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Sunday, July 11, 2010

The End Of Two Careers: A's 15, Angels 1

I will get out of the way the lone feel-good story about yesterday's craptacular loss: Cory Aldridge got his first major league hit after waiting 13 years for it. But that raises some truly difficult questions for the Angels: Kazmir has cratered badly this year, but yesterday was the worst game of his career. The more I see this sort of thing, the more I begin to seriously question Reagins' ability as a GM. His 2009/2010 offseason was bad, but he seems to be on the wrong end of trades far too often (Kazmir), has allowed at least one promising player to walk thanks to a paperwork oversight (Darren O'Day), and bought fading stars at premium prices (Matsui, and to some degree, Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera). The Angels don't have a good plan B for a GM, but they're starting to make me pine for Bill Stoneman — who I was nonplussed with in general but had a hard time arguing with his overall results. One losing season doesn't equal a front office firing — and not everything that's happened here was his fault (cough Kendry Morales cough), but if luck is the residue of design, as Branch Rickey put it, it looks awfully as though bad luck is the residue of a failure to plan.

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Comments:
Sean Rodriguez would look good at third base for the Angels right now.
 
Rob, do you seriously not remember Kazmir's sub-2.00 ERA after coming over in the trade last year? Being on the wrong end of trades "far too often" requires that there be at least 3 deals, with him on the wrong end at least two of those times. Teixeira for Kotchman is a win, and I'll grant that it's looking like the Kazmir deal is a loss (though part of me suspects that Kazmir is injured, and if he returns healthy in 2011 or 2012 then it may wind up being something of a wash). I think the jury is out on Reagins, but until the Kazmir deal seemed to explode in his face this year, he was off to a pretty good start. Or do you not remember him signing Torii Hunter, making the Teixeira deal, bringing in Abreu last year, keeping Juan Rivera (for a total of only $12 million), not overpaying to keep K-Rod, bringing in Pineiro for a lot less than Lackey (and thus far, with better results), not breaking the bank to keep Figgins...

You've got to look at the entire package.
 
Agreed about the entire package thing, but the risk that he was going to return to that long-term was enormous and contra the general history of pitchers; they fall apart and don't return, even with the huge gains we've made in surgical shoulder repairs. Where is Mark Prior?
 
Did Kaz have shoulder surgery at some point? I didn't remember that. Shoulders can't get fixed the way elbows do; that much is true. I don't even remember at this point whether Prior's initial injury was shoulder or elbow-related. I do know that he played for Dusty Baker, and pitched over 200 innings at age 22 after 116 at age 21 (plus whatever he threw in the minors). Kazmir similarly threw a lot of innings at a tender age. Who knows? At least Prior had documented injuries. Kazmir is allegedly healthy, physically. I have my doubts, though.
 
I remembered he started the season on the DL with a shoulder injury, so I assumed it was a recurrence of the same injury that plagued him when he was in Tampa Bay. As it happens, that was a quadriceps strain. So, no shoulder surgery from my research; he's just fragile.
 
after the winter, i said the only "mistake" was not offering Oliver arbitration, at the very least.

4 months later, so far losing Vlad looks bad. Letting Figgy and Lackey walk? not so much.

As far as Kazmir, any one who thinks Sean Rodriguez is anything more than a utility player isn't paying attention - it was SEAN Rodriguez, not A-Rod, geez! So calling that trade a "mistake" i disagree with, but at this point Kaz ain't worth much either, though it was a decent trade.


Back to Figgy - we had to give Wood a chance, and much to the Halosphere's dismay, he's biting it. I figure he's got more time to figure it out. A decent year on his part would put us along side Texas.

At any point, 1) the season isn't lost, there's still plenty left and I wouldn't be surprised to see us at least get the WC - we have enough pitching to get us to the post-season and there's always the 'deadline deal', And 2) The only other blame I'd lay at Reagins feet (25% of the way into it, mind you), with 20/20 hindsight, is Matsui for Vlad.

If you want scapegoats, its Wood and Kaz. Cory Aldridge and Paul McAnulty were a shot at injecting some youth and trying something new. Short, meaningless experiment - they'll be gone soon.

Any to me, our pitching staff is young, not sure why you'd call them old?
 

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