Robinson Cano didn’t ask Trout to be in it, either. Which is fine. I fully agree with Mike Scioscia on how tiring the Derby can be for a player. And, frankly, Mike Trout isn’t the kind of hitter that should be in a home run derby anyway. Neither is Michael Cuddyer, but he’s David Wright‘s buddy, and those are the perks I suppose.
If nothing else, at least Pujols is being helpful somewhere, because he sure as hell isn’t much help to the team at the plate over the last couple of weeks. It also speaks to the type of leadership the Angels have among the players. They don’t have a vocal leader like Torii Hunter anymore, but that doesn’t mean that Pujols’ presence isn’t invaluable to his teammates.
When I started ranting about Howie Kendrick needing to be on the All-Star Team a few weeks ago, he was ahead of Cano in almost every offensive category. Of course, things have changed since then, and second base is quite possible the deepest position in all of baseball outside of outfielders. Howie may not be an All-Star, but the Angels have a top-five second baseman in Kendrick. I’ll take that any day of the week.
Tommy Hanson (forearm) is supposed to be back by the end of July. Jason Vargas (blood clot) and Sean Burnett (elbow) are both still a couple of weeks from throwing off of a mound. And notice, not a single mention of Ryan Madson. Lending even more credence to the rumor that he simply does not exist.
Mike Napoli vs. Jeff Mathis. Hank Conger vs. Chris Iannetta. Outside of what Peter Bourjos has done this season when he isn’t nursing one injury or another, is the improvements that Conger has made on defense. It is a complete 180 from how utterly terrible he was behind the plate this spring.