Angels calling up hot-hitting speedster Peter Bourjos

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According to various sources the Angels are planning to call up 23-year-old outfielder Peter Bourjos from Triple-A prior to tomorrow’s game. Bourjos ranked among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects coming into the season and has hit .314/.364/.498 at Triple-A.
One of the fastest players in the minors, he has 27 steals and 12 triples in 102 games and is also considered an elite defensive center fielder. Torii Hunter’s presence likely means he won’t be seeing much time in center field for the Angels–at least not this season–but manager Mike Scioscia may use Bourjos in place of Juan Rivera in left field.
Back when fellow speedster Chone Figgins was a prospect the Angels initially used him as merely a pinch-runner and defensive replacement, but Scioscia hinted that they likely wouldn’t call Bourjos up to serve in such a limited role, saying: “Every young player needs to play.”
Bourjos doesn’t walk much for someone who could be destined for the leadoff spot and how much power he’ll develop remains in question, but he just set the Pacific Coast League record with 52 hits in July and would be a massive upgrade over Rivera defensively. Plus, it’s not like Rivera has been any good at the plate anyway, hitting just .257/.309/.427 in 89 games.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.