C.J. Cron Sent to AAA

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This season could be the last chance for C.J. Cron to cement himself as part of the core of the Angels. For the third straight year, the young slugger is off to a really slow start, and can’t stay healthy enough to play a full season.

Cron has pretty much split his 2017 playing time with Jefry Marte, who had a .609 OPS in 91 plate appearances when this move was made, while Cron was at .586 in 90 times in the batter’s box.

Granted, .609 isn’t very good either, but its more than what C.J. was providing. He’s is likely to stay at AAA Salt Lake for a while to get himself right.

Minor league journeyman utility player Nolan Fontana was called up to replace Cron on the 25-man roster. Fontana is simply filler at second base while Danny Espinosa is struggling.

Although that may also mean a trade is in the works.

Angels Sign Doug Fister

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Mar 3, 2016; Clearwater, FL, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Doug Fister (58) throws a pitch in the second inning the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Details of Fister’s Contract

Fister will be paid a salary of $1.75 million upon being called to the Majors. In the minors he will receive $100,000. Both are pro-rated based on service time. If he makes 20 starts, he could receive up to an additional $1 million in incentives, and up to $200,000 for 45 relief appearances.

There is also an opt-out for June 21 if Fister is not called up by that time.

As for the corresponding move, it didn’t come until the Angels finally announced the signing two days after the move was originally reported.

Andrew Bailey was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. During a bullpen session. Bailey felt a twinge in his shoulder where inflammation landed him on the DL. No timetable has been set for the former star closer’s return.

 

ORIGINAL REPORT

After several days of news outlets speculating and reporting that he was close to signing, veteran right-gander Doug Fister has a agreed to a Major League contract with the Angels. The journeyman starter agreed to begin his season in the minors as a sort of late spring training to get himself ready.

Fister has seen his ERA go up the last two seasons to 4.64 in 180 innings in 2016 with the Houston Astros. That’s mainly attributed to hike in his walk rate. His velocity has dipped into the high 80’s range while still able to get over 90. But with Martin Maldonado behind the plate, a pitcher friendly ballpark, and Charles Nagy turning several of his uncertain pitchers around by having them utilize two-seam fastballs in place of four-seamers, this may very well be the right place for Fister to contribute and rebuild his value.

Or, his percentages continue to climb. Either way, the Halos have found a starter who can give them innings.

Fister probably won’t be with the big club until June, which gives current starters time to step up and save their spots if needed. The one arm that Fister would likely replace as of right now would be Alex Meyer. Or, if Meyer and others perform well, Fister could also serve as an additional multi inning reliever out of the bullpen.

So regardless of whether or not Fister performs as a starter, there are plenty of options.

Andrew Bailey Transferred to 60-Day DL

The corresponding move to the Doug Fister signing didn’t happen until the Angels officially announced the move two days after it was originally reported. Andrew Bailey was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster. During a bullpen session, Bailey felt a twinge in his shoulder where inflammation landed him on the DL. No timetable has been set for the former star closer’s return.

2017 Game 43: White Sox at Angels

From the Clubhouse

Recap of Last Night’s Wild Walk-Off

2017 Game 42: White Sox at Angels

From the Clubhouse

Recap of Last Night’s Homerun Attack

The Weekend Belonged to Trout!

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Yunel Escobar To Miss 2-4 Weeks

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This is sort of like making a trade. Luis Valbuena comes off the disabled list. C.J. Cron comes off the disabled list. Yunel Escobar goes on the disabled list the same day that Cron returns. Angels need a third baseman. So they move Valbuena across the diamond from first base to third. Now the club needs a first baseman, so they slip Cron back into first base.

Signing Valbuena is now proving it’s importance. Smart move.

As for Escobar, he has a grade one left hamstring strain that he suffered in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Tigers, and will be sidelined for up to a month.

Garrett Richards Likely Out Until August

The Angels are without their ace for a second year in a row up to this point, and it looks like fans will have to wait until the summer to see Garrett Richards back on the mound again. The problem isn’t his torn UCL, which was repaired with stem-cell treatments in lieu of Tommy John Surgery. What’s bothering Garrett is his inability to regain the proper strength in his right bicep that was strained in his first start of the season.

A throwing program has not yet been planned out. And the timetable is not exact. However, the critical part is that Richards must make sure his bicep is strong enough so he doesn’t destroy his elbow permanently. Because that’s what would happen if he decided to come back now.

A bigger question is how long the Halos can wait for Richards to get healthy again for a full season of work? A lot of top pitching talent is waiting in the wings in the next few free agent markets. Sooner or later the Angels will have to make a choice.

For now, August is the target for Garrett Richards.

2017 Game 41: White Sox at Angels

From the Clubhouse

Recap of Mother’s Day

 

2017 Game 40: Tigers at Angels

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