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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Angels Lose Windy City Series: White Sox 5, Angels 2

Watch too many games like this one, and you really start to lose heart, and interest. Five errors — five! — did the Chicago nine commit, and the Angels cashed in on exactly two of them. So often, I hear the voice inside saying, "Oh, they would have won this game if they still had Kendry in the lineup." It's almost every game, now. So dreary has the team's outlook become that the Angels' own website is reduced to lauding perennial retread Paul McAnulty, a former Long Beach State man whose time at the majors has been spent fighting the likes of Adrian Gonzalez for plate appearances — and losing badly, as Christina Kahrl wrote in her late TA column:
The other add-on is McAnulty, a squat ex-prospect whose ex- standing is of slightly more recent vintage. As a one-tool player, he wasn't exactly a blue chipper after starring at Long Beach State, but as a bat-only type the Pads picked him in the 12th round of the 2002 draft. After moving up to Triple-A for part of 2005, he spent the three subsequent seasons marking time there, usually manning first base, sometimes knocking around left field, and sporadically showing up at third base and right field as the Padres struggled to find ways to extend his utility while running up against the fact that he wasn't going to push past Adrian Gonzalez or hit enough to play an outfield corner every day. He got his first real chance to hang around in the majors in 2008, but by then he was already being crowded up by other prospects. Last season, he washed up in the Red Sox and then the Rockies organizations, and came back to SoCal as a minor-league free agent and established “professional hitter.” The Angels initially put him in Double-A, where he went silly, bopping 14 homers in 176 PAs as a 29-year-old Texas Leaguer.

That got him back to the PCL, where he'd been splitting time between DH, first, and third, but unlike [Cory] Aldridge he wasn't becoming a much more mild hitter elsewhere in the circuit, overall hitting at a .360/.390/.559 pace that translates to a .243 TAv. All of which suggest he's little more than a variant on Ryan, someone you can spot at first base for Mike Napoli if you want that extra lefty bat, with the one extra element being that he's given third base a shot often enough to make him a similar variant from the dissatisfactions with Brandon Wood once in a while (especially once the fascination with Frandsen wears off).

The most interesting thing to come out of a particularly abrasive series was the sudden yet not entirely unexpected injury to Jake Peavy, who went only 1.2 innings before he left Tuesday's game, and had injury problems in late seasons to begin with. His muscles detached from his shoulder, and Peavy is almost certainly facing surgery and will be done for the season. I sometimes wonder whether the Angels wouldn't be better off if Scott Kazmir turned up lame one of these here games, just to keep him from serving up meatballs to the opposition.


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