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Friday, April 27, 2007

Colon Cleansing: Angels 11, Devil Rays 3

I opposed the trade that sent Jae Seo and Dioner Navarro to the Devil Rays in exchange for Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall, on three grounds:
  1. It made the team older without getting better.
  2. Hendrickson had never been consistently effective, and there was no reason to believe his first-half 3.81 ERA was anything but a fluke. As it turned out, even transliterated from the AL East into the relatively warm and comforting arms of the NL West and its largely pitcher-friendly (with two notable exceptions) parks, he reverted to his nominally bad self. This was somewhat mitigated by a late-season conversion to relief, in which he appeared to excel, though given the small number of innings, 10.2 IP, the good numbers were nearly meaningless.
  3. Hall was clearly going to leave the team. Despite his flukishly high .368 average in 57 at bats, he was an obvious candidate to jettison at the end of the season. For one thing, he was publicly cranky about not getting to start, but for another, he was playing out his age 30 season. Sure enough, the Dodgers cut him loose
So the Dodgers still have Hendrickson, whose utility in the pen is thus far undiminished. However, in fairness, Navarro went on to make seven errors with Tampa Bay for the balance of 2006, and has yet to hit well. Jae Seo also improved to a 5.00 ERA, but the difference between that and his Dodger ERA of 5.78 amounted to the lipstick on the pig.

As the Angels found out today, Seo is tremendously hittable; he has yet to surrender less than four earned runs in a single game so far this year. Today, he gave up six in a paltry inning and a third, presaged by a mental lapse when he failed to cover first on leadoff batter Gary Matthews, Jr. grounder to Carlos Pena. Matthews, Jr. then erased himself by trying to steal second, but that was about the end of the good news for the Rays, as the Angels posted five runs in the first inning. That included a Vlad home run, but it was about all the Angels would need to claim the victory.

In fact, the only Angel not to get a hit or drive in a run was Brandon Wood, the soon-to-be-a-Bee who needs that time in the minors. The Angels scored runs in all of the first four frames; it was quite the bonanza compared to the drought they had on the road.

Bart had his A stuff, and struck out 11 batters to go along with the 11 runs the Angels scored. His velocity at the end of his outing, if the radio broadcast can be believed and I don't misremember it, was around 95-97. He might just be back to the guy we knew in 2005. Even if Thursday's outing was a mirage, it's enough to think the Angels might get some value from him directly, or indirectly in a trade.

Bootcheck pitched two innings and gave up a run; shockingly, Tampa Bay has the second-best offense in the league, with 112 runs scored, second only to the Yankees with 120. No skin off his nose for that.

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Comments:
I noticed in the highlights that Bart was hitting 94 and up to 97 if the gun at Angel Stadium can be trusted. I was shocked to see that too.
 
The Advanced Gameday panel was showing intermittent speeds of 96 and 97 through the middle of the game. And he seemed to be consistently in the low-mid 90s throughout.

Hmmm. The Angels are #4 in pitching, and #10 in SLG. Meanwhile the Braves are #11 in pitching and #4 in SLG. Both teams have a big expensive contract in his walk year. Ideas? :)
 
They'd never take Andruw Jones. Where would they put him? Garret Anderson's spot in left?
 
Yep, or in center, with Matthews moving to one of the corners, and GA/Vlad at DH.

By "they", you mean management? It's not like they don't have a viable replacement in Saunders, or a temporary CF replacement to offer Atlanta in Figgins or Evans.
 
I was there, he was bringing it, especially late, like I have not seen since his Cy year. He was really letting loose, you could tell... and so could the batters.
Very encouraging.
 
the amazing thing about Bart from what i saw, and read above ("A stuff" and "bringing it") is that he's been sidelined so long.

i never considered it myself outside the realm of possiblities, but surely, if Bart is pitching, ahead of schedule mind you, this way all season long - it will be such a huge upside.

not a lot of people in and out of the organization were thinking we'd get "the Dominator" Bart back --- in April even.
 
Shoulder injuries tend to be catastrophic, career-ending events. I expected to see him back at 92-93 with control problems -- yet Bart threw 95 on his first pitch to Ichiro in his 4/21 game, and again during the last time he faced him.
 
The consistency with which he was letting loose late in the game is what had me baffled. He did it here and there against the M's and early against the Drays but yesterday I'm looking at my buddy in the 6th and 7th and saying "Please let that shoulder stay together!" On the angels site the video highlights show him hitting 97 in the 7th.
 
Gameday data didn't show him clocking in quite that fast, but I'm glad my memory of Terry or Rory saying he hit 97 wasn't a fluke.
 

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