This ‘N That


Ryan Budde is the likely callup after Mike Napoli was injured Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Really busy, so not much time to write.

After the Orem and Tempe trips, I’m waaaay backed up on processing photos. I’m working on the Orem photos and will then do Tempe. I still have photos from Arkansas, Salt Lake and Rancho Cucamonga to do. There’s also a nice little stack of video tapes here next to the computer waiting for me to compile highlight clips of various players.

Those of you who were around last year know that FutureAngels.com went into hibernation because I was about to lose my job and could no longer afford to lose the $2,000/year it costs to travel for the photo/video trips. My new job is stable and pays a bit more, so I can afford some losses, but unlike my old job I don’t have flexibility in hours so I don’t have as much free time as before.

For those of you new to FutureAngels.com, a reminder that I pay for all this out of my own pocket. The Angels don’t support the operation, and the deal I have with the minor league teams is that they can use my photos for free in exchange for granting access. The recent trips to Orem and Tempe easily cost $500 each, adding up travel, hotel and meal costs. Those trips are important, because for most of those players it’s their first season as a pro, and therefore the first time they’ll have photos and video taken of them in a professional’s uniform. With Tempe, there’s no media coverage at all except for the MinorLeagueBaseball.com box scores, so FutureAngels.com is the only place on Planet Earth where you’ll see photos and videos, and hear interviews, of the Tempe Angels.

FutureAngels.com doesn’t have ads, because I don’t want to assault you with pop-ups and other annoyances such as mandatory subscriptions to get to the site’s content. That means it’s up to you to help keep the site afloat through a voluntary subscription or donation. Click Here to learn how you can help. Just remember, what some sites charge you to see, you get on FutureAngels.com for free. But if you want the site to survive, you need to do your part.

Some brief observations around the system …

Mike Napoli strained a hamstring last night sliding into second base. The Los Angeles Times believes that Ryan Budde is the likely candidate to give Jeff Mathis backup. Budde, who turns 28 on August 15, was lost by the Angels to the Phillies last December in the Rule 5 draft. Rule 5 requires the drafting team to keep the player in the majors for the year, or offer him back to his old team. The rule makes an exception for injuries, so when Ryan got hurt in spring training the Phillies disabled him and then assigned him to Clearwater in the Class-A Florida State League for rehab, but eventually returned him to the Angels. Since then, he’s been back at Salt Lake. Ryan is one of the “good guys”, a real class act, and is a superb defensive catcher so he should fill in just fine.

Congrats to the Arkansas Travelers, who won their tenth straight game last night to put the team right in the middle of the pennant race. When I visited the team in mid-May, their record was poor but their spirits were high and they looked like they were just a bit away from turning it around. They’ve gone through the usual mid-season personnel turnover typical of minor league ball, but guys like Freddy Sandoval, Adam Morrissey, Brad Coon and Corey Myers have carried the offense. On the mound, Miguel Gonzalez has quietly become one of the best starters in the Texas League. After last night’s win, he now has a record as a starter of 6-2, 2.71 ERA, and an average against of .255. He’s not a strikeout pitcher — his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 42:24 in 83.0 IP as a starter — but he’s getting the job done.

Lots more I want to say, but I need to get back to processing photos … If you want to see and hear more, remember to make a donation to keep the site afloat.

And don’t forget to send your contribution to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund. Minor league baseball is one big family, so we need to do our part to help the Coolbaugh family.

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