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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Mike Scioscia Weeps As Angels Jettison Jeff Mathis

Things are moving along quite smartly this offseason, as the Angels unloaded Jeff Mathis for LHP Brad Mills to Toronto, which means the Halos have managed to trade both their 2010 receivers to the same team. Mills was actually fairly interesting in the lower minors, but he spent three years at AAA posting uninspiring numbers (4.32 ERA with a 21-23 record, 7.8 K/9, 2.63 K/BB). If he sticks with the Angels — and apparently, he has an option left — he'll be fighting for a role in the rotation, though Rotoworld seems to think he's better suited to relief.

Obviously, the upside of this deal is getting rid of Jeff Mathis, whose Angels career has been mainly a case of mistaken identity, i.e. Mike Scioscia took him for a starting catcher. The Napoli schism has tended to be overdone (even by me):

Angels Catchers Games Started At Catcher
YearJeff MathisMike Napoli
20061477
20075268
20089071
20097884
20106259

Only two of those years — 2008 and 2010 — did Scioscia start Mathis in more games than Napoli. Yet, as Bill Plaschke pointed out earlier, Napoli only got 57 starts at catcher for the Rangers this year, a surprise for people who defend him as a good defensive receiver. (For the record, my position isn't that he is or is not good, just that Mathis can't be shown to be superior by any metric I am aware of.)

Mathis' major league career may already be over; his days as a starting catcher are probably over, anyway, and if it turns out that the Jays jettison him, too, I won't be terribly surprised. All in all, a necessary trade to keep Scioscia from playing Mathis.

Update: Any time you can link to a Grant Brisbee piece about a trade involving a team you follow, you totally should, because he is teh awesome.

Update 2: Sam Miller is predictably great:

Brad Mills has an 8.57 ERA in 48 career Major League innings. That’s actually only the 29th worst ERA in history, minimum 25 innings. Stu Flythe had a 13.04 ERA in 1936. “Hey, Alex, what’ll you give me for Jeff Mathis,” Jerry Dipoto asked. “Hmmm,” Alex Anthopoulos said. “I’ll give you Stu Flythe.” “But he’s dead. He’s been dead for, like, forever. He’s not on your team. Your team didn’t even exist when Stu Flythe died.” “Sorry, Jerry. That’s the best I can do.”

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