20-year old switch-hitting 3B Caleb Cowart is off to a slow start in AA-ball for the Angels in 2013. He came into this season as the Angels’ #1 prospect according to Baseball America. Cowart has played in 9 games in AA-ball for the Angels so far this year and he is 3 for 31 (.097 avg, .319 OPS) with 3 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. Cowart has now played in 223 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 233 for 866 (.269 avg, .769 OPS) with 143 runs scored, 24 homers, 150 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. The Angels are likely going to take things slowly with Cowart.
The Angels have called up 25-year old lefty swinging outfielder J.B. Shuck and 23-year old reliever/starter Michael Roth from the minors. Shuck has played in 5 games for the Angels already this year and he is 2 for 8 (.250 avg, .750 OPS). Roth came into this season as the Angels’ #30 prospect according to Baseball America. He worked two scoreless, hitless innings while whiffing 4 batters to earn his first major league win last night against the Astros in his major league debut. Roth has pitched in 12 games (10 starts) in his first two years in the minors and he is 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.
The Angels have placed 29-year old switch-hitting SS Erick Aybar on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 10th due to a bruised heel. Aybar has played in 7 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 9 for 28 (.321 avg, .726 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 0 homers and 1 RBI. 32-year old righty swinging Brendan Harris and 27-year old lefty swinging Andrew Romine will likely share P.T. at SS until Aybar is ready to return to action. Harris has played in 7 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 3 for 12 (.250 avg, .536 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 1 RBI. Romine has played in 5 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 0 for 7 (.000 avg, .000 OPS). The Angels hope that Aybar is able to return to action in a couple of weeks, because they are really going to miss him while he’s out of action.
The Angels have designated 28-year old lefty swinging outfielder Scott Cousins for assignment. Cousins played in 7 games in AAA-ball for the Angels this year and he was 6 for 26 (.231 avg, .541 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 0 homers, 3 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He has played in 128 games in his first three years in the majors and he is 32 for 175 (.183 avg, .523 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 2 homers, 9 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. This isn’t much of a loss for the Angels if they lose Cousins.
UPDATE: (4/17/2013) - Scott Cousins has cleared waivers and he has been outrighted to AAA.
The Angels have signed 35-year old righty starting pitcher Kip Wells to a minor league deal. Wells pitched in 7 games (all starts) for the Padres last year and he was 2-4 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP. Wells has now pitched in 296 games (219 starts) in his first 12 years in the majors and he is 69-103 with 2 saves, a 4.71 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Wells could get a shot with the Angels in 2013, if he looks good in the minors.
33-year old righty swinging 1B Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million dollar deal with the Angels two winters ago. He played in 154 games for the Angels in the first year of his deal in 2012 and he was 173 of 607 (.285 avg, .859 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 30 homers, 105 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He got off to a really slow start last year before coming on strongly the last four months. This year has been different though as Pujols is off to a hot start with the bat in 2013 for the Angels. He has played in 8 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 9 for 26 (.346 avg, 1.206 OPS) with 5 runs scored, 2 homers and 5 RBIs. Pujols is really locked in at the plate as he has already walked 9 times while only walking 3 times so far this year. Pujols could be in for a huge year with the bat in 2013 for the Angels.
The Angels have signed 33-year old lefty swinging OF/1B Brad Hawpe to a minor league deal. He played in 35 games in AA-ball for the Rangers last year and he was 32 for 123 (.260 avg, .764 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 3 homers and 12 RBIs. He last played in the majors back in 2011 with the Padres. Hawpe has now played in 893 games in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 801 of 2,907 (.276 avg, .848 OPS) with 398 runs scored, 124 homers, 490 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Hawpe could get a shot later this year with the Angels if he is hitting well in the minors and the need arises at the major league level for him.
The Angels have lost 30-year old righty starting pitcher Jered Weaver for the next 4-6 weeks due to a broken left elbow. He was injured trying to avoid a line drive the other night. He has pitched in 2 games (both starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Weaver has now pitched in 209 games (all starts) in his first 8 years with the Angels and he is 102-53 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. 24-year old righty Garrett Richards will replace Weaver in the starting rotation. He has pitched in 4 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. He has now pitched in 41 games (12 starts) in his first three years with the Angels and he is 4-5 with 1 save, a 4.74 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Richards will be replaced in the bullpen by 30-year old righty Dane De La Rosa, who has been summoned from AAA-ball to replace Weaver on the active roster. De La Rosa has pitched in 2 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball for the Angels so far this year and he was 0-0 with 1 save, a 0.00 ERA and a 0.00 WHIP. The Angels are really going to miss Weaver as he has been the anchor of their starting rotation for quite a while now. The Angels hope that Richards can step up while Weaver is out of action, as he does have a nice upside.
31-year old lefty swinging outfielder Josh Hamilton signed a 5-year, $133 million dollar deal over the winter with the Angels, so they are expecting big things out of him this year. Hamilton has played in 6 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 4 for 25 (.160 avg, .476 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. He has already whiffed 10 times while only walking 3 time so far this year. He could be starting to snap out of his slump for the Angels as he was 3 for 5 with a double and a runs scored against his ex-team (Rangers) last night.
25-year old righty swinging catcher Carlos Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games due to his second violation of a drug of abuse. He played in 85 games in AA-ball for the Angels last year and he was 56 of 275 (.204 avg, .588 OPS) with 29 runs scored, 2 homers, 23 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Ramirez has now played in 291 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 263 of 979 (.269 avg, .786 OPS) with 151 runs scored, 25 homers, 134 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Ramirez better get his act together soon before he ruins his baseball career.