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Dave Saltzer

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Everything posted by Dave Saltzer

  1. Yep. It's just a way to sell more subscriptions. Not that I don't like other writers at the OC Register, it's just, I'd definitely pay for your work. So, they should sell what people want to buy. Or, at least do a limited promo for just the baseball season and the occasional offseason articles that you do. Anyways, keep up the good work this season!
  2. @Jeff Fletcher I hope that this goes well for you. Next year, they should come up with a baseball/sports content package. I wouldn't necessarily want everything from the OC Register, but would buy a package for your content. Have they considered that?
  3. I recently came across an internet meme that said "January 1st, 2020: I didn't stay up late that night for all this shit to happen". And the way this year has gone, nothing could be more true. The good news is that we have baseball coming back. And, thinking about the baseball season, every year, near the end of June, the Angels do a weekend promotion called "Christmas in June". By that logic, that makes it New Years in July!. So, mark tonight down: July 24, 2020. I say we stay up late to celebrate a new New Years Eve to welcome in the baseball season. This year needs a restart and nothing brings everyone together like baseball. Let's get back to posting sick lineups, fantasy trade deals, interesting (possibly worthless) trivia. Game day threads, fan polls, group jokes, etc. Bring it all on. The rest of the year can take care of itself because we have a mad dash to win 60 games! Trout has said he's playing. Ohtani and Canning are on the mound. Maddon is at the helm. Our lineup is the strongest it's been in years. Let's make tonight the official start to 2020 and our (new) New Years Eve! Here's the Joe Maddon's 2020 Opening Day Roster.
  4. If Hollywood hired a writer to write the perfect script for a baseball movie, it couldn’t have done better than what actually happened at Angel Stadium on Friday, July 12, 2019. To set the stage, the Angels were struggling all season long through July 1st, barely holding onto a .500 record. While on the road in Texas, the Angels awoke to the tragic news that their friend, their teammate, their pitcher, Tyler Skaggs had died of an accidental drug overdose in his hotel room. The Angels and Rangers cancelled their game that night, while the team dealt with its grief. The whole team was visibly shaken. Mike Trout tweeted out ““Words cannot express the deep sadness we feel right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with Carli and their families. Remembering him as a great teammate, friend, and person who will forever remain in our hearts… we love you, 45.” Overnight, a memorial, built by fans with flowers, hats, letters, pictures, and posters appeared on the pitching mound in front of Angels Stadium. Everyday, the memorial grew while the Angels finished up their road trip leading up to the All-Star Break. At the All-Star Game, both Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella wore #45 jerseys to honor their teammate. On Friday, July 12th, the Angels opened a homestand with the Mariners. They honored Tyler by having his mother, Debbie throw out the opening pitch. Standing beside her stood Carli, Tyler’s wife, his brother Garret, and stepfather Dan. A visibly emotional Andrew Heaney and Mike Trout carried out a framed Skaggs #45 jersey while every Angels player wore a #45 Skaggs jersey to honor their friend. With the ceremonial 1st pitch, Debbie threw a perfect strike to Andrew Heaney to open the game. Afterwards, she wrote Tyler’s initials on the mound. And then, it was if a guardian angel came down to make this a truly memorial game. Taylor Cole opened the game with a 1-2-3 inning. And then, in the bottom of the first, the Angels offense exploded. They scored 7 runs on 7 hits in the first. Mike Trout drove in 4; two on a homerun and 2 more on a double. The blast travelled 454 feet which was Skaggs’ number forwards and backwards. After Cole pitched two hitless innings, Felix Peña came on in the third and pitched the rest of the way. The combination of these two, was hardly the predictable duo to pitch what happened that night. Cole, had bounced up and down from AAA all season, and Peña rarely had the stamina or control to pitch deep into games. Throughout the emotional crowd, no one wanted to say anything about the magic that was happening before them. In the 6th inning, rookie Matt Thaiss made a spectacular play at 3B, a position he was learning at the Major League level, to record the out. In the 9th, with the crowd on its feet, the Angels made two more spectacular plays to save the no-hitter. The first, against Dee Gordon, was a little nubber that Gordon nearly beat out at first. The second was a smash hit to Luis Rengifo at 2B that for a moment seemed to get away from him, but he recovered to record the out. After the game, the emotions just poured out on the field. The team came together around the mound and one by one took their jerseys off laid them down on the mound, with Skaggs’ name and #45 pointed up to the sky. The symbolism was not lost on the Angels. They knew that they had a guardian angel looking out for them that night, and it showed in many ways. The Angels scored 7 runs in the first, and 13 runs total. Tyler Skaggs was born on 7/13. The combined no hitter was the first combined no hitter in California since 7/13/91—the day that Tyler was born. The Angels collected 13 hits that night. The next day, July 13th, Tyler would have turned 28. The no-hitter that night was the Angels’ 11th no-hitter in franchise history. In high school, Skaggs wore #11. The Angels sent jerseys and balls from the no-hitter to the Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown. Someday they will be on display, and fans can see and learn of the magic of this game. Dee Gordon, the Mariners player best summed up this game when he said “If you don’t believe in God, you might want to start.” If you were there that night, you know he was right. You can watch highlights of this game below. --Check out the full Top-50 Greatest Moments in Angels Baseball feature below--
  5. In response to several questions: Where would they play? I believe Arizona is open for business and we have more than enough fields to handle that many players. We may need to put them up somewhere, but again, I did factor in a budget for doing that. Why so many players? Well, in order to really develop, they need not only drills, but in game experience. To gain that, they need to scrimmage, so, with that many players, they could sign and develop two teams of HS players and two teams of college players to scrimmage and get in-game experience. That would be an extreme number, because they could mix in the Minor Leaguers drafted in the last year or two to continue to develop them. Since not all clubs are going to do this, we would need enough players to have enough for full scrimmages to give as much in-game like experience as we can. What budget has been cut? The scouts and player development people who have been let go. As someone else pointed out, the whole point of doing this is to have the scouts who have the relationships to get players to sign. The money ($20l) won't be enough to get players to sign necessarily. But, the relationships and the commitment to develop the players this year would go a LONG way to convincing plenty of players to sign. As pointed out, there will be a logjam of players next year, making the draft class much larger (and driving down the potential for a high bonus), so having the connections and the commitment to develop this summer, we could probably convince more players to sign with us. While I know that won't happen, it's what I would do if I were running the team.
  6. In addition. To the other pitchers mentioned, I'd be happy with Crochet.
  7. Here's the thing. If Arte hadn't cut the scouting budget, and instead went big on it, we would be in a much better position to identify those who would sign and would bring value. And, if he he went big on committing to pay and develop minor leaguers this summer, he would be in a better position to attract and sign those players. I know that we aren't going to do this, and that he did cut the budget, and I think that we will pay a big price for that down the road. There is talent and opportunity here, and I see us missing out on it.
  8. Thanks ALF. I disagree. I think many players who might go in the later rounds might realize that they will get squeezed over the next few years, and if we committed to not just drafting, but then developing them, might take that opportunity. Most teams won't do much to develop their players until the fall at best. That's going to leave a lot of players falling behind. It's not just about signing the players, it's the commitment to finding a state that is open and developing our players that is what would make the difference. We will need to sign plenty of players to develop those who will make it, but, if we did, that would pay dividends for years to come. I know that we aren't going to do this, and, I find that rather frustrating as a fan.
  9. By @Dave Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer I’ve read the same articles that you have about the Angels cutting scouts prior to the draft, and frankly, have been rather upset by that decision. I think it’s a bit penny wise and dollar foolish. So, I’d like to present an alternative idea that I would implement if I ran the Angels. If it were my team, I’d see this year’s draft as a major opportunity to boost the team for the long term, and not a financial drain and would invest heavily in this year’s draft. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve one heard one voice loud and clear. And that was the voice of my dad. His favorite poem was “If” by Rudyard Kipling. For those who are not familiar with it. It starts off with “If you can keep your head, when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you . . . “ Throughout the shutdown and recent wave of violence and protest, too many people and leaders have been losing their heads. This is not the time to do so. Wisdom says that when others are in a panic, take a breath and look for clarity as to what to do. For the Angels, we should be keeping our eyes on the goal—winning several World Series, especially while we have Mike Trout in his prime. To do that, we need to provide a steady flow of talent to the Major League club from the farm, either directly, or through trades using prospects within our system. This year, in order to save money, baseball, has cut the draft to just 5 rounds. In a panic, many owners decided to “save” money by not spending it. However, they have allowed teams to sign an unlimited number of players to a maximum of $20,000 each. These signing bonuses do not count against the amount a team can spend on its official picks during the draft, so, they are like undrafted free agents. A team can sign as many of these players as they wish. While on the surface a $20k signing bonus doesn’t sound like a lot of money to woo a player away from college, either as a high school senior or a college junior who can return as a senior, I disagree. I have taught many high school baseball players who eventually were drafted and signed. While all of them had signed letters of intent, most never intended to honor those commitments. And this year, I think many more will not honor their commitments if a team made a legitimate offer as I will outline below. The simple reason for it is that many colleges are not likely to have a fall baseball program, and may not even have a spring baseball program. California public colleges have shutdown their fall sports programs, especially for baseball. The coronavirus has many colleges in flux regarding sports, and it is not at all certain how that will affect player development. Athletes have limited shelf lives. Human biology limits the timeline for peak performance. There is no way to regain a lost season or two. Since baseball relies so much on skill development, losing one or two seasons of development could be career ending. And, unlike most other sports, baseball requires team play in order to get the most skill development. Younger athletes, who did not lose out on critical skill development in high school and college will surpass present players who did miss these critical years. So, what if Arte went big on this year’s draft. I’m not just talking about our allotted draft picks. What if after drafting our top picks, Arte went on to sign 50-100 players for a maximum signing bonus? What if Arte retained the scouts to identify those players who would be likely to sign for the maximum bonus and had the connections with those players to close the deal? That would cost between $1-2 million dollars, or the amount we won’t be spending on the second round because we lost that pick due to signing Anthony Rendon. What if after signing these players, Arte committed to paying them to workout and play in a state that is open, such as Arizona? With most teams not having Minor League teams play, Arte could easily get a large amount of coaches to provide much more focused instruction for those players. He could easily bring in our other Minor Leaguers to continue to develop them. With that many players signed, those players could not only have focused daily drills, but could easily be divided up into teams to scrimmage against each other for in-game experience. Arte could easily spend about $500k to fill out a very robust coaching staff for these players. With those kinds of commitments in place, I think that there would be plenty of players who would have to think heavily about signing as an undrafted player with the Angels. Players would have to realize that the real opportunity to grow and develop skills would be much greater than the chance of getting developed next year with the potential for future shutdowns. Furthermore, most players will realize that drafts for the next few years will be much more competitive as there will be plenty of undrafted and unsigned players swelling the draft class. That means the road to a higher signing bonus will be much more difficult, and more players are likely to get less. All of a sudden, an offer like what I’m proposing looks much more like a good “bird in the hand” over all the uncertainty in the future. Finally, any athlete in this year’s pool will have to realize that over the next few years, the drafting philosophy will shift. If MLB returns to a more regular draft in the future (which is not entirely guaranteed, meaning that this year’s draft style could become the “new norm”), most teams will probably overspend on their top five picks on those players who were able to develop and showcase their skills (most likely high school players) and fill out the remaining rounds with underslot bonuses (most likely college seniors who returned for the draft). When looking at that potential, a $20k signing bonus doesn’t look like such a bad deal, especially when coupled with the opportunity to continue to develop this year. Having taught many athletes over the years, I am willing to bet that there are plenty who would readily take the guaranteed offer to develop as I have outlined. While we might not be able to sign top-tiered talent, we could easily get plenty of Major League potential players. We could easily land players who don’t project to go in the first five rounds or so, but nonetheless still will make the majors. Every team has plenty of players who fit that bill. Some have even blossomed into stars. And, every team needs a steady flow of players like that every season to fill roles, replace an injured player, or who might blossom into something greater to help sustain them. With the present cost for 1 WAR on the free agent market being somewhere around $8 million, the strategy that I’m outlining does not sound at all financially foolish. Let’s say Arte truly went big on the draft and spent an extra $2 million to sign 100 players and an extra $500k on the scouts to find and sign all of that talent. Let’s say the cost to operate the Tempe Stadium, to hire a robust coaching staff, and to pay all the players would be an addition $1.5 million. That would be a total expenditure of $4 million, or about half the cost of 1 WAR. I would easily bet that spending that money would net the Angels more than 1 extra WAR over the long term. More important, it would continue our pipeline to develop the players we will need to maintain a championship caliber team. While other players in other organization will lose developmental time, our players would be gaining skills on their peers. The players that we will develop out of such a scenario would be better than their peers from the same time span. They would have more experience and direct coaching. That would give our team a true competitive advantage. And, that’s how teams build championships—taking advantage of the situations that they are given and not losing their heads while all others are. Again, I’m under no delusion that Arte will do this. I’ve read the same reports that you have. I just want to pose an alternative scenario to show what I would do to take advantage of the current situation. And, I am writing this to ask what “If” Arte went big on this year’s draft because I believe if he did, he would be like the ending of the poem “If”, and would do a lot to elevate this team to a championship level.
  10. Yes, I would be rather unhappy about it. This is a pitching heavy draft, and there are and will be plenty of good arms to draft this year. Not that you draft for need, but, I think the chances of a pitcher developing into a better player than a position player, after missing this entire season, and possibly the Minor League season, are greater than what you can get with a position player at our slot. I think the possibility to sign better hitting after the draft is over is greater than to sign pitching. I would love to get Meyer, Detmer, Crotchet, etc.
  11. Interview Conducted by David Saltzer, AngelsWin.com Senior Writer Right about now, I'd do anything to hear baseball. Any baseball. While the coronavirus is nothing compared to what previous generations went through with wars, diseases, etc. I would just like some sense of normalcy during these trying times. I am sure I'm not alone in this feeling. While this situation is affecting us all, it is affecting us in different ways. For baseball, there are a lot of issues to work through. For the players, the teams, the stadium employees, etc. That includes the broadcasters. To help us all get our fix for baseball, and to get some insights into how the coronavirus is affecting people, I reached out to Victor Rojas to get an update from him and to get his perspective on how this disease is affecting him and the baseball season. What I love about Victor is that he's a straight shooter and calls it how he sees it. I find him to be one of the top announcers in the game who regularly reviews and refines his craft. This is a great interview. You may need to turn the volume up a bit (I found out afterwards that the cable and telephone companies were working on service issues in my area afterwards--I apologize for that). We were scheduled for about 5-10 minutes, and Victor and I talked for nearly 30 minutes. Frankly, I would love for it to go more. If, after reading this, you'd like to feel normal by wearing some BigFly gear, you can click here to get some. Right now they are running a 25% off special until MLB plays its first game. While we might not have new baseball games to watch, we can still feel connected to our team and our friends with our gear. And, if Victor does come up with something to do to keep baseball fans going, he will let me know, and I will pass along the message. Be safe and healthy everyone. Victor Rojas Interview March 20 2020.wav
  12. Ettin, Morgan is an all or nothing type hitter. The power is legitimate, but he strikes out a ton. And, as he faces higher level pitching, he will be even more exposed. I would love to see him improve, but his numbers are unsustainable.
  13. Did anyone here go? What did he say? What were your impressions? I was unable to attend, but would like to hear any comments from it. The chalk talks are usually quite enjoyable.
  14. How about we just stay healthy this season and then it should all take care of itself. The pieces are there to have a winning season. They just need to be there for the season in order to make sure it happens. At least we have more depth so that we can absorb an injury than in years past.
  15. It's possible that some of our prospects, that other clubs did not value as highly, step it up and prove themselves worthy of a higher value. Or, they may become more expendable if others step it up in our organization. Our surplus of Of prospects could have plenty of value.
  16. I always enjoy reading your detailed analysis. You have really grown in the depth of evidence and thought in your approaches. In no way would I trade Adell or Marsh. I do, however, see a possible HYPOTHETICAL trade scenario where Boston could unload both Price and Betts, but even then, I wouldn't see them doing it. In order to get the deal done, Boston would have to engineer a 3-way trade with two teams that each need a piece and had a complementing piece to trade back to the other team to offer insurance on the deal. Here is one possible scenario that could work. The Angels need pitching and have a young OF prospect to trade (Adams). The Dodgers are in a win-now mode (with a definite chip on their shoulder for the past few seasons thanks to the Trashtos). The Dodgers have young pitching in the minors. So, imagine if the Angels trade Barria to the Red Sox and get back Price + $20 million ($10 million in years 1 and 2 remaining of Price's deal) to offset the cost. The Dodgers trade Joc Pederson to the Red Sox and receive back Betts. The Angels trade Adams to the Dodgers to provide OF insurance to them if Betts leaves as a FA and the Dodgers trade Josiah Gray to the Angels and $10 million in year 3 of Price's deal. Why this would work is that the Angels get a young future starter who could be ready in a year in case Price does not return to form. The Dodgers get back an OF who could be ready within 2 years in case Betts walks. The Dodgers would get the draft pick, which is quite valuable, and the more valuable of the two players (Betts) hence they are kicking in the remaining cash to get Price's contract down to a more realistic value for the Angels. The Red Sox get what they want--salary relief and something better for Betts than just a draft pick. They get an OF and a pitcher back to fill those spots. Again, I'm not advocating this deal, and I don't see it as likely, but that's about the only way I could see a deal like this working. I don't see the Red Sox going for this deal, but, if they truly want out, that's how I'd see them having to structure the deal.
  17. Yep. And, while Alex Cora may or may not be the common denominator in this for those teams, he would hardly be alone. That level of cheating would have to be systemic in both organizations, and reflect a society and culture that values winning at all costs.
  18. I have a feeling that this will not be the last team exposed as cheaters. MLB needs to come out with extremely harsh penalties for this.
  19. I agree with waiting. I'd put it at a 2 in 5 chance that a trade happens before ST that would most likely affect our list and if not, maybe a 1 in 3 chance that something happens during ST that affects our rankings.
  20. Actually, I think that the bullpen will he slightly above average, but will be a rollercoaster ride throughout the season. Long term, I see it as more of an internal strength as we move several of the younger arms from starting roles to the bullpen. I can easily see several guys moving to the pen and doing much better. But, since they are young, there will be lumps along the way. Hofsckrt will get some time riding the Salt Lake express, but, we have better arms long term.
  21. As always, a good writeup and analysis @ettin. My only comments concern the bullpen. Yes, relief pitching is volatile, and yes, the Angels have been somewhat successful so far without spending outlandishly on the bullpen. But, that doesn't mean that better relievers (and more expensive relievers) wouldn't do better. It's just that with our current team construct, and budget limits, we have determined that it is an area where we will have some savings to field better players (or more expensive players) in other positions. I don't want fans to think that the Angels wouldn't spend on the bullpen if they had the arms to do so (imagine a K-Rod or Harvey in their prime). We would spend to keep them and keep a stronger bullpen. That's just not our current team's construct. At the same time, because bullpen arms are volatile, this is where investing in scouting and working to get better deals with players makes a huge difference. Having that extra million to sign a reliever who has an incredible year can be so beneficial. Having the scouts to identify and target those arms is critical. For so many teams, it's the little deals for an unheralded bullpen piece that has a big impact on the season. That weighs against handing out money like candy to all players. The extra million or two spent on a bad deal often hampers a team from making what could be the right deal for a low level piece.
  22. Thanks for writing this. I always look forward to reading your series and your analysis! My general take is that we need two pitchers and another bat. I expect a major FA pitcher signed, most likely a trade, and a bat, preferably a left-handed one, would be nice. Adding another catcher would be a luxury, and I won't be surprised if a reunion with Maldonado happens. Looking forward to read g your takes.
  23. So this is a new twist from Boras. We don't have the mystery team anymore, we get the mystery player(s)!
  24. I think, if you keep digging, there may be an interview that I did with Kole back at Orem as well. That's where I first spotted him as being a cut above the others on the field.
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