Mike Hampton, a left-handed starter who accumulated 148 wins over 16 big league seasons, is returning to baseball as a pitching coach in the Angels minor league system. MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez writes that Hampton will join the staff of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. Here's more on the Halos, as well as their NL counterparts in Los Angeles:
- Manager Don Mattingly did not see Aaron Harang as an option for the Dodgers' bullpen even before the righty's rough outing today, and that could make Harang a trade candidate, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports. “Harang doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that pitches out of the pen,” says Mattingly. “To me he’s more of a guy that paints. He keeps you in the game. He’s just not that guy that’s going in and overpower you.” After the acquisitions of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitching.
- Mattingly could see other starters (like Chris Capuano, who has also been pushed down the rotation depth chart), in bullpen roles, A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com explains.
- With Harang and the rest of the Dodgers' rotation candidates (excluding Ryu) out of minor-league options, and with the bullpen seemingly an unlikely landing spot, the veteran seems aware that his time in Los Angeles could soon end, reports Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times. "There's all sorts of scenarios out there right now, and if guys are traded, we're all starters," said Harang. He went on to explain that he had to maintain the mental approach of a starter: "If we do get sent somewhere else and they want us to be a starter, we can't have the mind-set of, 'Oh I'm going to be a reliever now.' "
- Former Nationals closer Chad Cordero, on the comeback trail with the Angels after nearly two years away from the game, aspires to return to closing, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com writes. Cordero's infant daughter died in 2010, and the Blue Jays released him in May 2011. Cordero, who's still only 30, last pitched in the majors with the Mariners in 2010.
- While there is some history for pre-arbitration players coming off of outstanding years to receive salaries substantially greater than league minimum, Mike Trout has little leverage, writes Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register. Fletcher goes on to note that "there doesn't seem to be much incentive on either side" to explore a long-term extension at the moment, with the Angels having "enough money that they can afford to wait on Trout" to ensure that "he is as good as his first year showed." For his part, Trout stated that he is "not even thinking about that now."
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.