A friend of mine asked me a few days ago what I thought about the situation between Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli, he asked me to take some time and think about it, and post my answer to his question as an entry. After serious consideration the last few days I felt that I had formulated an answer. He asked me to address if I felt either one would be traded once Mathis made his return off the disabled list. Unfortunately my response to his questions are now mute.
The injury to Kendry Morales was certainly unexpected, both in its severity and the manner in which it happened. He jumped into his teammates in celebration of his walk off Grand Slam on Saturday afternoon, when he came back down the man did wrong and fractured his left leg. He’s expected to have surgery as soon as the swelling goes down, if all goes well he’s expected to rejoin the Angels within 8 to 10 weeks after the completion of the surgery and rehabilitation which means the Angels would have Kendry Morales in September at the earliest. Torii Hunter injured his hand during the same game, he’s injuring have exacerbated the problem exponentially but fortunately for the Angels Hunter’s X-rays were negative
Losing Kendry Morales dealt a big blow to the Angels not only offensively but also defensively, dubbed the Cuban missile he brought an extraordinary amount of positive energy give the team that will indeed be almost impossible to replace. Morales was the Angels’ leader in various offensive categories, he led the team in Batting Average 0.290, Home Runs 11, and Runs Batted In 39.
Most Angels’ fans will argue that with the injury to Kendry Morales, the Angels can ill afford the trade. I argue quite the contrary, they need to work out a trade now more than ever due to the following reasons:
First, the Brandon Wood experiment has failed, the team needs to get some value for a very talented player that simply doesn’t fit into the Angels’ system.
Second, the Angels’ game has always been a delicate balance between putting pressure on the base paths and power. The need to trade or someone with speed that can make the opposing pitchers on easy maybe a Carl Crawford? Who is at the end of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays provided that the Angels can sign him to a long-term deal. Trading Wood for cash considerations would facilitate the Angels’ ability to link Crawford long term. Another option could be trading Wood and one or two minor leaguers for a decent relief pitcher, the Angels’ bullpen are struggling and aside from the starting rotation the Angels have no relief staff with the exception of Fernando Rodney.
Third, the Angels are in a dogfight in the American League West, despite their devastating injuries they’re only 2 ½ games out of first place in the division, and whoever possible to ensure that they stay competitive. The Oakland Athletics for example don’t have much of an offense to speak of, however the reason they are in first place is because of their pitching. The Angels need to strengthen their bullpen in order to keep pace.
Despite their broken wings, the Angels are doing well they defeated the Kansas City Royals today 7 to 1. It is the aggression of their base running that is a hallmark of Angels baseball, their power is an added bonus. It is indeed this delicate balance that makes the Angels that make them so dangerous in the postseason.