Tag:Mike Napoli
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:27 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:29 am

Year has not been kind to Angels' bats

Torii Hunter
The Orange County Register points out that Wednesday is the one-year anniversary of a historic feat, and provides a reminder of how much things have changed for the Angels.

After a 5-4 victory over the Indians last August 18, all nine batters in the Angels lineup had a batting average of .300 or better (you can see the box score here ). It was the first time a team had been in that situation since the 1934 Tigers.

A year later, not one of those nine players is batting .300. Here's the lineup, with last year's August 18 average and their current average:

Chone Figgins (now with Seattle) .308/.251
Bobby Abreu .310/.266
Juan Rivera .310/.257
Vladimir Guerrero (now with Texas) .313/.297
Kendry Morales .303/.290
Torii Hunter (pictured) .307/.290
Maicer Izturis .300/.249
Mike Napoli .300/.254
Erick Aybar .313/.271

Explains a lot about how the Angels were 5 1/5 games up in the American League West then and 8 1/2 back now.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:56 pm

Should Angels look to sell?

Angels general manager Tony Reagins met with manager Mike Scioscia and the team's coaching staff for 45 minutes following the team's 7-3 loss to the Red Sox. It's probable they didn't spend that time lamenting Derrek Lee's decision not to go west.

According to the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett, neither Reagins nor Scioscia would publicly say the team is giving up on 2010.

"I don't like labels," Reagins told Plunkett. "What I would say is we're going to look to improve. If we can, we will."

Said Scioscia, "There's nobody who feels were'' out of this."

Or perhaps, there's nobody who will say it. The team lost starter Joel Pineiro for six to eight weeks with an oblique injury. Pineiro is 10-7 with a  4.18 ERA in 20 starts this season.

With Wednesday's loss, the Angels dropped to 52-52, nine games behind the Rangers in the American League West. The Angels are now 12 games back in the wild card, behind six teams.

After making some of the most aggressive moves in the post-Cliff Lee trade market by acquiring Dan Haren and Alberto Callaspo.

The Angels gave up former pinch-starter Sean O'Sullivan in the trade with Kansas City. In the Haren deal, the team gave up lefty Joe Saunders and Triple-A right-hander Rafael Rodriguez. Los Angels also gave up three Class A pitchers between the two moves. That's a lot of arms that the team could hope to replenish with some other moves.

The team could move third baseman Brandon Wood, who is being labeled as a disappointment and a "former" prospect, after hitting .168/.185/.225 in 57 games for the Angels this season. Wood is 25 and once ranked the third-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America.

Veterans Brian Fuentes, Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli could also be moved to bolster the minor league system.

The Angels have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 30, 2010 10:50 am
Edited on: June 30, 2010 10:51 am

Stars skipping Derby

Josh Hamilton Could the Home Run Derby be going the way of the NBA's Slam Dunk Contest?

At the NBA's All-Star weekend, the league flies in a collection of bench players, nobodies and Knicks to fill out its skills competition, including the dunk contest. This year's participants were Nate Robinson, DeMar DeRozan, Shannon Brown and Gerald Wallace -- not exactly LeBron James or Kobe Bryant.

Baseball's best are turning down the Home Run Derby as quickly as James will declined joining the Los Angles Clippers when NBA free agency opens at midnight tonight. So far, Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols and Vladimir Guerrero have publicly said they don't want to participate. Even Angels catcher Mike Napoli has said he doesn't want to participate.

So far, the only taker has been the Angels' Reggie Willits, who has as much of a chance of making the All-Star team as former White Sox minor leaguer Michael Jordan. Willits, by the way, has zero home runs in 871 big-league plate appearances.

"I'll do it," Willits joked to the Orange County Register 's Bill Plunkett . "My swing is the last thing I'd be worried about -- it's my pride."

Others, though, are worried about their swing.

"For some guys who have the approach that I'm trying to use now, it might have a negative effect -- guys who don't have an uppercut in their swing or who swing down on the ball," Hamilton, who two years ago put on one of the great Derby shows of all-time told the paper.

Bobby Abreu is the poster child for skipping the event. In 2005, he had 18 home runs at the break and then won the event with a record 41 homers. He hit six the rest of the season.

"I understand very well why they say no," Abreu, now an Angel, told the Register . "It takes a lot of out of you. Your hands, your fingers get sore. When it happened to me, I was tired. I hit 41. That's not counting all the swings you take that aren't home runs. I don't know how many swings I took."

Even Napoli, who has 14 homers, said he'd prefer not to participate.

"It always seemed that after I did one, I struggled for awhile," Napoli said. "It affects your swing. I did one in Double-A and went like, 9 for 90 after that. Let the superstars do it."

When it comes down to it, superstars can -- and likely will -- turn down the assignment, so it may be left to the secondary stars.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com