John Lackey has never missed a start in the minors or majors.
Various items of interest …
As reported in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, Joe Saunders will start tonight for Jered Weaver, who jammed his shoulder sliding into second base last Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Personally, I loathe the DH, one reason being that on the rare occasions when A.L. pitchers have to bat and run the bases, they’re even more awkward than they used to be before the DH was implemented. I have a vague memory of Andy Messersmith injuring his shoulder on a slide into second base when he was called up to the Angels in 1968. Some would argue that pitcher injuries are a justification to make the DH universal, but then injuries happen to other players too while running the bases. The game was originally intended to have all players both bat and field, with no exceptions for the less athletic. That was its beauty. I fear that, as the game evolves, one day we’ll see offensive and defensive platoons like in football. But I’ll be long in the grave before it happens.
Another ailing Angel is John Lackey. The Angels are talking about pushing back his scheduled start on Sunday a day or two to rest a sore shoulder. I frequently remind people that Lackey never missed a start in the minor leagues, nor has he in the majors. He’s had a couple setbacks in spring training, when it doesn’t matter, but up to now he’s been a workhorse.
The Arkansas Travelers’ post-game press release last night reported that top pitching prospect Nick Adenhart has gone on the seven-day disabled list with a sore shoulder.
If you listen to Episode 4 for FutureAngels.com Radio, analyst John Sickels and I discussed the possibility this might happen, as Adenhart pitched 158.1 IP last year in his first full season after recovering from "Tommy John" surgery, then went off to pitch for Team USA. Minor league baseball has a 7-day DL, unlike the big leagues, so hopefully this is just to skip one start and he’ll be fine.
I wrote on Monday that Kernels outfielder Chris Pettit should be promoted to Rancho Cucamonga after the Midwest League All-Star Game, and that happened yesterday. Quakes closer Darren O’Day was promoted to Double-A Arkansas, essentially completing the swap that began when Travs closer Jose Arredondo was demoted to the Cal League for insubordination.
As reported yesterday on FutureAngels.com, Terry Evans homered for the Angels Wednesday night for his first major league hit. The Angels acquired Evans in July 2006 from St. Louis for Jeff Weaver. Evans was a non-prospect who suddenly bloomed last year in the Cardinals’ minor league system. Whether it was for real, analysts debated all winter, and the jury is still out. He took only ten walks with Salt Lake in the first half, and only one of those on the road, but overall he was still productive. Garret Anderson was productive despite his low walk rate. So we’ll have to see how Evans progresses, although most likely he’ll shortly return to Salt Lake.
I’ll be in Orem for the July 7-9 games, and Tempe for the July 20-22 games. Tempe starts play this morning, but you won’t find any webcasts, "gameday" coverage or newspaper articles. The camp games in the Arizona League are official in that they play by formal rules and the statistics are reported, but otherwise they get no coverage. So about all you can do is look at the final box score on MiLB.com.
The crackpots who’ve been campaigning for Bill Stoneman and Mike Scioscia to be fired will be irate to learn that the Angels have the best record in baseball since July 1 of last year, according to the Orange County Register. They’ve gone 100-56, nearly a full season, and that would be good enough for the playoffs pretty much any year. But some still campaign for Stoneman’s dismissal because he won’t flush the farm system for an aging "name" player.
One of those "names" is Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, who the Angels once sought to play third base. Tejada made it clear he would refuse to play 3B for the Angels, and Orioles owner Peter Angelos nixed the deal, but the cranks still fantasize about Tejada despite the reality of the situation, or non-situation. Well, Tejada has a broken wrist and will miss at least two months, so hopefully that will sink in with the people who want to send Ervin Santana, Erick Aybar, and "whatever it takes" to get him.