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Oakland without Yoenis


Angelsjunky

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11-16, from 2.5 games ahead to 4 games back. Ouch. Of course it doesn't help that the Angels have gone 19-10 in that period of time.

 

If Billy Beane has a flaw as a GM, it might be that he relies on the stats too much. Cespedes for Lester was a good trade on paper with Lester being a legit top-of-the-rotation starter and Yoenis being an overrated player - someone who couldn't keep his OBP above .300 and had an OPS around .750 over the last couple years. But as Harold Reynolds keeps saying, the A's lost their "swagger" when Cespedes left. "Swagger" is not something that shows up in the stats. It is a quality that the 2002 Angels had, and the Angels seem to have right now.

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Like I mentioned in another thread, Cespedes hasn't been on the team in a month now and he's still 3rd on the A's in RBI and 2nd in runs scored. That doesn't include his Boston stats, those are just the numbers he put up on the A's and he's still up top. He might not have a shiny OPS and may be overrated, but he was a huge part of how they scored runs and now he's gone.

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I'm not buying the swagger angle but there is something to say for keeping a tight knit bunch together rather than the constant tape over the name of the last guy to occupy the locker next to yours.

The A's had enough pitching without Lester and went for over kill putting three new starters into a five man rotation.

Meanwhile the Angels lost two front line starters and didn't panic by selling off a member of their 25 man roster. They are making do with a patchwork of in house solutions and are stronger than if they depleted their bench. The players seem to be responding to the responsibility to step up and the confidence the front office has put into this squad. How long they can maintain this stance will be known in the next 30 days.

The season is always a roller coaster and the funk the A's are in could be cleared by losing this series or even being swept. You never know what flips the mental switch. But the damage felt by disrupting their offense for pitching overkill is going to be hard for them to overcome especially if Crisp is out for any extended period.

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Who knows what the exact effect is. I cant imagine losing one guy can stunt an offense that much. Weve done a pretty decent job since losing skaggs and richards so far for example.

Youd have to, IMO, weight the difference between lester and who hes replaced in the lineup.

That said, who knows how big cespedes was to that team. He may have been the big clubhouse guy that united guys. Maybe without him donaldson gets pitched different? Etc etc. Either way, it doesnt look like the right move at all right now for sure

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I have no idea what kind of impact Cespedes could have had on this series, but I can tell you the A's haven't had a lot of base runners this series. So unless he elevated the level of play of everyone, based on team chemistry, then I would say not a huge effect really. Though in game one, we scored on a basehit to left and that run wouldn't have scored with his arm.

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thought the Cespedes for Lester deal by the A's was terrible for the A's when made and said so in posts here.

 

Like many others here who commented on the trade -- at the time it was made -- you really couldn't really gauge Cespedes value to the rag-tag bunch that made up the A's roster on stats alone.

 

Cespedes was the guy who sparked the offense and pretty much was the spark plug of the team -- decent stats, too -- good ballplayer.

 

Dealing away Cespedes for a two month rental of Lester messed up the A's team chemistry -- they really have not been the same team since he left.

 

Boston seems to be playing better..........not that it matters much.

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Boston seems to be playing better..........not that it matters much.

 

They're 11-16 this month.  They were 10-15 in July, 12-16 in June, 13-15 in May, and 13-13 in April.  They're not playing better.  They've been bad all year, with Lester, without Lester, without Cespedes, and with him.

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The A's offensive slide is not because of Cespedes. Moss (who is their main source of power now) was struggling at least a week before Cespedes was traded.

 

Cespedes himself wasn't hitting well the last month before the trade.

 

It could be that as a group, most of the A's hitters were playing above their heads before the trade and have been exposed since.

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The A's hitting, by month, for 2014 (per BB Ref):

 

March/April: 

.261 .351 .412 .763  

May:

.239 .326 .421 .748

June:

  .261 .326 .383 .709

July:

.251 .307 .403 .710

August:

.224 .304 .351 .655

 

So, their power started dropping in June, OBP in July, and average has dropped precipitously this month. This has been despite trading Cespedes, not because of trading him.

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The biggest difference for us is that we can now safely round 3rd base when we play the A's.

 

This is what I think is being overlooked a bit.  Despite his propensity for some sloppy plays in the outfield his UZR/150 is silly high because of his absolute cannon of an arm.  I don't think losing him has had a massive effect on their offense (he was pretty overrated offensively) but that cannon was the bane of the Angels' existence for a while there.

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The way I see it and I am not a stats guy. Lester has an impact one in every five games. Cespedes has three chance a night to impact a single game. Pretty simple math to me! And as far as I can recall, the Angels and A's play pretty tight games.

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