Quick Thoughts From Anaheim
Since I was down in Long Beach for the national SABR convention, I made the trek over to Angels Stadium each of the last three days. A few quick thoughts from the stadium:
1. The rally monkey is the worst invention ever. So horrible.
2. Dustin Ackley is fantastic. He hit line drives all over the park all weekend long, worked counts, played defense… seriously, he might just be the best position player in the organization right now.
3. Justin Smoak hit a bunch of balls pretty hard that went right at people. I know this slump is getting long and tedious, but I’m not too worried. He was never going to be Albert Pujols, so his fantastic April might have inflated expectations beyond a reasonable amount, but he’s still a good young hitter.
4. Felix topped out at 94 today on the same gun that had Jeff Gray (!?!) at 93 tonight. Pitch F/x says he hit 95, but he sat around 91-93 for most of the day. I’m not worried yet, but the M’s should really start backing off of his workloads in the second half. I know he’s big and strong and has endured large workloads before, but he’s averaging 113 pitches per start and has thrown 100+ in all but two games all season. You can justify workloads like that when a team is going for a playoff spot, but not in a rebuilding year. Wedge needs to put a tighter leash on Felix for the rest of the year.
5. Speaking of teams going for a playoff spot, I’d imagine this week ended any thoughts of the M’s being buyers at the deadline. With Texas finally playing well and the M’s getting whooped by the Angels, the team’s playoff chances are now slim to none. Any pretense of this being a contending team is now over, and I’d imagine we’ll see veterans moved in trades over the next few weeks. The Mariners still should focus on acquiring pieces that can help them sooner than later, but they’re probably out of the running for any rental types or guys who would be more about 2011 than 2012.
6. Mike Trout is fast.