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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pickoff Moves

Saunders Returns To Old Form: Angels 10, Mariners 0

Athletes are always quick to deny pain or infirmity, and Joe Saunders was one of that set, letting shoulder tightness slip into the start of the season, and then screwing him up for the rest of the year. He's done with that now, and last night, he was sharp as ever.

Vlad Guerrero provided a good bit of the offense, homering twice, once into the upper deck at Safeco; but Howie Kendrick also drove in two, and Juan Rivera hit a three-run jack. Good night for the boys, who look like they're getting healthy — and productive — at the right time.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

Dodgers Acquire Garland And Fall: Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3 (10 Innings)

Jon Garland walked across the field to join his new team, but the main problem for the Dodgers was relief pitching. George Sherrill, uncharacteristically, gave up the tying run in the eighth on a solo shot to Justin Upton, two innings after new acquisition Ronnie Belliard hit a two-run jack to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. Kind of a discouraging game, especially considering how badly the Snakes are doing this year, but nothing to cry over.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

Angels Add Five, But Sean Rodriguez Not Among Them

Mike DiGiovanna says the list is "infielder Brandon Wood, outfielder Reggie Willits, catcher Bobby Wilson and pitchers Sean O'Sullivan and Rich Thompson", with S-Rod conspicuously not among them. I'll be mighty upset if he ends up in a Rays uniform.

I haven't been able to find anything on the Dodgers' expansion roster yet.

PTBNL In Jon Garland Deal Might Be Tony Abreu

Per Steve Gilbert, and via True Blue LA, which also notes the Snakes are picking up all his remaining salary.

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I'm as intrigued as anyone by Sean Rodriguez's talents, but with almost 200 ABs at the major league level, he sports only a .203 batting average and .609 OPS. As Aybar blossoms and Howie Kendrick appears to have regained his hitting stroke, there's no room for him in the infield, even if Figgins leaves as a free agent. Perhaps more accurately, there isn't room for both him and Brandon Wood. The only place for him would arguably be left field, and that's only if Abreu doesn't return in 2010 (Juan Rivera would slide over to RF). It's a fair price, I think, for what should be a solid starting pitcher (who, by the way, is the youngest member of the rotation) who's locked up through 2011.
But is that a fair cop, though? Rodriguez' major league at-bats have been sporadic. He's appeared in 71 games but only started 49 of them in the field. Kendry Morales going into to this year sported a .249/.302/.408 line in 407 plate appearances, but is anyone complaining about his production now? It surely took him longer to find his stroke, but people now clamor for him to at least move up to fifth in the lineup!
I always liked Morales, and felt that the way the Angels introduce their young players is confusing at best, and damaging at worst.

Still don't know what Wood is supposed to be.
"DuranLART @SPTimesRays INF Sean Rodriguez is #Rays player to be named later in Kazmir deal, details on tampabay.com4 minutes ago from twidroid "
Fair: no, not really. The same thing can be said for Brandon Wood. But I think it's a fair deal for the other reasons stated. There's really no room for Sean Rodriguez unless someone else is jettisoned. I don't think a third year at AAA is going to improve his value any. The Angels have at times been accused of holding onto their prospects for too long. Rodriguez is getting awfully close to that point, and if he can be part of a package to acquire a solid starting pitcher (who is under team control for two more years after this one), well, that's a price worth paying I think (and more importantly, so does the front office).

Rodriguez isn't a can't-miss prospect. His K-rate remains disturbingly high. And realistically speaking, the Angels were not going to have jobs for all of Wood, Rodriguez, Aybar and Kendrick. Job competition becomes even stiffer if Figgins comes back.

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