Angels owner Arte Moreno is done spending for the moment, sources told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. According to the report, Moreno has told GM Tony Reagins he won’t be allowed to take on any additional salary this summer.
Including the $12 million they’re paying Scott Kazmir and the $11.4 million due to Gary Matthews Jr. in the final season of his 68-year deal, the Angels are spending just over $140 million on a 33-37 team this year.
$18 million of that is going to their big winter acquisition, Vernon Wells. However, Wells is hitting just .193/.235/.317 with six homers and 16 RBI in 171 at-bats for his new club.
The Angels are also paying $8.8 million to relievers Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi after signing them as free agents. Downs has been exceptional, but he has served two stints on the DL. Takahashi has a 4.08 ERA and isn’t much more than a mop-up man at the moment (18 of his last 19 appearances have come in Angels losses).
Despite their struggles, the Angels are still very much in the AL West race. They’re just three games back of the Rangers, who have lost five in a row. However, without reinforcements, they’ll be at a definite disadvantage as the year goes on. They have little pitching depth beyond their current rotation, and while their offense could get a little better if Wells and Torii Hunter rebound, the team doesn’t figure to finish any higher than ninth or 10th in the AL in runs (it’s 11th right now).
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.