Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield The Angels trail the Seattle Mariners by 11 games in the race for the second AL wild card, which is a daunting deficit even with 77 games to go. They are 11-1/2 games behind the Houston Astros for the division lead.Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.Just about all that makes it seem somewhat manageable is the fact that they still play the Mariners 13 times, including nine in the next three weeks. After three this week in Seattle, starting on Tuesday, the remaining 10 games are in Anaheim. The Angels also play the Astros 13 more times, including three in July.The Oakland A’s are also in front of the Angels, adding to the difficulty of their pursuit.At 43-42, though, the Angels hardly look like a playoff team at the moment. Since starting 13-3, the Angels have been nine games under .500.A little of everything has gone wrong. Clippers, Mavericks brace for the unknown in Game 4 SEATTLE — The standings and the schedule both make an unmistakable point.If the Angels are going to reach their goal of making the playoffs, they need to get going.Now.“We have three really important weeks in front us right now,” General Manager Billy Eppler said Monday. “An opportunity is put in front of us because the team we’re chasing is within our division. We’re going to play them a good amount of times this month. We’ll see how everything unfolds.” Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Mike Trout, with bat and glove, helps Angels end losing streak Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros “When you are looking at a club, you look at three units within that club: the starting pitching, the relief pitching and the offense,” Eppler said. “Each of those units has dealt with some adversity this year, whether that’s injuries or inconsistencies.”One of the most visible issues has been the bullpen, which has perhaps unfairly been singled out as the team’s primary issue. It’s also an area that Eppler barely addressed over the winter.In retrospect, Eppler said it was a decision based on prioritizing the team’s needs.“With the resources we had at our disposal we took the opportunity to shore up left field, second base and third base,” Eppler said, referring to the deals for Justin Upton, Ian Kinsler and Zack Cozart. “We looked into a lot of relievers this winter time. They seemed to be the area of the marketplace that was moving off the board pretty quickly. I will recognize the fact that there aren’t sure things on any side of the game, starting, relief or position player.“When we were assessing our club and what we need to do, it was clear we needed some guys who could stand the dirt and play second and third and also play left field. Those opportunities presented themselves with more clarity than the relief market. That’s the direction we chose.”Now, Eppler has a chance again to upgrade the roster, with four weeks before the July 31 trading deadline.Eppler said he and his staff have been talking to other clubs to see who is available. He wasn’t willing to predict whether they’ll be able to make a deal, because “you’re trying to forecast the behavior of other clubs.”Eppler did say, however, that relief help is usually the most readily available: “Generally the highest volume of player moved at the deadline are relievers and relievers on short-term deals.”Whether the Angels would be interested in rental players remains to be seen. Eppler conceded that part of the calculation is how far out they are, and the fact that they might be aiming at a one-game wild card spot. Certainly, the Angels wouldn’t want to give up much for someone who would only help for the next three months.“Ideally, when you can bring in players that have future control, it makes it more palatable vs. what you have to yield in prospect capital for that player,” Eppler said.That’s why players such as Padres reliever Brad Hand or Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias would likely be better fits for the Angels than, say, Orioles closer Zach Britton. Hand and Iglesias are under control beyond 2018, while Britton is not.The same is true for offensive help. Third basemen Mike Moustakas and Adrian Beltre are both free agents at the end of the season, so their value to the Angels is limited unless the team makes a strong enough run to get closer to a playoff spot.Eppler also could try to supplement the big league club by calling up prospects. Pitchers José Suarez and Griffin Canning and infielders Matt Thaiss and Taylor Ward are all having good seasons, and all are at Triple-A.“As far as prospects go, the mindful thing I’ve been taught along my development is to let those guys figuratively tap you on the shoulder and tell you when they’re ready,” Eppler said. “If you put them in a position where you’re reaching down and grabbing those guys and pulling them up to the big leagues, I don’t think that’s best for their professional and personal development.”Related Articles If nothing helps and the Angels still seem to be a long-shot for the playoffs as the deadline approaches, the Angels also could sell.Garrett Richards, who is expected to come off the disabled list on Wednesday, could be the most attractive trade piece if he’s healthy and pitching well at the deadline. Richards is a free agent at the end of the season.That, however, would essentially be waving the white flag on this season, which the Angels have been reluctant to do.“We will always look to improve our major league product,” Eppler said.SIGNING PERIOD OPENSThe international amateur signing period opened on Monday. The Angels were expected to reach agreements with several players, although the most prominent of them will not sign until August. Dominican outfielder Alexander Ramírez, considered one of the top 25 international amateurs, can’t sign until next month, because that’s when he turns 16.The Angels have $2.55 million to spend on international amateurs because they already used about half their allotment on last year’s deals for Kevin Maitan and Livan Soto, former Atlanta Braves prospects who were declared free agents because of Braves violations of international signing rules.UP NEXTAngels (Andrew Heaney, 5-6, 3.95) at Mariners (Wade LeBlanc, 3-0, 3.38), Tuesday, 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow â€” The Wellington school board will be holding a budget meeting tonight at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Wellington School Administrative building. The board is expected to approve the 2013-14 budget for the Wellington school year.â€¢â€¢â€¢â€¢Update on Thursday’s board meeting:Â The Wellington school board went into six executive sessions on Thursday evening: Four for non-elected personnel and two for employee contract negotiations.Â The board went into executive sessions for 20 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 30 minutes on non-elected personnel. Some of the people that were asked to attend the executive session included: assistant superintendent Larry Roth; Special Education Director Raj Sharma; Director of Roosevelt staff Zachary Lawrence; Eisenhower Elementary principal Kelly Adams; and Lincoln Elementary Principal John Walton.After the fourth executive session, the board voted 4-3 to accept the transfers on the consent agenda which listed Zane Aguilar from Roosevelt Education Center to Kindergarten and first grade physical education. Those voting for the motion included: Larry Mangan, David Peck, Bob White and Carol Hadorn. Those voting against the motion was Angie Ratcliff, Jackie Berryman and Jason Newberry.The board then voted 7-0 to table resignations in the supplemental contract of the consent agenda until September’s meeting. There were no resignations listed in the consent agenda copy given to Sumner Newscow.The board would then go into two executive sessions for contract negotiations for 30 and 15 minutes. The board took no action thereafter and the meeting was adjourned.