Los Angeles Notes: Selig, Kuo, Kendrick, Trumbo

It was on this day in 2004 that Alex Cora (then with the Dodgers) engaged the Cubs' Matt Clement in an epic at-bat.  In the bottom of the seventh, Cora fouled off 14 consecutive pitches from Clement before finally sending the 18th pitch of the at-bat over the fence for a two-run homer.  Los Angeles went on to win the game 4-0, and Cora went on to hit a career-high 10 home runs that season.

Some news items from both of Los Angeles' teams…

  • Commissioner Bud Selig said the outcome of MLB's investigation into the Dodgers' finances is not "predetermined," as Frank McCourt claimed weeks ago.  "We wouldn't have to go through all this if it was predetermined. I'm doing it because I think it is the right thing to do," Selig said.  Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times has the full transcript of Selig's remarks to the media.
  • Hong-Chih Kuo's agent says his client isn't considering retiring due to his latest bout with "the yips," reports Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.  Kuo was put on the disabled list yesterday with anxiety disorder.  The left-hander has an 11.57 ERA in 4 2/3 innings of work with the Dodgers in 2011 after posting a 1.96 ERA over the previous three seasons.
  • This is Kuo's second bout of the yips in his career, and the fact that he has overcome these issues before is a good sign, Pirates broadcaster Steve Blass tells Ken Gurnick.  Blass would know — the yips became known as "Steve Blass Disease" in the early 1970's when Blass went from one of the Bucs' top starters to unable to throw the ball over the plate.
  • Howie Kendrick's hot start is largely due to such unsustainable peripheral stats as a .396 BABIP, writes Chris Cwik of Fangraphs.  However, as Cwik notes, "Even with the regression, Kendrick might post the most valuable season of his career."   
  • The Angels are keeping calm over the news that Kendrys Morales will be out of the season, reports MLB.com's Lyle Spencer.  "It messed us up last year when we lost Morales," said Torii Hunter.  "It was a huge blow. We didn't know how we'd replace him, and we struggled all year with it…This year, we've adjusted. He's not here. We've played without Kendrys now."  Mark Trumbo will get the bulk of the playing time at first base and while Trumbo is inexperienced, as Spencer recalls, "few experts thought Morales could replace Mark Teixeira" at first for the Halos in 2009.

24 Responses to Los Angeles Notes: Selig, Kuo, Kendrick, Trumbo Leave a Reply

  1. jeffbrown 4 years ago

    How do you hit something over a fench? Seriously, proofread.

    • Maybe Sean Connery stopped by? 

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Was it really THAT big of a deal? I didn’t even see it until I read you’re comment. 

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      What exactly is a fench? lol 

      • SoCalAngelsFan75 4 years ago

        Per Merriam-Webster, fench (noun): a barrier a ball is hit over after an at least 14 pitch at bat.

        Therefore, if it’s under 14 pitches then it’s only a fence.
        I love this site!

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      How do you not realize that these guys do a great job and try and post this stuff as soon as possible? Seriously, relax. 

    • stl_cards16 4 years ago

      I get on a few sports blogs. Multiple sports/teams.  MLBTR does by far the best posts.  You very rarely see an error like that.  These guys do an amazing job for how quick they get the news on the site.  I bet they would give you a refund if it’s that big of an issue. 

    • 55saveslives 4 years ago

      You’re always welcome to start your own FREE blog and proofread on your own!!

  2. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    “…and Cora went on to hit a career-high 10 home runs that season.”

    That’s disappointing.

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      How so? Cora’s forte was playing a slick middle-infield, not power hitting. That at-bat was a thing of beauty.

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        Not everything is written to be taken seriously. 

  3. 5_tool_MiLB_fool 4 years ago

    i was at that game! and did you say fench? 

  4. CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

     How did these get on here? I thought they blocked you from putting up any links

  5. JacksTigers 4 years ago


  6.  Tough news about Kuo, I hope he gets things worked out.  You never want to hear about a guy who can’t throw a ball for non-physical reasons.  Just another reminder that these guys aren’t machines.

    I’m predicting some major Fielder to the Angels rumors if the Brewers don’t get back in to contention in the next few months.  I think they will given the upgrades to their rotation in the offseason, too much talent for them to stay down too long.  But if not, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..

    • BlueSkyLA
      BlueSkyLA 4 years ago

      A relief pitcher out with a case of with the yips, a third baseman out with a staph infection in his elbow, a shortstop out with a broken thumb, a left fielder out with blurred vision. Coming soon: a catcher abducted by aliens.

  7. JacksTigers 4 years ago


  8. Thurman8er 4 years ago

    I watch darn near every Angels game every year and I can tell you this:  Howie Kendrick is no fluke.  What BABIP doesn’t tell you is how hard those ball are hit that are in play.  Last year I watched Howie hit the ball HARD way more often than not, but right at people.  This year’s hits have not been bloopers and bleeders. 

    Will the BABIP come down?  Sure.  But I do believe he is headed for a career year.  All Howie does is hit the ball hard.

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      2010 was somewhat of deceiving season for Howie Kendrick. It seems like a lot of people who were criticizing him were missing the fact that he tied Bobby Abreu with the team lead in doubles with 41. I can understand people wondering what happened to the batting title he’s supposed to win, but I think Kendrick showed last season that he also has the makings of being a run producer as well. Not exactly a #3 hitter, but he provides an extra clutch bat with quite a few extra base hits for the kind of player he is. Either way, it looks like things are coming together for him in 2011.

  9. How do the Angels pull Productive players out of their asses at first base like Morales and Trumbo while the Rangers have been struggling at First since they traded Tex??
    Rangers have had super prospects at first and havent panned out while the Angels just stick in the guy they had at AAA 

    • bjsguess 4 years ago

      It’s not like Morales was some chump. When he signed with the Angels many scouts considered him the best positional player to ever come out of Cuba.

      As for Trumbo the dude put up an OPS near 1000 last year. He’s always had big power – 2010 was no exception when he hit 35 HRs. 2009 was a down year but 2008 saw 32 long balls. He was never high on prospect lists due to his age and reluctance to take a walk. Something clicked in his age 22 season and he finally started to show what he could become.

      I’m still not sold that he will be good enough to start for the Angels long-term. I see a 260 with 25 HR’s. Low OBP, below average glove/baserunner. Great guy to have with Morales out but not the type of player you want to build around.

      Finally, you had a 1st baseman but traded him away. Smoak is finally turning things around. Doubt he’ll play this well all year but the guy was solid in the minors and is certainly capable of turning into a solid MLB 1st baseman.

      • ryankrol 4 years ago

        Adrian Gonzalez produced at the roughly the same exact rate and had an even lower OBP during his rookie season. After being intentionally walked twice in a row the other night, I think it might be safe to say that the league is starting to respect Trumbo’s power. Sure it also had to do with Jeff Mathis hitting behind him, but how often do teams really allow an IBB to the #7 hitter?

    • ryankrol 4 years ago

      Tex isn’t the only slugging first baseman the Rangers have traded away. Something tells me that while the accomplishments of Josh Hamilton over the past few years have been quite amazing and fun for MLB to watch, right now both New York and Boston have former Rangers prospects manning first base while the Rangers are stuck with a hole at first, and with a center piece who is very prone to injury (Hamilton). Perhaps if Texas had the money 5 years ago (that they have now), the rest of the AL West would be in big trouble. The Angels keep coming up with slugging first basemen because they have a good farm system, and (quite frankly) the organization learned a big lesson from sacrificing so much young talent in the 70’s and 80’s in order to “win now.” Instead, they’ve built a path for long term success by keeping a lot of their prospects. There is one team I look to as a reference as to why teams should just hold on to their young talent, and invest in their future: the Cleveland Indians during the 1990’s — and I’m not just talking about Belle, Thome, and Manny, I’m mainly talking about guys like Burnitz, Sexton, and Giles. 

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