The MLB Trade Rumors Podcast has relaunched! Simon Hampton is now your host, and we’re very excited to bring the new show to you every week.
Episode 2 is now live on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and wherever you get your podcasts! Make sure you subscribe as well; use this link to find the show on Spotify and this one for Apple. You can also use the player at this link to listen, if you don’t use Spotify or Apple for podcasts.
This week, host Simon Hampton is joined by Steve Adams to discuss a wide range of topics around the baseball world:
- A look at the Rays hot start to the season, and why they’re impressing (1:03)
- As Grayson Rodriguez debuts for the Orioles, Taj Bradley is called up to the Rays, and a raft of other highly touted young players make their mark on the season, we take a look at whether the new top prospect service time rules are working (7:47)
- The Angels have made a solid start to the season, and with a deeper lineup and a promising rotation is this finally the year they get back to the playoffs? Or will their bullpen hold them back? (13:21)
Plus, we answer your questions, including:
- Who will be a surprise seller at the deadline, and who’s a surprise player that could be made available? (18:33)
- Is Gary Sanchez the answer to providing a bit more thump in the Giants’ lineup? (23:08)
- How will Francisco Alvarez do with the Mets? Will he force his way into the starting lineup on a regular basis, or will the Mets wind up sending him back to Triple-A and bringing in an external catcher? (25:55)
The podcast intro and outro song “So Long” is provided courtesy of the band Showoff. Check out their Facebook page here!
The Angels bullpen is fine. Far from the worst of playoff contenders.
Hitting and pitching is not enough to be be an elite team. MLB is not rotisserie league. Teams “get hot” when they play smart baseball.
Their defense, baserunning, situational hitting, and doing the little things will have to improve. Can’t just throw their stats out on the field and win games. Those guys have to learn to play with one another – which all teams that rotate players around positions have to overcome. In some of their recent games too many of their players have somewhere else mentally. At least they don’t throw the ball around the field like the White Sox do.
I just finished listening to the podcast. I enjoyed it. The great thing about podcasts is you can glean so much more by listening to them speak than reading their words. Inflection counts.
The problem with the Angels pen is this:
1) They have already blown three games. Those loses are banked. Those are three wins they will never get back.
2) Last year, if you include location, no one other than Herget had solid stuff plus numbers, and even Herget didn’t rank in the top 80 RPs. So the Angels are going into every game where the other teams RPs typically have two or three better RPs with better stuff.
Now if it’s a close game, that’s the equivalent or a team’s number four starter going against a team’s #1 or #2 starter. You’ll end up on the losing end more often than not. Which is exactly what happened, and I hope it doesn’t continue to happen.
The Angels should have done more this off-season to address their bullpen issues. That’s by far the Angels biggest issue.
They can improve their defense easily. Don’t play Rengifo. And don’t play Drury at first base. And they signed Fletcher to that contract for a reason.
Just to add, Rengifo is once again last on the Angels in Outs Above Average.
If they can get anything of value for him, they should trade him. Take away that one anomalous month, Rengifo doesn’t even rise to the level of a mediocre hitter. And he’s always been a horrible fielder.
As a person, I have nothing against the guy. He’s just hasn’t been any good.
I always say, Rengifo is an error waiting to happen. I always say, don’t trade from your major league roster, unless you have you have someone to take over that spot. Or you are tanking and going full rebuild. Rengifo and Stassi are the Angels best trade options. But is what you can get back for them, better than what you already have? Stassi, the Angels will have to eat at least 60% of his contract. To get anything of value in return. Need to start looking at options now, to improve the team. Rather wait until nothing can be done
Roster spots are valuable. Fletcher and Rengifo are redundant pieces. You don’t need both. That’s a roster spot. You can’t trade Fletcher because of his contract. So if you can get something for Rengifo, ship that something to AAA, you gotta do it.
Davidson, Suarez and Barria are redundant pieces. Preferably all three would have options, but none of them do. It was a big mistake for Minasian to acquire a player with no options. That trade cost the Angels Wantz for the next ten days.
And what if Canning pitches well? You can’t send down any of those three above. And what happens when Stassi comes back? You can’t trade him because of his contract.
These are massive mistakes by Minasian that many fans overlook.
I never had a problem with Fletcher contract. Still don’t. Fletcher can pretty much play anywhere and give you top level defense at each spot.
Stassi, I wanted him traded before last season. It wasn’t smart to give a over 30 year old catcher with hip issues, a contract extension.
Davidson Stassi and Rengifo need to be packaged, to a team like the Rockies. Eat 60% of Stassi contract. See if we can get either of the Rockies first base prospects in return. I’ll take it. Barria, I trust more than any other long relief options the Angels have
There was really no need for the Fletcher contract. And it locks a roster spot that didn’t need to be locked.
I was the only one I know who said this might not be a good deal for the Angels.
The problem is both Rengifo and Drury are below average fielding second baseman that can hit and Fletcher is above average but can’t hit! Once Walsh returns the overall defense and offense will improve and then U could look at potential trades for Rengifo. I do like his improved plate discipline and walk ratio but he is an error just waiting to happen! Unless U can get a significant arm for him their is no real reason to move him! Late inning pen is shakey to say the least! Was hoping at 7.5 million Moore would be a late inning reliever but so far that’s a no go! We way over paid considering Loop, Tepera and Moore’s are middle inning relievers! Combined that is 23 million and none of them can really close!
Outside of Rengifo’s fluke month, what makes you think he can hit?
He had one month where he hit almost 400 on BABIP. Other than that month, he aspires to be mediocre.
U R spot on regarding relievers ability to perform from year to year! Believing Herget who was a waiver claim would have the same type of performance this year has blown up in our face! U can’t hand Moore 7.5 million to be a middle inning reliever? When Walsh is back our lineup is top 5 in baseball.. Canning will help but Suarez should never have been counted on as our 5th starter! He is only effective when the season is lost and the games are meaningless! Suarez has NEVER performed well in meaningful games! Canning is our new fifth starter and Davidson can fill in when we need a 6th! Suarez should not start another game for the Angels! When he is our starter we lose 83 percent of those games! We need another potential closer Perry!
Since RPs have a small sample size, it’s better to look their stuff. Fangraphs has stuff+. That tells you a lot more than ERA.
The best way to build a strong bullpen is to not use them. Us Angel fans are far too familiar with overtaxing the bullpen. From shoddy starting pitching to scoring 2 runs a game, the Halo bullpen has been strained season after season.
Over this incredible Rays run, how many saves does Fairbanks their closer have? 2. He’s pitched a total of 4 innings. Total.
The first step for helping the Halo bullpen is to flex the lineup muscle (as it was built that way) and score some early runs. Consistently. That’ll give the starters more flexibility to go into the 6th or 7th innings. Obviously the longer the starters can go, the more rest for the bullpen. This is especially key for a 6th man rotation. The starters need to get that work in.
Hitters hit, early. Put the ball in play. Starters get their work in. Bullpen rests as much as possible and are ready when called upon.
Teams like the Rays master this.
If you have a six man rotation and can’t routinely get starters through seven innings minimum, your rotation is pretty much a failure.
Angels & NL West
77, Gerrit Cole has averaged 6 innings per start the past three years in the Bronx. The Yankees should add a 6th SP so he, and all Yankees SPs, can routinely pitch through the 7th. Why not add a 7th SP so everyone will throw complete games?
The Yankees rotation is a trainwreck. The only reliable starters they have are Cole and Cortes. They need to worry about getting three or four good SP. Not 5 or 6.
“For the Angels to be a playoff team, they need to improve their defense and Bullpen. Neither one will be easy to do. Because there will be at least 25 teams looking to do that same thing.”
This isn’t fantasy league. A team can’t go out and trade every time they have a shortcoming.
The Angels improved their bullpen – and starting pitching – last year due to good coaching and having players that worked with the coaches. It’s the job of the manager, coaches, along with the analytical and video analysts to make the players they have under contract better as the season goes along. All the teams that made the playoffs on 2022 did just that.
I understand this isn’t a Fantasy league. I don’t even play fantasy anything. When it came to pitching, the Bullpen was the biggest problem last year. They added 2 borderline relievers. And hope it works out. There were other more established options available in FA. They either didn’t try to get them. Or those players had no interest. Either way, it seemed from a fans perspective, that they didn’t care or try. Now they went out and improved a pathetic lineup they had last . The season is barely 2 weeks in. The Angels have 3 blown saves. The Angels need to try to win, at least 80% of the games, they are winning when the starter gets pulled. Right now, with the Bullpen they have, they will be lucky enough to win 50% of those games.
1. Fans always want teams to spend, spend, spend – on a FA coming off a good year. Paying retail for a FA coming off a good year is a waste of money more times than not. If anything, I have concerns about the Matt Moore signing.
2. Bullpen pitchers change from year-to-year more than any other part of a MLB team. Organizations have to develop their own. That’s what the good bullpens do (Astros, Rays, Guardians, now Orioles, etc.).
3. Logan O’Hoppe is the best young player I’ve seen so far this season. The trade in which they gave up Marsh is one of the best win-win trades I’ve seen in years. O’Hoppe looks like this years version of Adley Rutschman. The way he works with pitchers is sensational. He’ll need a bit of time to adjust to major league hitters and work with the staff. Gubicza said that when the Angels made the trade he asked a scout he knows about O’Hoppe. The scout told him that Angels had gotten a future star. It seems that way to me. Pitchers are supported by their defense – especially their catcher that’s their partner.
4. As I wrote above…..
There are a lot of new ballplayers on that team including O’Hoppe. Give them 6-8 more weeks of playing together before getting all bent out of shape.
A podcast!!! That is so exciting, this will make my commute once a week way more enjoyable 🙂
Angels & NL West
fwiw, the Angels are playing at a 94 win pace.
And those are three loses in the bank they will never get back.
Good outing yesterday though.
Don’t like the plate discipline of Alvarez. Ned’s a lot of work
He swings at everything. And all of MLB knows that, so yes, he really needs to work on that
The rays are good, you can say they’re cleaning up against weak teams so far, but, that’s what a good squad is SUPPOSED to do. And most good teams still drop at least a couple games to low pct opponents.
Then again, they’ve also gotten some help along the way here and there – and again, seized on the miscues.
As the bloom-damaged red sox fell for the 12th consecutive time in the trop (a road-losing-streak not seen since the mid 1960s), Cora pulled a few head scratches out of his hat.
The experienced 1B, Dalbec, was the SS. The more experienced SS, Chang, was playing 1B. Both had costly defensive miscues accordingly.
Why they would make that alignment? Dunno. Makes no sense.
Simon and team, I have enjoyed both episodes. Keep up the great work.
Imagine if the Angels pay Othani 40-50 mil/year. Between Trout, Rendon and Othani….3 guys clogging up more than half of their current payroll….thats insane.
Certainly doable if you have a productive farm system.
No Gary Sanchez isn’t the answer. Letting Joey Bart play is the answer. Stop batting him at the bottom of the lineup and put some protection behind him. The strikeout issues are teamwide, that’s a coaching problem, not a player problem.