saves last season which tied Boston for first in the AL.

It’s hard to get a feel on what these moves will mean in the end. Although Hamilton brings a big bat to the lineup they signed him in lieu of going after pitching. With Haren gone and Grienke with the Dodgers the starting rotation really has some question marks. The bullpen has added depth and Frieri is a year older. Will the Angels simply outscore teams? With one of the best managers in the game they’re always going to be a contender, but it’s hard to see the Angels running away with things in a pretty competitive division. .

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Mike Trout looking to lead Angels to Playoff Berth

Angels Stadium

Angeles Stadium

July has been a great month for the twenty year old Mike Trout, he’s hitting .419 with seven homers, 14 rbi’s, and eight stolen bases. While the Angels are just 8-8 in July theyre showing improvements and are now just five games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West, and are currently leading the Wild Card race at 51-43. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have won 36 of their last 58 games after just starting out 15-21, and Mike Trouts’ call up has been a big part of the turnaround.

The twenty year old Trout is currently leading the American League with a .354 average, although he was just called up on April 28th he is running away with Rookie of the Year honors and his name has come up when talking about possible MVP candidates. Since coming on the scene he has bashed 15 homers, and has 46 rbi’s in just 72 games this season. With the Texas Rangers struggling as of late the Angels have been able to make up some ground and are in position to make a run in the second half. With the surge of his supporting cast, including marked improvements from Albert Pujols in the last couple months and Mark Trumbo bing an unexpected power source, they have what it takes to possibly take the division from the back to back AL pennant winners. Trumbo is hitting .307 with 66 rbi’s and 27 homers this season, good for the third most long balls in the majors trailing only Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton. Pujols has turned around his season after his worst start of his career, bringing his avg up to .281 as of late, his power has returned as well, 3three in the last week and 17 on the year. Things are looking u for this offense, as all three of their major guys are hitting on all cylinders.

While the Angels are averaging over six runs a game over their last six games the pitching is beginning to come together as well. Jered Weaver is having another great year, posting a 12-1 record and a 2.20 ERA, which is good for second in the American League behind the White Sox Chris Sale’s 2.11 ERA. One of the favorites to win the AL Cy Young no doubt. They have found a solid closer in Ernesto Frieri, who has been lights out since earning the spot as closer. He has converted all eleven of his save opportunities to this point and is posting a 1.38 ERA to date, with 65 strikeouts in just 39 innings. Sometimes in sports the best team does not win, but merely the one playing the best at the time that it matters the most, the Angels appear to be peaking at the right time as we head down the stretch. Things are starting to come together and with twelve games remaining in the Angels Schedule against the division leading Texas Rangers the Angels will have ample chances to prove they’re the best team in the AL West.