Angels Bats Are Back, but I Have Questions about the Rotation

The Angels continue to hit in spectacular fashion, both those you would expect and those you would not expect. 39 hits and 31 RBIs in the last three games, even with the loss to Milwaukee? Whooooo hooooo! Granted, batting averages don’t really count for much in Spring Training because the pitching takes so long to get into season shape and the number of minor league pitchers each batter sees. However, the bats seem to be warming up more as the pitching warms up and this I will take as a hopeful sign for the season.

Starting rotation issues, however, are giving me concerns where I did not expect to have any just two weeks ago. Now it sounds like Joel Pineiro will spend a few days on the DL at the beginning for the season. I understand. I want him to pitch strong for as much of the season as he can and back precautionary decisions especially now before the season starts. So much for the 4th rotation spot, for now…though after Scott Kazmir’s last start, who knows?

Which brings us to our 5th starting rotation spot…well…How do you solve a problem like Scott Kazmir? And, yes, that did emerge from my head set to a Rodgers and Hammerstein approved tune. Thanks – or blame, depending on your point of view – to Red State Blue State. I wanted Kaz to regain his old form. I was really pulling for him. There were hopefully signs in several of his Spring Training starts – more control in one game, more strikes thrown in another, more consistency, etc. But it never all came together in one game, which in and of itself already has overtones of 2010. Then, on Thursday against the Brewers, he incurred eight hits and ten runs in five innings pitched. Owwwww-ch. And yet it still sounds like Kaz is our 5th starter. Which leaves us where exactly? Praying for rain every 5th start? That would be one baseball tradition I would prefer not to embrace.

Matt Palmer did pretty well today, pitching to contact with the infield and outfield living up to their capabilities. Hmmm…is he an alternative plan or is he bullpen bound, no ifs, ands or buts? Oh well, I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday after the game, when Mike Scioscia has promised he will announce the starting rotation, the 25 man roster and the opening day starters…because waiting for Wednesday evening would have been too last minute, she says with extreme affection.

In other news, preparing to buy tickets for a few games in Northern California has given me a renewed appreciation for buying Angels tickets down here in Southern California. On Stubhub you pay more than full price for even generic Giants and A’s tickets. Even now before the season has started. It is actually better to go through Ticketmaster for Giants and A’s tickets. The horror!! The Big A is so large and enough of our season ticket holders so unable to attend every game, that I can usually grab tickets at season ticket prices or even cheaper now or the week of the game off Stubhub or Craig’s list. Games against the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers are notable exceptions to this rule. But even so, wow. I had no idea I was so spoiled, but I’ll take it!


  1. raysrenegade

    Matt Palmer has been one of those guys I have been looking forward to the Angels possibly giving more “responsibility” to in 2011. We already know he can handle the MLB pressure from his relief appearances, maybe it is time for him to that that giant leap into a rotation slot.
    I think he will do a great job, and maybe Kaz can go into the Bullpen as a long reliever and work on some things, adjust his delivery and re-develop himself into a threat again.

    Rays Renegade

  2. blithescribe

    Jane – LOL, sorry. I didn’t intend to pass the earworm on to others. I know, I remember how great Kaz was for the Rays. I keep hoping it all just falls back into place for him but we don’t have a lot more time.
    Rays Renegade – I would sure like to see what Palmer can do. And the bullpen could be a great place for Kaz to find himself again, but if he’s going to be a relieve he needs to learn to lock in right away instead of being wild for the first few batters.
    — Kristen

  3. Michael David

    I’m suprised Kazmir is struggling. He should break out a be a solid starter, and here’s hoping he does. StubHub..hmm…I guess it’s not considered scalping if you create a web site and jack the price up there. I got my tix for the BoSox/Tigs game and all they’re just a print out, not even real tickets. There’s a full page in the ol’ scrap book.
    ‘Minoring In Baseball’

  4. blithescribe

    Mike – I’m surprised he’s still struggling, that’s for sure. Thank you for that! Print tickets over “real” tickets was a rough adjustment, even though it’s convenient. I won’t use Stubhub like a scalper. When I go there it’s for a bargain.
    Jeff – Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. I love musicals and theatre in general, but having the Sound of Music stuck in my head was definitely RSBS’s “fault,” he he. I don’t want five Jered Weavers, but two would be awfully nice – two Jared Weavers, Dan Haren, the ’10 Ervin Santana and healthy Joel Pineiro with a consistently sinking sinker. Is that really too much to ask?
    — Kristen

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