MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Angels Arizona Fall League overview

Angels Arizona Fall League overview

The way Kaleb Cowart's pro career began, everything pointed to a quick ascent to the big leagues as one of the top third base prospects in the game. But after that very successful first full season, things haven't gone nearly as smoothly for him.

The former first-round pick was once the top prospect in the Angels' organization and a Top 100 caliber player, one who hit .276/.358/.452 with 103 RBIs and reached the Class A Advanced California League at age 20 during that first year. He's now No. 4 on the organization's Top 20 list and has spent two years at Double-A, hitting a combined .222/.286/.312 in the process.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels' Pujols, Calhoun are Gold Glove finalists

Angels' Pujols, Calhoun are Gold Glove finalists

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols and right fielder Kole Calhoun were named Rawlings American League Gold Glove Award finalists on Thursday, deemed among the top three defenders at their respective positions by AL rivals and baseball analysts.

Major League managers and coaches -- voting only within their league and disallowed from selecting players from their own teams -- contributed 75 percent of the vote, with the sabermetric community making up the other 25 percent.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Vargas at peace with decision to leave Angels

Left-hander says fourth year on deal with Royals was major factor

Vargas at peace with decision to leave Angels

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Angels went into last year's offseason with a desire to acquire cost-controlled starting pitching, which they ultimately attained by using Mark Trumbo to land Tyler Skaggs and Hector Santiago. But they also coveted a steady veteran, and their first priority was to re-sign Jason Vargas, a guy they thought was coming back until he accepted a last-minute four-year, $32 million offer from the eventual American League-champion Royals on Nov. 21, 2013.

That guaranteed fourth year, something the Angels weren't willing to offer, played a major factor in Vargas' decision.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Cowart comes through with big triple in AFL

Angels' No. 4 prospect drives in two runs late in Mesa's win over Scottsdale

Cowart comes through with big triple in AFL

MESA, Ariz. - For the third time in as many days, the Mesa Solar Sox rode the bat of an Angels prospect to victory.

First, Cal Towey, the Angels' No. 17 prospect according to MLB.com, went 3-for-4 with a homer Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, Chad Hinshaw scored a pair of runs and reached base five times.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @boor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Williams claimed from Rockies, placed on 60-day DL

Catcher formed battery with Angels' Richards at Oklahoma

Williams claimed from Rockies, placed on 60-day DL

The Angels claimed catcher Jackson Williams off waivers from the Rockies on Wednesday. The Angels' 40-man roster is full, but Williams will be placed immediately on the 60-day disabled list because he's coming off knee surgery.

The 28-year-old Williams was originally selected by the Giants with the 43rd overall pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma, where he spent a season catching Angels starter Garrett Richards.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Prospect Hinshaw fulfills leadoff duties perfectly in AFL

Prospect goes 2-for-3 with three walks and RBI, contributes to Mesa victory

Prospect Hinshaw fulfills leadoff duties perfectly in AFL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A leadoff man's role is to get on base and set the table for the middle of the order, a task Angels prospect Chad Hinshaw excelled at as he led the Mesa Solar Sox to a 9-3 victory over the Scottsdale Scorpions on Wednesday.

"Today, I was just able to have a few quality at-bats and help the team by getting on," Hinshaw said.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Scioscia named AL Manager of Year by Sporting News

Scioscia named AL Manager of Year by Sporting News

Angels skipper Mike Scioscia was named American League Manager of the Year on Tuesday by Sporting News, which also named Matt Williams of the Nationals in the National League based on a panel of 22 fellow managers.

Scioscia edged out the Orioles' Buck Showalter, 6-5, for guiding the Angels to a Major League-best 98 wins before getting swept in the American League Division Series by a Royals team that reeled off eight consecutive postseason victories en route to the World Series.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels' Towey riding hot streak in Fall League

Team's No. 17 prospect finding rhythm in Fall League, hitting .444 through six games

Angels' Towey riding hot streak in Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Sometimes the best approach at the plate is to keep things simple.

Hitting is an art form and although it can be complex at times, Cal Towey, the No. 17 prospect in the Angels organization, is doing his best to simplify the process.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels will host 15 Spring Training contests

Angels will host 15 Spring Training contests

The Angels announced their 2015 Spring Training schedule, which will include 15 home games.

Training in Tempe, Ariz., for the 23rd straight season, the Angels' first game will be on March 5 against the Brewers at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Rasmus prepares for potential full-time starting gig

Converted reliever may join rotation in 2015 as Angels build depth

Rasmus prepares for potential full-time starting gig

ANAHEIM -- Most pitchers, including Cory Rasmus earlier this season, insist there is no difference between pitching out of the bullpen and starting a game.

They say that they still have to attack hitters and throw strikes, and that they won't change their routine or the way they prepare. After five starts in September of the 2014 regular season, Rasmus now realizes the differences between being a relief pitcher and a rotation member.

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Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Challenging offseason decisions await Angels

Challenging offseason decisions await Angels

ANAHEIM -- Jerry Dipoto has a tough task on his hands: Keep the Angels competitive, with very little talent in the upper levels of their farm system and most of the payroll tied to long-term contracts for aging players. Dipoto, entering his fourth offseason as the Angels' general manager, must do it all without surpassing the luxury tax, and under a competitive owner with no desire to ever enter in a rebuild stage.

The challenge continues now, with the Angels coming off a 98-win regular season and three days removed from swift elimination by the Royals in the American League Division Series.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Pujols opts out of Japan 'All-Star Series' to be with family

Pujols opts out of Japan 'All-Star Series' to be with family

Albert Pujols has bowed out of the "All-Star Series" in Japan that's slated for November, opting instead to spend that time with his family, a source said Tuesday.

In an August release, Pujols was listed alongside Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig and Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, highlighting a U.S. contingent that would play a five-game series against Japan's national team.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Beckham wants to stay, but unsure where he'll land

Infielder excelled after Angels traded for him in late August

Beckham wants to stay, but unsure where he'll land

ANAHEIM -- As Gordon Beckham packed up his locker two weeks ago, he had a handful of questions: Do you have an empty box? What do I do with these black shoes? Can you mail this to someone? But one stood out from the others: What do I do with this stuff if I'm not back here next season?

Beckham, 28, is arbitration-eligible this offseason and potentially could be non-tendered by the Angels in December, less than four months after the club traded for him. Beckham was dealt from the White Sox for a player to be named or cash in late August.

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Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels proud of banner year despite rocky finish

En route to best record in Majors, Halos overcame key injuries to win AL West

Angels proud of banner year despite rocky finish

ANAHEIM -- His team had just been swept by the Royals in the American League Division Series, a triumphant return to the playoffs ending after it barely began, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia wanted to make sure that three-game sample size wasn't the lasting legacy of this club.

"As disappointing as the series was and is right now with us, those guys in that clubhouse had a terrific season," Scioscia said at the dais after the Game 3 loss on Sunday night. "They put everything aside. They played banged up. At times we didn't have quite the depth we wanted to, and guys would step up and want the ball more in the 'pen, or guys went out there and played 90 straight games because they knew how important it was. … They played hard all season, and we had a rough three games."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels claim OFs Marte, Kieschnick from D-backs

Club designates Boesch, Buck to create room on 40-man roster

Angels claim OFs Marte, Kieschnick from D-backs

ANAHEIM -- The Angels claimed outfielders Roger Kieschnick and Alfredo Marte from the D-backs on Tuesday, designating outfielder Brennan Boesch and catcher John Buck in order to create room on the 40-man roster.

Kieschnick, who turns 28 in January, bats left-handed and has mostly played right field since the Giants took him in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. Kieschnick played in 63 Major League games for the Giants and D-backs the last two years, posting a .200/.265/.248 slash line. He's a .273/.329/.481 hitter for his Minor League career, and hit 15 homers in the Pacific Coast League this past season.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Veteran infielder McDonald hopes to play in '15

Free agent and 16-year veteran unsure of future

Veteran infielder McDonald hopes to play in '15

ANAHEIM -- On Monday, John McDonald took a red-eye flight back home to Boston to be with his family.

After that, whatever happens, happens.

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Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels' title quest ends in ALDS heartbreak

Wilson lasts two-thirds of an inning, Halos can't recover

Angels' title quest ends in ALDS heartbreak

KANSAS CITY -- In the wake of the a season-ending, 8-3 loss late Sunday night, and in the middle of a stunned, star-laden visitors' clubhouse that was anticipating a two-night stay, Albert Pujols was asked a variety of questions about the Royals' game-changing defense, his lineup's head-scratching struggles and the Angels' collapse in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

Finally the veteran first baseman looked up, cracked a smile and said, "You know what, it wasn't meant to be."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Dipoto believes Angels have built a foundation for success

Halos' GM says wholesale changes won't be needed this offseason

Dipoto believes Angels have built a foundation for success

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels' first-place season came to an abrupt end, with an American League Division Series sweep at the hands of a young, hungry Royals team that outperformed them in every facet of the game.

That three-game stretch, however, wasn't enough to make general manager Jerry Dipoto feel as though drastic changes are necessary this offseason.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Trout's first big postseason moment a footnote in series loss

All-Star homers in first, but Angels give up lead in bottom of inning

Trout's first big postseason moment a footnote in series loss

KANSAS CITY -- Mike Trout's signature postseason moment was short-lived.

It came in the first inning of Game 3 on Sunday, when the superstar center fielder took James Shields deep to left-center field for a solo home run, giving the Angels their first and final lead of this American League Division Series. The next half-inning, the Royals scored three runs, kept adding on and eventually eliminated the Angels with an 8-3 win.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Wilson's rough start short-circuits Halos, forces Scioscia's hand

Manager uses seven relievers after lefty can't get out of first

Wilson's rough start short-circuits Halos, forces Scioscia's hand

KANSAS CITY -- The box score for the visitors looked like something out of March in the Cactus League, in Arizona. Eight Angels pitchers against the Royals? In Game 3 of the American League Division Series, with the season on the line?

Yes and yes, and that pretty much says it all in the wake of a distressing 8-3 loss that ended a season of enormous promise with a completely inappropriate thud.

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels' attempts fended off by Royals' outfield

Angels' attempts fended off by Royals' outfield

KANSAS CITY -- The Angels had seen this show before. As spectacular as it was in living color, they didn't care much for it.

Lorenzo Cain, in back-to-back fifth-inning at-bats with two runners on in Sunday night's Game 3 of American League Division Series, stole hits from Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick in center field with plays that will be replayed on telecasts for decades in the "Show Me State" of Missouri.

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Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hamilton can't find it in time

Angels veteran goes 0-for-13 in ALDS sweep

Hamilton can't find it in time

KANSAS CITY -- Josh Hamilton never got right.

He spent the four weeks leading up the American League Division Series in an uphill battle, dealing with an ailing right shoulder, fighting sharp pains in the right side of his body and trying to cram a month's worth of timing into three batting-practice sessions during the workouts that preceded the postseason.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Five things we learned from Royals' ALDS sweep

Five things we learned from Royals' ALDS sweep

KANSAS CITY -- So we know that the Royals are going to play the Orioles in the American League Championship Series, and the winner will be going to the World Series for the first time since the 1980s.

It may end up being the Royals, because this is the third time the Angels have been swept in the AL Division Series. The other two times were by the Red Sox in 2004 and '07. Both of those years, Boston went on to win the World Series.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Angels-Royals, Game 3: Did you know?

Angels-Royals, Game 3: Did you know?

Behind a balanced offensive attack and spectacular defense, the Royals beat the Angels, 8-3, on Sunday night, sweeping the American League Division Series. Kansas City will face Baltimore in the AL Championship Series starting Friday.

Here's what you need to know about Kansas City's Game 3 win:

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Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MDeFranks. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Oct. 5 Mike Scioscia postgame interview

Oct. 5 Mike Scioscia postgame interview

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Before we start, I want to congratulate the Kansas City Royals. They obviously had a great series. They played terrific baseball, and they deserve to move on. We tip our caps to them, and they had a great series, and they're going to be a team tough to beat in this tournament.

We congratulate them.

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Quick hook for Wilson, who can't finish first

Scioscia turns to bullpen with two outs in opening frame after veteran allows three-run double

Quick hook for Wilson, who can't finish first

KANSAS CITY -- Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson could not finish the first inning in Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Royals on Sunday night.

Wilson retired just two batters and was knocked out after a three-run double by Alex Gordon. The Angels had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Mike Trout's home run.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Pick a side: Gubicza has ties to Royals, Angels

Former Kansas City pitcher now works as broadcaster for Los Angeles

Pick a side: Gubicza has ties to Royals, Angels

KANSAS CITY -- Mark Gubicza, the former Royals pitcher and current Angels broadcaster, has been asked the same question a lot lately, whether he's hanging out near the press box or sitting in the stands or standing on the field during batting practice.

"You're rooting for us, right?"

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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