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Dave Saltzer

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Everything posted by Dave Saltzer

  1. With all of your discussion about future SS/MIF prospects and whether or not to sign a major SS FA this offseason, here's something to consider. I was out at the IE66ers today and caught some of the pregame practice. If you look at the guy cutting across 2B (making the play from SS), that's D'Shawn Knowles taking reps at SS. He hasn't seen any time in a game at SS, but that appears to be in the works. What this tells me is that the Angels value player versatility. They see their OF possibly/probably set for a bit with Trout, Marsh, Upton, Adell, and Adams, so giving Knowles time at another position will open up more opportunities for him. And, it says that with Ohtani and the need to carry more pitchers, having a limited bench makes someone like Knowles, who can be a 4th OF, a backup MIFer, and a pinch runner makes him far more valuable. Just some more information for everyone to consider and discuss.
  2. Yes. And a lot more balanced in terms of providing both pitching and hitting talent. We aren't quite layered (meaning we are a bit on the young side with most of our talent down in the system), but we will get back to having waves of talent emerging soon. First, we need to get them all healthy and getting reps.
  3. Nit picking a bit, but my rankings for our Top 10 right now with Bachman (and including Adell) 1. Detmers 2. C-Rod 3. Marsh 4. Adell 5. Bachman 6. Adams 7. Paris 8. Vera 9. Kochanwicz 10. Jackson
  4. A1Someone who really stood out for me on the 66ers tonight was Dashwood. Pitched 3 strong innings. Ignore the runs he gave up.... Those were flukes. One was a "single" that hit the rubber and took a funky turn for the runner to reach. The next batter got a "single" on a hit that landed in no man's land in the infield. I could easily see him adding some velo on a single inning outting and getting promoted soon. He commanded the inside well and threw a slider 80-82 that had a lot of movement. He pounded the inside part of the plate. Sat 89-93. Big build, looks about 6' 4", 240 ish, room to project a bit. Only other major impression is on Yon. Listed at 6' 5", but looks like he's 6' 13'. A bean pole ans susceptible to the curve, but he definitely stood head and shoulders over many other players.
  5. Seminaris with probably his best night. 6 IP 9Ks, 1 BB, 6 HS 1 ER. Mostly sat 87-89. His best pitch, and a good out pitch was a slurve that he threw about 77. Had 3 Ks on that pitch at leadt. Had a good change as well, but didn't show it too much. Struggled in the 1st,when most of the damage was done, then established that he could hit his spots on the corners and got the ump to open up the zone a bit. He finished strong. I really think that had last year been a normal season, he'd be cruising much better at AA now. I have been told he can dial it up to 94 for an occasional bullet, but mostly sits 87-91 ish.
  6. We really need to get out and support the Minor League teams. Our players are coming back and you can't beat the value. Working on getting some interviews for us.
  7. Yesterday, it really hit me that the Minor League schedule makes Mondays suck. Instead of teams having random days off here and there, so that there are other teams to look at and discuss, with all of them being off on Mondays at the lower levels, it makes for a boring day.
  8. Agreed. Until he's earned it by performing and succeeding at the Major League level, it looks immature and magnifies any mistakes that he makes.
  9. Yes, it was. I think it's a case of him knowing he has tools to drool on and believing all the hype. I agree that he needs to knock it off. When he's had a couple of years of success at the Major League level, then it's a different story. Right now it's just magnifying his struggles.
  10. Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/Associated Press By David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer —"Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” Semisonic In life, we all will face the point where we will be replaced. It’s never easy. If we are lucky, it’s on our own terms and we can retire when we want to. At other times, life dictates the ending. Whether it’s a business closing, an illness affecting us, a life event happening to someone else, a global pandemic, it will happen. That’s an unfortunate certainty to life. If baseball is anything, it is brutally honest about when it’s time to go. Injuries and age take their toll. Whether one is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, a regular player, or just up for a cup of coffee, players with more ability and skill will eventually force the issue. It may be hard for the player to accept it, but the game doesn’t lie about it. There are a lot of ways to analyze the end of the Pujols era with the Angels. As a baseball decision, it is an easy decision. His performance on the field wasn’t good enough to justify the playing time. The emergence of Walsh and Ohtani playing everyday made the team better offensively. There wasn’t going to be much playing time for Albert going forward. Additionally, after a shortened season last year, the concern about pitching is very real. The Angels aren’t the only organization to be struck by injuries to pitchers. Teams are carrying more pitchers for a reason, and that meant that keeping Albert in a bench role didn’t make sense. The Angels needed someone with more defensive versatility and better offensive performance than he could provide. Baseball, though, isn’t just a game of numbers. While fans may care most about numbers, those inside the business know that the people are just as important as the numbers. If I learned one thing from all of Tim Mead’s dugout talks with AngelsWin, it’s that how people are treated is of great importance in life. Right now, there’s a ton of speculation online of what happened prior to the Angels designating him for assignment. We have the statements from the Angels Front Office that the meeting with Albert ended with Minasian giving him a hug. Hopefully, the meeting went well and Albert didn’t feel “disrespected” as Pedro Martinez tweeted. Many fans have a hard time understanding the importance of respect for players. They focus on the money the players earn and the lifestyle and conclude that that should be enough for them. To those fans, I would say, everyone deserves respect, whether they make millions or hundreds. And, at some point or another, we will all feel disrespected. It may be how a doctor delivers bad news to us in an unfriendly manner, or a judge rushing us through a traffic ticket violation, a boss giving an unfair performance review, etc. At some point, we will all be treated with disrespect and would not want others telling us to just accept it because they envy our position As fans, we will never know the whole story. I have every reason to believe that Albert will continue to be as classy as he can about the situation and won’t divulge all the details of the meeting. While I do expect him to talk about it at some point, I don’t expect him to reveal much more than what we already know. The Angels Front Office won’t issue more statements about it, so, as fans we have about as much information on the subject as we are likely to get, at least in the short term. We will have no way of knowing how this may affect the Angels in future negotiations with other players. If there is more to the story (not assuming that there is more to the story), those inside the industry may learn about it. How this affects future players signing with the Angels remains to be seen. If this changes the perception of the Angels as a franchise within the industry, it could have long-term consequences as players and agents may steer players away from the Angels if they perceive the team as disrespectful. This could be a case where those fans gloating over Albert’s release should be cautioned to be careful of what they wish for. What does this mean going forward for the Angels in 2021? Honestly, not too much. Releasing Albert won’t solve the pitching and injury problems that are hampering the team. It won’t help with many of the shifts from the analytics department that didn’t work. Until those issues are resolved, the team will struggle. There is one way, though, that releasing Albert will help the Angels in 2021. It will alleviate a potential issue for the future. As noted above, from a baseball standpoint, the move made the most sense. At some point this season, a Minor Leaguer such as Adell or Marsh would likely emerge and force the issue by performing so well that the Angels would need to promote him to play the outfield and move Walsh back to first base. At that point, the issue of Pujols’ playing time would become a distraction for the team. It would take a toll on players, the coaching staff, and the Front Office as Albert got less and less playing time and reporters asked about that issue more and more. In many ways, biting the inevitable bullet now prevents a future issue and team distraction from arising. How this affects the team in the future remains to be seen. There’s no doubt that the Pujols contract had wide ramifications on the baseball industry. Paying older players large sums for many years is not likely to happen often again. Teams now know that paying players more money in their prime years is less risky and less detrimental to the franchise than spreading the money out over more years. So, if the Angels are at the end of an era with Pujols, I hope this means that the Front Office is going to move ahead fully with the notion of paying players more money for prime years. There’s no need to repeat the mistake of jumping onto a new idea with one foot, like they did when they signed Roberto Baldoquin and no other major international free agents. There are signs that this may be the case under Perry Minasian with the recent contract for David Fletcher. Hopefully they will lock up their own players earlier in their careers and find ways to sign free agents for more of their prime years. But again, I will caution fans who want this approach to be careful of what they wish for from the Front Office. Not all those future contracts will work out, even for younger players in their prime. The Angels, like all teams, will get burned eventually on a deal with a player. Injuries and aging still happen, and at some point, the team may get hampered by a shorter-term deal with a higher salary. It is the nature of the industry. So fans wishing for this approach need to understand that there are risks to these deals just as there are risks to signing players for longer term contracts. Personally, I would like to think of the Pujols era for what it meant to the franchise. When we signed him, it was the third largest contract in MLB history. I remember the buzz online and at the stadium for the press conference announcing the signing. The national perception of the Angels dramatically changed as a result of signing him. Suddenly, the Angels were on the map as a destination for players—not just some players, almost all players, especially the best of that year’s free agent class. Signing Albert changed the way the Angels were seen nationally—much in a way that signing Vlad did not. The Angels went from being a scrappy team that won the World Series in 2002 to one of the larger payrolls in baseball. During every offseason for years, we were the rumored “mystery team” involved in negotiations, and that made being an Angels fan special. Our payroll has gone up quite a bit since we’ve signed Albert and doesn’t appear to be in jeopardy of shrinking. I get that many fans are upset because the Angels never got the performance from Albert that they paid for. That is truly regrettable as he was such a joy to watch in St. Louis. The fact that Albert didn’t perform so well wasn’t due to a lack of effort on his part. Age and injuries take their toll on everyone, and baseball is brutally honest about that. He is still, a no-doubt first round Hall of Famer, and he should go into the Hall of Fame with a unanimous vote. As for the contract that he signed—that was the result of the way baseball operated at the time. The Angels were freely negotiating with him, and was later revealed, the Marlins had a higher offer for his services. The fact that the Angels never won a postseason game with him was not entirely his fault. That had more to do with the lack of pitching and lack of depth in the organization throughout his time with the Angels. According to Matt Birch, the Angels had a 590-591 record in games in which he appeared. Albert was and is a class act on and off the field. He never whined to the press or complained about the team or its record. I saw him personally interact with fans in meaningful ways, often not in ways that the public could see. He gave us some great moments (my favorite being when he and Trout fired arrows back at Fernando Rodney on July 20, 2014). He hit many milestones with the Angels and ranks in the top-10 in many all-time records for Angels offensive categories. Now that it’s closing time on the Pujols era with the Angels the endless debates about his contract and performance will come to an end. We can and should appreciate him for what he was throughout the entirety of his career, and hope that as we move forward, that the end of his era leads to a better new beginning—one with Walsh at first base and Ohtani as the full-time DH. I wish Albert Pujols all the best in the remainder of his career and look forward to seeing him inducted into the Hall of Fame.
  11. I have been reaching out to the Minor League affiliates and hope to be able to get Zoom interviews with players and coaches throughout the season. If anything good can come from Covid, it's that people are more willing to use Zoom for interviews.
  12. Yep. He even made our Top 30 Prospect List if you want to check out more information on him.
  13. You know, "baseball things"....spitting seeds, chewing, scratching, adjusting. Key skills indeed!
  14. Oh. I read this on my phone and must have skipped over his name. Still a bit surprised by the others. Hernandez in particular could accelerate for a role in the pen by the end of this year.
  15. I hope that he just needs a mental break and needs to figure things out, and that it isn't anything more serious than that. But, I'd like to point out that this is why scouting is still such an integral part of the game and will always be a necessary component. So much of scouting is trying to know more than just the physical tools of a player--it's the mental component. One of my real frustrations with the game and the Angels in particular has been the over reliance on analytics and cutting way back on the scouting component. Good scouts know so much more than just the physical potential, they know how they fit in a team's chemistry and their mental component as well. I hope that Buttrey just needs a couple of days to figure things out and can back to having fun with the game.
  16. Thank you all for the well wishes. The thoughts and prayers are much appreciated. The best part of today at the hospital for me was coming in wearing all Angels gear. Several of the nurses are huge Dodgers fans, so I had plenty of fun giving them the business that we are in first place and the Dodgers are in last place. In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have done that until after the treatment was over, but, it was a lot of fun giving them the business!
  17. Thanks for posting this. There are a couple of players missing whom I thought would be there....Kyren Paris, William Holmes, Aaron Hernandez, Adam Seminaris and Davis Daniel in particular. Hernandez, Seminaris and Daniel could all find their way into bullpen roles, so it would make sense to get them as much work this season as possible.
  18. This is a great and smart move. As I said in my predictions, he will get MVP votes just because he is so useful and makes the team so much better. It looks like Minasian is jumping on the trend of signing young players earlier and paying for their prime years at a reasonable but good rate rather than waiting until later and paying more money for their eventual decline. I am very happy with this move!
  19. John, I appreciate your honesty and respect your feelings. As others have pointed out, this past year, with all the strife and division has really sucked the enjoyment out of a lot of things. Even baseball. But, I'd ask you to listen to my interview with Daron Sutton. While I will very much miss Victor Rojas (hearing him on TV, especially at the start of a season, was like talking with an old friend and catching up). Daron Sutton will be similar, but a bit different. My impression will be that listening to Sutton will be like running into that old friend from high school and retelling all the great old stories, reliving some glory days and enjoying the new times too. In almost every way, 2020 tried to suck the life out of all of us. But, we just have to get back out there and start doing things again, and we will find our enjoyment and passions are still there.
  20. I agree Slegnaac! I think Daron has plenty of other stories that he will be sharing with fans over the course of the season. More importantly, I love his self-depracating style and humor, which will make the games all that much more enjoyable!
  21. Thanks HaloSpurs! I am really looking forward to having Daron call the games. As I said in the interview, he bridges multiple eras in Angels history, which will make for great broadcasts for fans from any era, and will help educate younger fans (such as my sons) on Angels history. It's going to be a fun season!
  22. Thanks for sharing a good story. I wish more former Major Leaguers would take and apply what they Lea Ned to help develop the future of the sport. Good for Tim for doing so.
  23. I truly hate the runner on 2nd rule for extra innings. I get the 7 inning double-headers, but putting a runner on base who didn't earn his way there makes no sense. I get why reporters like that rule--they get to finish their stories and go home earlier, but as a fan, I do not like the rule at all. It gives the visiting team too much of an advantage.
  24. I think you are missing a big part of my article. Yes, we agree that Manfred is a total joke. A real commissioner would do more for the better interests of baseball, and Manfred does not appear to do much for the long-term interests of the game. Sure, I would have loved to have had Pujols on a shorter term deal. We did not get back in value anything near what we thought we would get when we signed him. That is, unfortunate. What I really don't like about this contract, and why I think it's bad for baseball is the timing of the money and the opt-outs. Do you really believe that Bauer won't opt-out of that third year? Does anybody? If the Dodgers can get away with 1 year that is clearly designed to lower the AAV for Bauer, why not offer Turner a 5 year deal with an opt out after each year with payments as follows: $12 million/$10 million/$1 million/$1 million/$1 million. That would have an AAV of only $3 million, so the continued hit under the Luxury Tax would be minimal. No one would expect Turner to stay for those remaining years. Heck, even if he did, by lowering the AAV by that much with those final 3 years, they would save money on the deal versus what they would pay under the Luxury Tax. The Bauer deal sets a very bad precedent. Manfred is too weak to realize this. If he had any gravitas, he would veto the deal and force it to be reworked. As for saying that I wouldn't like the Angels to sign Bauer to this deal, in a response above I discuss why I wouldn't want this deal. You may think otherwise, but I assure you, I don't like setting bad precedents and I wouldn't want Bauer if it meant being unable to afford solving any of our team's other problems.
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