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Some perspective


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11 minutes ago, True Grich said:

There's no question Kinsler and Calhoun are struggling.  Pujols is not producing at a level that meets expectations and Cozart and Valbuena are constant topics in this forum as well.

Some perspective...

The league average BA is .245  The league average OBP is .317 The league average OPS is .722  Offense is down across the board. There are so very notable players struggling right now - including:

Dexter Fowler: .157 BA, .249 OBP, .564 OPS, Ian Desmond: .184 VA, .239 OBP, .617 OPS, Gregory Polanco: .205 BA, .317 OBP, .732 OPS, Logan Morrison: .196 BA, .313 OBP, .653 OPS, Cody Bellinger .234/.301/.738, Anthony Rizzo: .228/.335/.724, Jay Bruce: .228/.298/.649, Edwin Encarnacion: .228/.302/.763, Kyle Seager: .226/.286/.709, Nelson Cruz: .220/.304/.724, Paul Goldschmidt: .208/.324/.705

The list goes on and on...

The Angels have four players who rank in the bottom 40 for the lowest OPS.  Calhoun is last and Kinsler is 4th worst. 

It's unlikely the Angels dump Pujols - despite the AW sentiment and it's also unlikely they'll dump Valbuena. 

The focus clearly needs to be on Calhoun and Kinsler.  Every team has players - many of them big names that are struggling.  I mean when you look at names like Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Bellinger, Cruz, Bruce, etc. - it's crazy.  Even Bryce Harper is only hitting just .228 (although he continues to walk a great deal).  Tons of guys like Kendrys Morales, Hunter Pence, Billy Hamilton and Neil Walker have negative WAR. 

All this is to just provide some perspective.  We know the Angels offense is struggling - but it helps to see how the rest of the league is doing.

The Angels are 9th overall in OBP and 9th overall in OPS.  They're also 7th overall in runs scored. While that's hardly good enough to be a legitimate conteder - it's not nearly as bad as most of us probably thought.

 

 

So, after like a year where it was a good year to hit (2017) for hitters, it's been the Year of the Pitcher again, like from 2010-2015.  I remember when the league OPS was .700 in 2014, which wasn't that long ago. Could it be that the pitchers are throwing harder and making it tough on the hitters or is it something else, like hitters trying to hit home runs every single times up?

Either way, time to boost offense around baseball by injecting the Bonds Drugs into the baseballs.

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And I did check a month ago to see what was the average league OPS (I think the league average OPS was just under .730) and didn't think much about it since the season was still early and it's not hot yet, so the baseball doesn't carry as much but it is kind of interesting to see that there were years when it is good to pitch in and others where it's good to hit in. Will we ever see something like a 5 year period where it's good to hit in again? Not sure.

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I appreciate the intention of asking people to have "perspective."

But here is some perspective.  For the last hundred years many, many teams have had multiple players in their lineup having horrible, pathetic years.

And all those teams suffered in the standings, mostly failing.

So which perspective should drive team decision making?

The one that says it is "normal" for this to happen to lots of teams so just suffer through the season because it MIGHT not turn out THAT bad?

Or the one that says when you have three or four terrible players you need to act or you will very LIKELY fail as a team?

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29 minutes ago, True Grich said:

There's no question Kinsler and Calhoun are struggling.  Pujols is not producing at a level that meets expectations and Cozart and Valbuena are constant topics in this forum as well.

Some perspective...

The league average BA is .245  The league average OBP is .317 The league average OPS is .722  Offense is down across the board. There are so very notable players struggling right now - including:

Dexter Fowler: .157 BA, .249 OBP, .564 OPS, Ian Desmond: .184 VA, .239 OBP, .617 OPS, Gregory Polanco: .205 BA, .317 OBP, .732 OPS, Logan Morrison: .196 BA, .313 OBP, .653 OPS, Cody Bellinger .234/.301/.738, Anthony Rizzo: .228/.335/.724, Jay Bruce: .228/.298/.649, Edwin Encarnacion: .228/.302/.763, Kyle Seager: .226/.286/.709, Nelson Cruz: .220/.304/.724, Paul Goldschmidt: .208/.324/.705

The list goes on and on...

The Angels have four players who rank in the bottom 40 for the lowest OPS.  Calhoun is last and Kinsler is 4th worst. 

It's unlikely the Angels dump Pujols - despite the AW sentiment and it's also unlikely they'll dump Valbuena. 

The focus clearly needs to be on Calhoun and Kinsler.  Every team has players - many of them big names that are struggling.  I mean when you look at names like Goldschmidt, Rizzo, Bellinger, Cruz, Bruce, etc. - it's crazy.  Even Bryce Harper is only hitting just .228 (although he continues to walk a great deal).  Tons of guys like Kendrys Morales, Hunter Pence, Billy Hamilton and Neil Walker have negative WAR. 

All this is to just provide some perspective.  We know the Angels offense is struggling - but it helps to see how the rest of the league is doing.

The Angels are 9th overall in OBP and 9th overall in OPS.  They're also 7th overall in runs scored. While that's hardly good enough to be a legitimate conteder - it's not nearly as bad as most of us probably thought.

 

 

Your right.  It's not really Pujols but the fact we have four others underachieving as well.

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4 minutes ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

"Hitters" are now trying to create launch angle with an uppercut swing (Valbuena and Calhoun, etc.). Pitchers are now getting high strike calls, and uppercut swings are not conducive to success vs. a high fastball. Andrelton Simmons can hit high fastballs very well because of his level swing, and he has the highest batting average on the team.

I think you are mixing up a bunch of things here and assuming things that are not correct.

The vast majority of offensive players trying to achieve launch angle do not change their swing to an uppercut swing.  It is about bat position on ball at impact.  They are calibrating to launch instead of line drive.

And the vast majority of players that do have a slight uppercut swing (like Calhoun) have always had uppercut swings.

 

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Albert Pujols also has a level swing. His, problem, a problem that Simmons does not have, is that Pujols is a terrible hitter when he is behind in the count, and a great hitter when he is ahead. Pujols is behind in the count most of the time, and Simmons is ahead in the count most of the time. This is because Simmons is a more aggressive hitter.

It is very hard to hit well in an 0-2 or a 1-2 count. Pujols sees way too many of those counts. 

Trout has 56 AB ahead 60 behind, even he is way better ahead in the count.

If you are facing a good pitcher who is not prone to giving up walks, you have to be aggressive and swing at the first pitch you can make solid contact with. Too many times Pujols takes the first pitch no matter what, setting himself up to fail.

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6 minutes ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

Albert Pujols also has a level swing. His, problem, a problem that Simmons does not have, is that Pujols is a terrible hitter when he is behind in the count, and a great hitter when he is ahead. Pujols is behind in the count most of the time, and Simmons is ahead in the count most of the time. This is because Simmons is a more aggressive hitter.

It is very hard to hit well in an 0-2 or a 1-2 count. Pujols sees way too many of those counts. 

Trout has 56 AB ahead 60 behind, even he is way better ahead in the count.

If you are facing a good pitcher who is not prone to giving up walks, you have to be aggressive and swing at the first pitch you can make solid contact with. Too many times Pujols takes the first pitch no matter what, setting himself up to fail.

Without looking at numbers, I would say that Simmons is not ahead of the count most of the time.  He's an aggressive hitter and is usually hacking.  But he's quite adept at making contact and working himself back into counts.   I remember an at-bat from the past few games when he went down 0-2 and ended up walking.  Pujols used to be able to do this, but he is guessing most of the time now and he rarely guesses correctly. 

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Pujols problem is he does not have fast hands anymore.  He has to guess at pitches.  I believe he has to decide to swing sooner now than he did earlier in his career, or he will be "late". . .

This explains him swinging at so many pitches out of the strike zone.

The depressing part of this specific problem is there is no solution to it.

This specific problem alone has destroyed his offensive game.

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12 minutes ago, jordan said:

Without looking at numbers, I would say that Simmons is not ahead of the count most of the time.  He's an aggressive hitter and is usually hacking.  But he's quite adept at making contact and working himself back into counts.   I remember an at-bat from the past few games when he went down 0-2 and ended up walking.  Pujols used to be able to do this, but he is guessing most of the time now and he rarely guesses correctly. 

Simmons is batting .406 with a 1.162 OPS ahead in the count this year. Every season in STL, Pujols was ahead in the count most of the time like Simmons is right now. As soon as he arrived in Anaheim, he started falling behind in the count most of the time.

Pujols is absolutely guessing fastball, but you see less fastballs behind in the count.

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54 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

So which perspective should drive team decision making?

 

It's important to view things from all the angles.  I'm not suggesting a solution - just offering a different point of view to consider.

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7 minutes ago, Angel Oracle said:

At what point does MLB address the shift defense question?     That has to be contributing to the down offenses in MLB.

Should there be something like the NBA had with the zone defense penalty?    MLB was not meant to be played with shifts left and right. 

Why?

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I think we can probably stick a fork in Pujols, Kinsler and Valbuena. We have a large, multi-year sample of suckage from all three. Calhoun is closing in... I'd like to see someone find an example of a player of his caliber who has had his level of decline and made some sort of return to form. I'm not quite ready to give up on him since his decline is steep but doesn't seem related to any physical issues. Still he is sooo bad that I'm not sure it's possible to come back from this.

The easiest to replace is going to be Kinsler since there are a ton of internal and external options. We should make a move today, leaving an eye toward the third base trade market.

Valbuena is going to be a little tougher, just because his skill set and utility to this team is quite specific... left-handed backup corner infield. I'm pretty sure we are just going to have to live with him.

Pujols is only going away if he gets a significant injury that keeps him out of the lineup. We can only hope... Maybe Tampa Bay will give us CJ Cron back? A legitimate first basemen can actually cover both Valbuena and Pujols' spots potentially.

tl;dr: Trade for a third basemen, push Albert down the stairs and trade for a first basemen.

 

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3 minutes ago, AngelsLakersFan said:

I think we can probably stick a fork in Pujols, Kinsler and Valbuena. We have a large, multi-year sample of suckage from all three. Calhoun is closing in... I'd like to see someone find an example of a player of his caliber who has had his level of decline and made some sort of return to form. I'm not quite ready to give up on him since his decline is steep but doesn't seem related to any physical issues. Still he is sooo bad that I'm not sure it's possible to come back from this.

The easiest to replace is going to be Kinsler since there are a ton of internal and external options. We should make a move today, leaving an eye toward the third base trade market.

Valbuena is going to be a little tougher, just because his skill set and utility to this team is quite specific... left-handed backup corner infield. I'm pretty sure we are just going to have to live with him.

Pujols is only going away if he gets a significant injury that keeps him out of the lineup. We can only hope... Maybe Tampa Bay will give us CJ Cron back? A legitimate first basemen can actually cover both Valbuena and Pujols' spots potentially.

tl;dr: Trade for a third basemen, push Albert down the stairs and trade for a first basemen.

 

Does Andruw Jones qualify? Obviously, Jones was a much better player than Calhoun but check his 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons.

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I think this is a very good point.   To add to it i still believe Calhoun can be saved, or at least has a better chance to be saved than Kinsler, who i feel has just reached that point in his career where the end is much closer than the beginning.   Add to that the fact that his deal is up at seasons end, and it becomes all the more apparent what we should be looking to do.  

I think the obvious move to to look to replace Kinsler, soon, if the numbers dont change by either adding a 3B solution such as Moustakis, or leaving Cozart at third and looking at a 2B.  My personal preference is to move Cozart back to the middle as he seems better suited there.  Over the last 30 days Kinsler has been barely better than Calhoun, but we have more time with Kole.  Kinsler is a release candidate for certain while Kole might get sent down.

The rest, when im not worried about Valbuena he is what he is and hes a backup, Pujols, well there nothing that anyone says there it just doesnt matter aside from the fact that he should not be hitting cleanup. 

If it were up to me, i try to pry a package out of KC before someone beats us to it, Mous, Soler, Herrera... pretty much solves all our issues.  And yes i would move some of our top guys for that if i had to, though with most of those on expiring deals i dont think more than one would be necessary. .  
 

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47 minutes ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

Hitters have to find an answer. This is baseball, not football or basketball. No illegal formations. If a left handed power hitter can simply prove he can hit over .400 in a week by hitting the ball to the left side, they will not shift anymore.

Question is, why aren't MLB hitters doing that?    Too stubborn, like Cold and Ghost Pujols?

Will we have to wait for the off-season, for hitters to start making those adjustments?

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The problem is less so any single one of the four, but the fact that four of our starting nine are really sucking up the joint. Here are their combined stats:

.202/.252/.300, -1.7 fWAR in about 700 PA, which is about one-third of the team's total PA. That is destroying the offense.

 

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