Monday 3/13 Game Notes

The Angels lost 3-1 Monday at Tempe Diablo against their SoCal foe Los Angeles Dodgers.

-Ricky Nolasco pitched 4 innings of ball, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs while striking out 2 batters and walking 1. Nolasco was cruising early, getting ahead with his two seam fastball away from hitters and finishing with either his change up or big 12-6 curve ball. He ran into trouble later in his outing, with his biggest mistake being a hanging breaking ball that Austin Barnes hit out for a 2 run home run. Nolasco is having a fine, boring and unspectacular spring, which is just about how most of his career has gone up to this point. The Angels could do better for a #4 starter but 200 innings of mediocre production isn’t the worst thing for a risky rotation.

-Albert Pujols lined a hanging breaking ball from Kenta Maeda over the left field wall for his 1st home run of the spring. While you never want to get too excited or down about any Spring Training events, it’s a big plus that Pujols is already playing again and producing some big swings. All signs point to him being the Opening Day DH for the Angels.

-Mike Trout didn’t reach base but he absolutely scorched 2 baseballs that were caught on the line. Not that anybody is surprised but Trout already looks like he’s in mid season form.

-Cameron Maybin is still hitless, even though he walked twice today. Maybin’s slow start and Ben Revere’s hot start has unsurprisingly brought talk about who should start in left field this year. Billy Eppler and Mike Scioscia are on the record stating Maybin is the everyday left fielder, and rightfully so after 2 productive years in a row. Ben Revere will find plenty of time this year in a reserve/4th outfielder’s role so fear not fans. Both guys will play.

-We’ve seen it a few times now but Martin Maldonado showed off his elite arm behind the plate several times today. He attempted a backpack on more than one occasion and nabbed a runner on his final attempt. He won’t hit much but his arm, framing abilities and blocking abilities will please a lot of fans in Anaheim this year.

-Jose Valdez punched out 2 hitters in his lone inning of work, flashing his big fastball and sharp slider. Command issues still hold him back but it’s very easy to see the upside with him.

-Kirby Yates tossed another scoreless inning and has yet to allow a run this spring. Yates has had no issues missing bats his past 3 years in the majors with the Yankees and Rays but his poor command and home runs issues have held him back. With a solid 4 pitch mix, he could be a sneaky addition to the bullpen with a little luck and improvement in 2017.

-Brooks Pounders is a gigantic right hander whose role for 2017 isn’t defined yet. He could hypothetically start and relieve, in a role that Billy Eppler has already described. Rather than be a starter or reliever, Pounders could just be a multiple inning pitcher. He throws 4 pitches but only his fastball and slider have shown up so far this spring. We could see Pounders as well as other AAA arms used in a similar role this year.

-Cody Ege is a lefty only reliever so the excitement bar is already low but he’s another sneaky arm. His minor league pedigree is good and he features a filthy, sweeping breaking ball that lefties struggle with. He’ll most likely be an up and down reliever in 2017 but could stick if his minor league results finally translate to the big leagues.

-Eduardo Paredes has been a fun player to follow this spring. A big bodied reliever, he flashes 2 plus pitches, a low-mid 90’s fastball with run and a change up with depth that plays well off his fastball. He won’t get as much attention as fellow prospect Keynan Middleton does but he could be quick riser and reach Anaheim this year.

 

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