Monday, May 10, 2004

(Take Two on getting this posted; thank you, Blogger re-design.)

The rest of the Angel blogosphere has the skinny on the weekend's injuries and moves. So let's focus on Casey Kotchman, who's here to make Erstad the next Wally Pipp. The jump from AA to the AL is a big one, and I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed if Kotchman doesn't quite take on his first tour of duty.

However, from one game, he appears to be a slick defender with a smooth swing. He didn't do too badly at the bat, once you consider he was playing on no sleep. He hit one ball hard for a sac fly, though in his other at-bats his timing appeared off. At no point did he seem overmatched or out-of-place. Kudos to the Angels for doing something daring for once.

However, the recent injury plague does cause concern as we start our first East Coast sojourn of the season. Taking on the Yankees short-handed does not seem like it's going to be much fun. But the results of the last few weeks are encouraging. Yes, you're supposed to take care of "teams" like Detroit and Tampa Bay, but "taking care of" is usually winning two of three or three of four, not necessarily laying down the broom. The fact that the club has taken care of business even with injuries is encouraging and impressive; it's also worth noting that the last few weeks have also seen a sweep of Oakland and a series victory in Minnesota.

On a completely random note, how useless is Ramon Ortiz right now? Let's say it's the top of the ninth and you lead by four. Your star reliever has already gone one-and-a-third sterling innings, and you're playing the worst team, well, ever. Do you think about putting in your demoted starter, just to get him acclimated to pitching him in relief, and letting him work in the lowest of low-leverage situations?

If you're Mike Scioscia, of course not. He kept in Frankie K. to make the Devil Ray "hitters" look more pathetic than usual, and Ortiz never even warmed up. Hey, I'm not complaining; Rodriguez has plenty of time to recover before the Yankee series, and it's not like Ortiz is worth pitching, ever.

But it makes you wonder how long his carcass is going to wither away on the roster.

About the Ortiz.
He's supposed to be some what emotional. So maybe Big Mikey is just giving him some quiet time to hisself. Also the Angel's can't do two of one things. I can't see the Ortiz getting miles for the trip to Salt Lake (think brain food). And anyway who would trade for Ramo----wait, wait right there------Ramon...rayMon...Montre....Rico ...Rays.....I got it....The San Juan Manta Rays or some other team with AAA credentials. Must think good thoughts, must think good thoughts.

RE: Erstad. This might be a bit premature on my part, but in a way, I'm hoping The Punter (hee, love that) is toast for a while. Give Kotchman a good run at 1B and see where he's at. If he is the "first baseman of the future", let's find out how soon that future is going to be.

For the first time, um, well, ever, (Angels fan since 1974), I'm not worried about the future when this core starts to fade away so much. Bengie > Mathis, Kennedy > Specht and (blanking on the 3B Of The Future) looks good, so the Angels might not be one-year wonders this era.
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