LA Managers Already Making Bad Decisions

So just who was the star for the Dodgers in their season opening win against Arizona? Why Scott Van Slyke, of course. The fill-in for Carl Crawford doubled, just missing a home run, and then scored the first run, and homered with a man on, thus accounting for all three Dodgers’ runs in the 3-1 win. So, empty uniform non manager Don Mattingly, what is his reward? Why a spot on the bench, of course, as newcomer Mike Baxter, a .189 hitter last season for the Mets, has been chosen by the uniformless one to play left in game two, that starts in an hour or two or three, or whenever they get around to it, like last night.

Speaking of that, one can understand rain delays, but over and over we were told that the game was set for a 1:00 am start, but according to Charlie Steiner, as the game began right around 2:00 am, he said the “delay” had been 14 minutes. Today’s start time is supposed to be 7:00 pm. I’m not holding my breadth.

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Speaking of left fielders, listening on the radio (remember, no Dodgers’ cable station available in West Covina, Ca, 20 miles due east of downtown Los Angeles), the announcers made it seem that former Angel Mark Trumbo was totally overmatched by the field, and is a disaster in the making in left field. Watching him play in the outfield for the Angels in many games over the last three years (he played in more than 120 games in the outfield, in fact, including 75 in left, according to the Baseball Almanac) while unspectacular, he generally got the job done with very few errors and without killing himself.

As to the Angels and manager Mike Scioscia, what is he doing with his starting staff? Here we are, a week before the start of the season, with what should be a pretty well set starting rotation, and he is still giving valuable pre-season starts to Joe Blanton? WHY did Blanton start today’s game and why is he starting ANY games?

2-14 with a well-documented 6.04 ERA last season, Blanton has picked up where he left off, posting a 7.08 ERA this spring, including today’s four earned runs in 4-1/3 innings. Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, and Hector Santiago have had fine springs. Granted, Tyler Skaggs and Garrett Richards have struggled, but both have been far better than Blanton this spring, and both have far more promising upsides and futures with the Angels, starting now. If any other pitcher
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on the Angels’ roster should be in consideration for a starting spot, it should be Nick Maronde, who has had an outstanding spring, though pitching in relief. Perhaps if he had some of those starts given to Blanton……

Also for the Angels, Chad Tracy, who had a tremendous career with Arizona devastated by injuries, and who hit only .202 last season playing sparingly in Washington, has had an excellent spring, hitting .303. It would be nice to see him earn a spot on the opening day roster. A third baseman, the team could have used him the last two seasons when that spot was a wasteland, which was of course rectified by this off season’s trade for David Freese.

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