Hinske tabbed as Halos' hitting coach

Hinske tabbed as Halos' hitting coach

The Angels announced Monday that Eric Hinske has been hired as the club's new hitting coach. Hinske will fill the vacancy on the coaching staff left by Dave Hansen, who was dismissed earlier this month following a disappointing offensive performance from the Angels this season.

Hinske, 40, served as the Cubs' assistant hitting coach for the past three seasons. A former first baseman and outfielder, Hinske played for the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Yankees, Braves and D-backs over his 12-year career in the Majors, batting .249 with a .762 OPS, 137 home runs and 522 RBIs in 1,387 career games.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What will Cron's role be next season?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado fields Halos fans' questions

Inbox: What will Cron's role be next season?

What should be expected from C.J. Cron, moving forward? -- Brad S., Ontario, Canada

It's hard to say. While he's shown flashes of his potential as an impact power hitter for the Angels, Cron has also proved to be quite streaky, a tendency he again struggled with in the 2017 season. In his first 34 games, Cron hit .212 with a .562 OPS and two home runs, leading to two demotions to the Minors. When he returned to the Majors in July, Cron looked like a completely different hitter, batting .300 with a .944 OPS and 12 homers over his next 47 games before cooling off again over the final two weeks of September.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoulder injury knocks Ward off AFL roster

Angels' No. 10 prospect replaced by fellow catcher Wass

Shoulder injury knocks Ward off AFL roster

Angels catching prospect Taylor Ward was removed from the Arizona Fall League's Scottsdale Scorpions roster earlier this week with a right shoulder impingement, general manager Billy Eppler said Thursday.

Ward, who is ranked the Angels' No. 10 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, played in one AFL game on Oct. 11 before suffering the injury. He was replaced on the Scottsdale roster by fellow backstop Wade Wass, who hit .257 with an .846 OPS and 11 home runs in 59 games with Double-A Mobile this season.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#AwardWorthy: Vote for Andrelton

#AwardWorthy: Vote for Andrelton

Andrelton Simmons had a breakout season with career highs in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and RBIs, but his calling card remains his defense.

Simmons has long been one of the game's premiere defensive shortstops. He's already won two Gold Glove Awards in 2013 and '14 and a Platinum Glove Award in '13, and now he's nominated for this year's Esurance MLB Award for Best Defensive Player.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. Follow him on Twitter at @benweinrib. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Angels' Arizona Fall League overview

Thaiss ascending system thanks to plate discipline

Angels' Arizona Fall League overview

When Matt Thaiss was drafted in the first round of the 2016 Draft by the Angels out of the University of Virginia, it was thought he would be the kind of advanced college hitter who would move quickly up the Minor League ladder. The college catcher-turned-pro first baseman certainly lived up to advanced billing on that front, reaching Double-A in his first full season.

"I wouldn't say that was a goal," said Thaiss, the Angels' No. 3 prospect. "Everyone wants to move up and they want to move quickly. I try not to set goals, whether they be statistical or getting to certain places at certain times. I kind of just let the season ride out and I was lucky enough to get up to Double-A and experience the competition there."

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Multi-inning relievers a priority for Angels

After Petit's stellar season, club hoping to strike gold again

Multi-inning relievers a priority for Angels

Coming out of Spring Training, the Angels had three relievers on their roster who they thought would be capable of pitching multiple innings: Yusmeiro Petit, JC Ramirez and Bud Norris. But injuries soon forced them to reallocate those arms.

When Garrett Richards landed on the disabled list in the first week of the season, Ramirez was pressed into the starting rotation. Injuries to Huston Street, Andrew Bailey and Cam Bedrosian, meanwhile, forced Norris into the closing role. That left Petit as the Angels' primary multi-inning reliever for most of the season, a role in which he excelled.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Halos hope for steady offense from Maldonado

Catcher led Majors in games caught in first year as starter

Halos hope for steady offense from Maldonado

No Major League catcher shouldered as heavy a workload this regular season as Angels backstop Martin Maldonado. In his first full season as a starter, Maldonado led the Majors with 137 games caught, the most by an Angels catcher since Bob Boone's 144 in 1986.

It was unchartered territory for Maldonado, who had never played more than 79 games in a single season before the Angels acquired him from the Brewers in an offseason trade last year and gave him his first opportunity to be an everyday catcher.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What positions are most crucial to fill?

Beat reporter Maria Guardado fields Halos fans' questions

Inbox: What positions are most crucial to fill?

What do you think will be the most important position to fill in free agency -- starting pitching or hitting? And how do we fill those needs? -- @cakirby, via Twitter

General manager Billy Eppler has already made it clear that his priority heading into the offseason will be improving the Angels' offense, which ranked 11th in the American League in on-base percentage (.315) and last in slugging percentage (.397). I think their two biggest holes are the ones they tried to plug with Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips at the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline: left field and second base.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels prioritize offense this offseason

Upton's decision on opt-out clause will shape moves

Angels prioritize offense this offseason

ANAHEIM -- The Angels will have several holes to fill as they look ahead to the 2018 season, though one stands out to manager Mike Scioscia more than others.

"The obvious talking point this winter is going to be our offense," Scioscia said last week.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The Eagles gave Trout a TD celebration

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The Eagles gave Trout a TD celebration

Mike Trout has never kept his Philadelphia Eagles fandom a secret. He grew up in Millville, N.J, which is less than an hour drive from Philadelphia, and routinely attends Eagles games in the MLB offseason.

It was little surprise, then, when he showed up for Sunday's game between the Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals, and even less of a surprise that he quickly declared his rooting interests:

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Barria, Jones named Prospects of the Year

Barria, Jones named Prospects of the Year

ANAHEIM -- Jaime Barria's steep rise from Class-A Advanced Inland Empire to Triple-A Salt Lake this season cemented his status as one of the brightest pitching talents in the Angels' improving farm system. His stock was further validated after he was named the organization's Pitching Prospect of the Year by MLBPipeline.com for the second consecutive year.

Jahmai Jones earned Hitting Prospect of the Year honors for the Angels.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Contract decision looming for Upton

Contract decision looming for Upton

While Justin Upton has yet to announce a decision on his future, a source told MLB.com that it's increasingly likely he will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract and become a free agent.

Upton, who must decide on the opt-out within three days of the World Series ending, is due $88.5 million over the next four seasons. If he forgoes that guarantee, he still could return to the Angels, for whom he played the final 27 games of the 2017 season following an Aug. 31 trade from the Tigers.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hansen won't be back as hitting coach

Hitting coach Dave Hansen will not return for the 2018 season, the Angels announced on Wednesday.

Hansen had served the club in that capacity for the past two seasons, following two seasons as the Angels' assistant hitting coach. He began his tenure alongside the late Don Baylor under manager Mike Scioscia.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Adell, Canning lead prospects at instructs

Adell, Canning lead prospects at instructs

Several members of the Angels 2017 Draft class are in Arizona participating in instructional league, including each of the club's first four selections.

Most notably first-rounder Jo Adell and second-rounder Griffin Canning, the Angels No. 1 and No. 4 prospects, are present and building toward the future.

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

Scioscia 'thrilled' to return in '18, a contract year

Scioscia 'thrilled' to return in '18, a contract year

ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia will return to manage the Angels in 2018, but his future with the organization is unclear beyond that.

Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in baseball, will be entering the final season of the 10-year deal he signed with the Angels in January 2009, but he said Monday that he is simply focused on 2018 and would be "absolutely" fine with managing without the promise of a contract beyond next year.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout among most popular jerseys

Trout among most popular jerseys

Aaron Judge has the highest number in all of Major League Baseball, and this time we are talking about total sales of his No. 99 Yankees jersey.

MLB and the MLB Players Association jointly announced the latest Most Popular Jerseys rankings on Tuesday, and the rookie slugger topped the list to add another distinction to an historic first full year. The list is based on sales of Majestic jerseys from MLBShop.com since Opening Day.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels fall short despite highlight-reel season

Trout's dominance, Pujols' march on record book led 2017 moments

Angels fall short despite highlight-reel season

ANAHEIM -- Though they hung around in the postseason race longer than most expected, the Angels fell short of their goal of clinching an American League Wild Card berth and ended up finishing with a second consecutive losing season.

It marked the third straight year that the Angels have been unable to make a postseason appearance, though their 2017 season still carried several bright spots that the club hopes will position it for more success in the near future.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels counting on healthier pitching staff in '18

Angels counting on healthier pitching staff in '18

ANAHEIM -- The Angels' greatest source of optimism heading into 2018 centers around a starting rotation that is projected to be healthier and deeper than it has been over the last two seasons.

Injuries decimated the Angels' rotation in two consecutive years, a major reason why the club posted back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1992-93, but the outlook is brighter next year, when Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker, Nick Tropeano, Parker Bridwell and JC Ramirez are all expected to arrive to Spring Training healthy.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bridwell finishes breakout season on high note

Right-hander leads all American League rookie starters with 10 wins

Bridwell finishes breakout season on high note

ANAHEIM -- Parker Bridwell capped his breakout rookie campaign on a high note, tossing seven scoreless innings to lead the Angels to a 6-2 victory over the Mariners in Sunday afternoon's regular-season finale at Angel Stadium.

In his 20th and final start of the season, Bridwell held the Mariners to three singles while walking one and striking out three. He outdueled Mariners left-hander James Paxton, who worked six spotless innings before the Angels broke the game open by scoring six runs in the seventh against Seattle's bullpen.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels' 6-run 7th backs Bridwell's start in win

Angels' 6-run 7th backs Bridwell's start in win

ANAHEIM -- After being stymied through six innings by left-hander James Paxton, the Angels' offense erupted for six runs in the seventh against the Mariners' bullpen, leading to a 6-2 victory in Sunday's regular-season finale at Angel Stadium.

The Angels (80-82) sent 11 to the plate in the seventh and used three walks, three singles, two sacrifice flies and a three-run home run from Eric Young Jr. to break a scoreless tie and build a six-run lead.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia believes Pujols will bounce back in '18

Angels slugger set to avoid surgery this offseason and report healthy in spring

Scioscia believes Pujols will bounce back in '18

ANAHEIM -- It's been a difficult season for Albert Pujols, but the Angels have reason to believe that the 37-year-old slugger will rebound in 2018 with the help of a normal winter.

Pujols is poised to enter the offseason without the need for surgery, which the Angels hope will allow him to pursue an uninterrupted training regimen and improve his conditioning before Spring Training. Pujols has had three surgeries in five winters since joining the Angels, including last year, when he underwent an operation to release the plantar fascia in his right foot in December.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Draft order set; Angels to pick 17th

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

Draft order set; Angels to pick 17th

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Simmons, Cron team up for wild 6-3 putout

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Simmons, Cron team up for wild 6-3 putout

Defensively, first basemen have to be alert at all times. If you think about it, they sometimes catch throws from defenders from all over the diamond -- so paying attention is key.

Angels first baseman C.J. Cron was definitely paying attention in the fourth inning of Sunday's regular season-finale with the Mariners at Angel Stadium, after Ben Gamel hit a ball in the hole. Andrelton Simmons ranged over, picked up the ball and fired a strike across his body to Cron.

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Halos can't hold off Mariners' late rally

Halos can't hold off Mariners' late rally

ANAHEIM -- Kyle Seager and Yonder Alonso launched back-to-back home runs to highlight a five-run eighth inning that propelled the Mariners to a 6-4 comeback win over the Angels on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.

The Angels took a 4-1 lead into the eighth, but Seattle mounted a rally against Cam Bedrosian, who faced five batters and couldn't record an out. Mitch Haniger, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz produced three consecutive singles to cut the deficit to two, and Seager then blasted a three-run shot to center field to put the Mariners ahead, 5-4. Alonso capped the big inning with a solo homer, marking the ninth time Seattle hitters have gone back-to-back this season.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols passes Murray to climb all-time RBI list

Angels slugger drives in Upton for 1,918th RBI of career

Pujols passes Murray to climb all-time RBI list

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols collected his 1,918th career RBI in the Angels' 6-4 loss to the Mariners on Saturday night, surpassing Eddie Murray for sole possession of eighth place on the all-time list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Pujols drove in Justin Upton from third base with a groundout to short in the fifth inning, extending the Angels' lead to 3-1.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout adds to historic clout with 200th homer

Angels star's 2nd blast of game sparks comeback vs. Mariners

Trout adds to historic clout with 200th homer

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout reached an impressive milestone on Friday night, launching his 200th career home run in the first inning of the Angels' 6-5 win over the Mariners at Angel Stadium.

Trout crushed a 2-1 changeup from left-hander Marco Gonzales to center field to give the Angels a 1-0 lead. With the blast, Trout joined Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle as the only American League players to reach the 200-home run mark before their age-26 seasons.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Will Upton opt out of deal or return to Halos?

Will Upton opt out of deal or return to Halos?

ANAHEIM -- Justin Upton isn't offering any hints about one of the Angels' biggest offseason questions: Will he return to Anaheim next year or exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent?

Asked Friday if he had started to think about his pending decision, Upton simply shook his head and said, "No."

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout's 2nd HR fuels big 8th as Halos stun M's

Trout's 2nd HR fuels big 8th as Halos stun M's

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout's second homer of the game and Luis Valbuena's pinch-hit, two-run double led to a four-run eighth inning that vaulted the Angels to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Mariners in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

With the Angels trailing, 5-2, Trout ignited the rally with a solo shot off Nick Vincent. Albert Pujols then doubled and scored on C.J. Cron's two-out RBI single to bring the Halos within one. After Kole Calhoun reached on a single that deflected off the foot of Marc Rzepczynski, manager Mike Scioscia decided to bring in Valbuena to hit for Cliff Pennington. Valbuena followed by stroking a double to right field, driving in the game-winning runs for the Angels.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marsh, Hunter Jr. getting extra ABs at instructs

Marsh, Hunter Jr. getting extra ABs at instructs

While instructional league often serves as an opportunity for recent draftees and international signees to get acclimated to an organization and prepare for the offseason, it's also a chance for teams to get extra reps for players who may have missed time during the regular season.

Such is the case with the Angels, who are trying to get as many at-bats as they can for Brandon Marsh and Torii Hunter Jr.

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