Jerry DiPoto out as Angels GM

The Angels organization is a mess. 

Jerry DiPoto, who has served since 2011 as the franchise's general manager, has apparently resigned after his latest squabble with Mike Scioscia. 

DiPoto and Scioscia, of course, are not strangers to beef. As Ken Rosenthal outlined in the original story, the two have been at odds since as early as 2012, largely due to Scioscia's unwillingness to either share or apply information handed down from the organization's analytics department. 

The latest (or last) straw, as Rosenthal notes, was:

Dipoto expressed frustration with the coaches’ failure to convey scouting information to the players, sources said. At least one coach responded heatedly to Dipoto and first baseman Albert Pujols issued a pointed rebuttal to his GM, sources said.

In my head it makes me laugh picturing Albert Pujols issuing a "pointed rebuttal," but that's beside the point. The real story is that the Angels -- albeit 41-38 and only 5 games behind the Astros in the AL West -- were never able to reconcile a clearly modern, analytics-driven GM like DiPoto, with the archaic on-field stylings of Mike Scioscia. It is what happens when the owner, Arte Moreno, has his manager staked to ten-year contract, twice as long as his GM. 

The power was never truly in DiPoto's hands, and although this paradigm was destined to eventually fail, I wouldn't have guessed it would be so sudden. 


It might not sound like much, but if I told Rangers fans that, on June 29th, Texas would be losers in 7 of their last 8 and still be .500, most would take it. 

As Jonah Kari writes (emphasis mine): 

Rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez’s first four major league starts netted a sparkling 0.90 ERA. Nick Martinez, a lightly regarded second-year right-hander coming off an unimpressive rookie season, delivered a 2.65 ERA through his first 12 starts this year. Wandy Rodriguez, the 36-year-old lefty who looked like he might be done after six terrible starts with the Pirates last year, posted a 3.03 ERA through 10 starts in 2015. But all three of those unlikely contributors have been hammered over the past week and change, and given the relatively unimpressive peripheral stats of Gonzalez and Martinez in particular, it could be the start of some serious regression.

That can't be overstated. The Rangers are 38-38 and, away from Yovani Gallardo (2.72 ERA, 3.73 xFIP), don't have anything evenly remotely resembling a top of the rotation pitcher. 

The offense, a modest 7th in the American League in runs scored (4.29 runs/game), has seen breakouts from Prince Fielder (.351/.418/.538, 160 wRC+) and Mitch Moreland (.298/.345/.507, 132 wRC+), but on the whole it can be described as incomplete, at best. The addition of Josh Hamilton at some point in Baltimore should help alleviate the nonexistent outfield offense at the moment, as none of Leonys Martin, Shin-Soo Choo or Joey Gallo have generated much of anything recently.

And yet, 38-38.

The next few weeks will be interesting for the Rangers, and will have a heavy impact on what the club decides to do around the trade deadline. Still only 5 games behind Houston, Texas has reinforcements on the way -- Matt Harrison likely before the All Star Break, Martin Perez and Derek Holland sometime after -- but is that enough? 

Some local writer believes the Rangers need to bolster their bullpen, rather than shed prospects for a guy like Cole Hamels, because "Who pitches the seventh and eighth on the 95-degree nights when [Hamels] is gassed after six innings?" Logic. 

The writer then goes on to say:

"But what if you trade multiple prospects for him and the Rangers end up as one of the two AL wild-card teams?

Hamels would have to pitch the one-game playoff. Would it be worth the price if you lose that one game?"

If you told the Rangers today that all they had to do was acquire Cole Hamels to be guaranteed a spot in Game 163, they would do it. Would that be worth, let's say, Nomar Mazara, Nick Martinez and Jake Thompson, plus another low-level piece, as Adam Morris spitballed last week?

Me, personally? I'd make that trade in a heartbeat. Which probably means it isn't nearly enough for the Phillies. 

The point is, the question the Rangers have to be asking themselves, at least while they remain in postseason contention, isn't 'would it be worth the price if you lose that one game?' Instead, it's would Cole Hamels be enough to get us into that one game?

It's debatable. Up to this point, the season has had a very 2010-ish vibe to it, more in a sense that there is no dominant team in the American League West, and I could easily see Jon Daniels doing now what he did then, smelling the blood in the water before unloading at the trade deadline to acquire Cliff Lee.

On the other hand, with the Rangers teetering around the .500 mark, it won't take a whole lot going against them to plummet in the standings over the next month. This team has managed a .500 record on the next to last day of June largely from pitchers outperforming their peripherals and streaky performances from a couple hitters at a time. It's hard to build a playoff resume that way, but in 2015, at worst it's put Texas in a position to do something leading up to the deadline. Without Yu Darvish and Derek Holland and Martin Perez and Matt Harrison having even thrown one single pitch, that is a win for the organization.

After a brief hiatus.......Hello, win column!

Sometimes I think I know a lot about baseball.  

Then there was this week. 

The Rangers pulled out a nice win over the hottest team in baseball which included: 

Joey Gallo playing centerfield in an official game for the first time since little league (he did get a little time in minor league spring training). 

Yovani Gallardo throwing 8.1 innings of shut out ball against the highest scoring offense in the bigs, extending his scoreless streak to 24 innings and finishing the month of June with an 0.54 ERA in five starts. 

Elvis bunting at the right time, laying one down for a hit to take advantage of a pitcher that fell off of the mound towards third base.  The bunt hit turned into the first run of the game thanks to a sac fly by Odor. 

Solo homeruns by Moreland, Chirinos, and Odor.

A hit by Martin!  Sure, he just beat out a little infield nubber, but he is due some good luck and a few of those could help rebuild his confidence. 

Prince Fielder has his league leading 32nd multi-hit game.  That man is locked in and it is so great seeing him happily go the other way and not try to drive every ball out of the park. 

Tomorrow is a fantastic matchup of young arms, with the Rangers sending Chi Chi to the mound to face Drew Hutchison. 

Win the series. 

Slump Buster- Open Dialogue

Keeping in the tradition of weird baseball superstitions, I am going to try something a little different tonight in an attempt to end the four game losing streak.  As the game goes on, I will be constantly updating this post with my idiotic musings and observations, as well as discussing the game with you guys in the comments section.  Let's end this cold streak as a team. 

Begin semi but not really live Rangers vs Jays

Top 1-  April Choo returns, so does April Rua, and then.......HOLY CRAP PRINCE FIELDER IS A GROWN MAN!! For the record, Ian Kinsler is hitting .257 with only 2 bombs and 6 SB, so keep that in your mind naysayers of JD. 

B1- Two on, nobody out, Bautista at the plate, this is exactly where we want to be.....oh......wait

Still B1- Oh man, this is UGLY.  All contact has been hard.  You guys remember when Encarnacion was not good at baseball?  Something happened there. 

B1 Finally ending- Solid plays by Beltre and Andrus to get the first two outs.  Martinez needs to get it together with the heavy workload the bullpen has had this week, or else this entire series will be ugly instead of just this half inning. 

T2- GREAT at bat by Elvis.  Fantastic.  More of that, please.  Odor is back in a big way......but here comes Martin. Bunt time?

Nope.  Leonys did roll over on one (which has kind of become his thing) at the correct time, so I'll take it.  Scratching there is big, Buehrle loves to work fast and builds in confidence, so avoiding a shut down inning was important. 

B2- Bad decision by Roogie there, but that's just part of being so young.  Learning moment.  Great replay by Bannister, I did not think they were even close to getting Reyes there.  Well done.  Facing the meat of the Jays order with one out and a runner on second rather than no outs, runners on first and second lowers the Jays total run table by .34. 

Immediately throwing the ball into centerfield destroys the run table math I just posted. That may be the end of me and math for the evening.  

We  all hear about the "bloop and a blast", but what do we call a stupid throwing error and a bloop? Any name for that yet?  Boner and a bloop?  Crap, 6-2.  I may regret not being at a bar to watch this one. 

T3- 8 pitch half inning.  Literally missed the entire thing during the time it took me to pee.  Way to make him work, guys. 

Around baseball- Scherzer is now perfect through 3 innings because he is not human and he stole Verlander's magic two years ago. 

B3- I have enjoyed watching Chris Colabello this season, I enjoy late career success stories, very much like I am loving  Joey Butler in Tampa this season.  Tonight I enjoy watching Colabello go 0-2. 

I do NOT enjoy watching Russell Martin go yard.  At what point does Moreland pitch in this one?  What's Jeff Francouer doing tonight? 

T4- Bright side: if the Rangers are getting smoked like this, at least Angel Hernandez cannot go full ump show and factor into the game, so hey, we've got that going for us.

As I hit save, Mitch hit Hernandez with a foul fall. We're screwed. 

Ezekial Carerra is no  Billy Burns. 

#UPDATE#- 3 outs are still required to end an inning, even when the game is played in Canada.  Someone tell Mark Buehrle, the whole exchange rate thing has him confused. 

B4- This game has me legitimately considering watching women's soccer.  I am at a strange point in my life, due mostly to the Rangers pitching staff and the WAR of Elvis Endrus. 

Martinez has now allowed more baserunners this inning than Scherzer has in his last 22 innings.  Let's offer the Nationals Gallo, Mazara, all of the Nolan Ryan beef, Jim Knox, Choo, and Dutch Holland's dog Wrigley for Max to see if they bite. 

T5- guys want to talk about anything other than the Rangers hitting?  Canadian Healthcare?  DirecTV commercials featuring Hannah and her horse?  Anything?

B5- I hear sirens coming over the live game feed.  Has the Mounted Guard been called in to fight the dumpster that is the Rangers over the last week?

Cookie talk has been replaced by dive bar food talk.  Everyone is giving up.  

So, I know that Jeff Bannister preaches nothing but #NeverEverQuit, but do you think he would be cool If I moved on from this one?  You know, to anything else. 

9-2 Jays.  I'm going to have my first adult beverage of the evening. 

T6- The BLOOP and............

the weakly hit DP ball. I think I may start inventing new cuss words to accurately describe this action. 

B6- Good news Rangers fans: Nick Martinez taking one for the team has saved the bullpen for the rest of the series to some extent, but it sure is tough to have a young pitcher take a beating like this and be able to come back mentally prepared for the next game. 

Good news for Jays fans: When Reyes is healthy, you guys have the best 1-5 lineup in the league.  Scary good. 

T7- I am amazed that Kevin Pillar did not make a world stopping catch on that Elvis bloop.  That dude has the glove of Jim Edmonds, but for some reason I have trouble liking him simply because his name sounds so much like Kevin Millar and Intentional Talk has worn thin on me. 

Leonys at the plate with runners on.  Press 1 for weak ground out to the right side, Press 2 for strikeout. 

Someone pressed 2. 

That threat ended weakly. 

Random Thought: with 13 players on the DL, do you think the Rangers could take advantage of Canada's healthcare while we are up there and use the financial savings to be able to afford a Cole Hamels trade?  Seems like a logical step to me. 

#UPDATE#- Scherzer has given up 2 hits.  Time to DFA. 

B7- Speaking of DFAs, Ross Detwiler, Ladies and Gentlemen!  He has got to be the first one to go when Hamilton/DeShields/Harrison/Perez/Holland return, right?  

The cat just looked at the TV and hissed.  That cannot be a good sign for Ross. 

I think Angel Hernandez is expanded the strike zone like JV umpires do in high school when one team clearly cannot compete.  Ug. Lee. 

T8- Choo has been extremely unlucky tonight, but has looked mostly healthy.  Rua, well, I like the kid, but why on earth is he hitting in the 2-hole?  He belongs there about as much as Elvis does. 

Sometime I want to hug Prince Fielder, not just because he looks soft. 

B8- I asked for Jeff Francouer on the mound way back in the 3rd inning and instead I get ADAM FREAKIN ROSALES.  

Who gives up a bomb to the second hitter he has faces, so he fits in with the rest of the bullpen. 

Tom Grieve does not like Edwin Encarnacion posing after bombs.  My solution is to not throw two meatballs to him to crush out of the park, but you know, that's just me. 

Notes about the Rosales pitching performance: 

He gave up less runs in his inning than Detwiler did in his. 

He hit 90 with his fastball, which Matt Harrison is yet to do. 

The Blue Jays won that inning 1-0, the same score the USWNT just won by in the World Cup. 

T9- The mercy killing inning. 

Let's shut this thing down.  Please. 

Joey Gallo, pinch runner?  Leonys hit a ball forward, so I guess that's a positive note to end the game on, right?  No, I guess not after all. 

With that, I am done.  Slump is not busted.  This is some fairly uninspired baseball at the moment, which is incredibly discouraging following how fun Rangers baseball has been for the last month.  Something's got to give. 

Goodnight, all. 

Joey Gallo isn't ready yet, and that's OK

Joey Gallo is the most exciting thing that's happened to the Rangers in 2015, which is crazy, because there have been so many positives to take in from the first three months.

I suppose it's really just a matter of taste amongst Texas fans, and maybe I'm biased since Gallo is my favorite prospect in the organization, someone I got a chance to talk to in Surprise a couple spring trainings ago when he was 19, about to enter Hickory for his first full season in the minor leagues. 

It also may be because Joey's ascendance coincided so much with the hottest stretch of the season for the Rangers. Winners of 11 of 14 before Joey Gallo arrived on June 2nd, the club then won 10 of their next 15, a stretch that included Gallo producing a breakthrough .260/.362/.580 (150 wRC+) triple slash line with 5 HR in 58 plate appearances. There is no question that the guy is going to be big time.

But Joey Gallo is not ready yet. 

And that's OK.

Since his earlier success, Gallo has hit a wall over the las week, going 3-22 with one extra-base hit (a double), one walk, and 13 strikeouts. This, after all, was the built-in expectation all along: for all the excitement Gallo brings, the dude strikes out at an incredible rate.

When he was originally called up from Double-A Frisco, general manager Jon Daniels was fairly adamant in saying once Adrian Beltre returned from his stint on the disabled list, Gallo would resume his learning process back on the farm, in Round Rock. 

But then, Josh Hamilton got hurt. Then Delino DeShields. And suddenly Gallo's bat became a sensation, getting many media types saying it was going to be impossible to send him back down. And, hey, maybe they were right at the time. I mean, we can dream, right?

But now the Rangers are at a different point in the season. Adrian Beltre is back playing 3rd base, and Gallo's presence in the lineup is beginning to feel more like an hourglass that's on its last bit. With Josh Hamilton about ready to return, probably on Monday in Baltimore, and Delino likely coming back within the next week, it seems more logical to roll with the team's 25-best players right now.

What we know is, the Rangers are not going to keep Gallo on the major league roster unless he's seeing consistent at bats. If he isn't, his purpose is better served working out some of the kinks at Triple-A. 

Amazingly, in his first 81 career plate appearances, Joey has generated a league-average .222/.309/.458 (100 wRC+) slash line despite having struck out 34 times, a 42% clip. That is the highest in MLB for any player this season with over 80 PAs, an understandable figure for someone with his minor league track record. 

What can't be lost from Gallo Mania, is that Joey Gallo wasn't in the plans this early in his career. Only 21, he could probably use a little extra seasoning on the farm, and with Beltre already back, it's only a matter of when Texas's two outfielders return that will likely determine how much longer Gallo is with us. And that's okay, because he has already done enough.

Looking towards the bigger picture, the hope going forward is that, once Joey is sent down, he will be on a similar path as Rougned Odor, whom the Rangers dumped to Round Rock after rough beginnings in 2015. Since Roogie's recall ten days ago, he's 9-23 (.409/.480/.591, 200 wRC+) with one HR, one 2B and seven runs driven in. Aside the obvious disclaimer that it won't last forever, it's a step in the right direction after Odor tore up Pacific Cast League for a month and a half. 

Gallo is not one of the Rangers 25 best players right now, but, barring injury that would force him to get recalled prematurely as he was the first time, I could easily see him as one of the 25 best by the time he comes back, perhaps towards the end of July depending how well he responds once he is sent down.

Under the Jon Daniels regime, the Rangers have had a history of drafting and acquiring whom they believe to be high-character players. "Good makeup" is the scout slang, I guess. Gallo, like Odor and like many (or most) others on the farm and major league roster, is one of those guys. His June 2nd callup wasn't the culmination of his minor league development, because when he debuted it was incomplete. His major league career started when future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre went down with a thumb injury, and Gallo merely gave Texas a necessary spark it needed during the club's best stretch of the season. 

As much as I love watching him play, I like more knowing my favorite team wants to get this right. They have a plan, and I can assure you they will not be consulting me about it, but sending Gallo down seems like the only rational way to go once Hamilton and DeShields are reinstated from the DL.