Eppler’s Domain: Lincecum, Johnny G, Meyer, Smith, Rasmus

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Tim Lincecum‘s comeback season has come to an end, as he leaves with a 9.16 ERA and closed things out at AAA Salt Lake. Signed in June, The Freak was looking to revitalize his career after undergoing surgery for a degenerative hip. The results were obviously not as hoped. It is not clear what the future holds for Timmy. The former Cy Young Award winner will definitely have to go for a minor league contract this offseason, if he is able to find a job.

Perhaps even the Independent Leagues might be a good route. Jose Canseco went that direction in 2001 after the Angels released him despite having a good spring for them that same year. All Canseco did was mash in Independent ball, and then joined the Chicago White Sox and put up good numbers before retiring.

If Lincecum has any hope of pitching in the Big Leagues beyond 2016, he’s really going to have be patient and go step-by-step. Or, he’ll just have to retire.

So long, Tim. Good luck.

As for Johnny G, he did what he could and made the most of his abilities as the Angels’ everyday second baseman for close to two full seasons. His .267 / .305 / .375 slash line over that time was okay for the position, but his glove was the prime suspect.

When looking across the infield at his counterpart Andrelton Simmons, there is a similarity at the plate, meaning above average-to-good hitting ability, but with little patience. However, Simba never strikes out, and has the deciding factor as to why Simmons is by far the more valuable player: spectacular defense. Andrelton is about to post a 3 WAR despite missing significant time on the disabled list, and much of that comes from his magical glove and a cannon at shortstop.

Johnny’s WAR in 2016: 0.5.

What the Angels need from that position, of course, is better defense. And the club could use some more pop. They had that in Howie Kendrick before trading him for Andrew Heaney. That was the right thing to do at the time, as the Halos were in need of additional starting pitching depth.

Replacing Howie is another story.

There are options at second base on the free agents market. Neil Walker is one that would bring good value to second base. The team could also make Kaleb Cowart their everyday second baseman, with Cliff Pennington and Gregorio Petit as insurance. That’s the route they should probably go considering the need to focus on pitching.

Aside from all of this, however, my hope this past offseason was that they would sign Asdrubal Cabrera to play second base. And he’s having a really good season with the Mets. That’s neither here nor there. As of right now, second base in Anaheim is still up for grabs.

Good luck Johnny!


More From Around The Big A!

  • Alex Meyer made his Angels debut and showed off his wicked curveball. Acquired with Ricky Nolasco for Hector Santiago at the trade deadline, the young righty threw four innings of shutout baseball as he continued working his way to building back his pitch count. One thing that was noticeable was his arm slot. It might be obvious to the trained eye that his delivery causes his arm to swing in an what appears to be an awkward manner as he releases the ball. Perhaps more work on his mechanics will help that. Other than that, his stuff looked good, and it was a great step for a new young controllable starting pitcher the Halos are in dire need of now that the club has lost three of them to torn UCL‘s and Tommy John Surgery. Let’s pray that Alex Meyer can go through his tenure with the club unscathed and will help solidify the rotation for the future.

  • Another starting pitcher down. But luckily this was one that escaped ligament damage. Smith left his last outing with soreness in his elbow, and it turned out to be a more typical ailment for young pitchers. The lefty was about to be called to the Majors to make his debut, but that will have to wait. The Angels still intend to groom Smith to win a spot in the rotation in 2017.

  • Cory is closer to returning, and things looked really good right for the reliever in his first rehab assignment outing. Rasmus is on the disabled list after undergoing surgery on July 7 to repair a core injury centering around his groin. He had a similar issue last season, and it was never fully healed. The righty has dealt with numbers injuries that has hindered his development as a nasty reliever that could’ve really helped to lock down the Angels’ bullpen. He should be back by season’s end, but it is not clear what his role will be in 2017.

  • The time has come for a Star Wars night at the Big A! The long-awaited event is finally here and for those of you are able to attend, have lots of fun and get your Stormtrooper Monkey!

  • Despite having to end his 2016 season rather quickly because of Tommy John Surgery, Heaney has been able to do his off-the-field work quite admirably. It would be nice to see him get this award to have something to show for the season. Cast your vote!