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  1. Yeah, your piece imediately came to mind when I heard he ws getting called up, and again when I red he was getting the start in center. Bold move, and may be tough to break to Hunter while he still has the hardware streak, but if players are all about team like they say he will make the move.

    Now if someone will remind Mike Napoli that he used to take a walk now and then.

    Comment by wobatus — August 3, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  2. Nice. Bourjos should really be a nice addition to the outfield. I had thought that maybe Torii would head over to Left but going to Right field is fine too.

    The team wins by upgrading the defense in center, upgrading the defense in right, and being able to trot fresher legs to left (between Rivera and Abreu). I really hope that the team puts Abreu on waivers and someone picks him up.

    Comment by BJsWorld — August 3, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  3. Perhaps the Angels’ reasoning is to simply give Peter Bourjos the best possible chance to succeed and that’s by putting him in a position where he’s most comfortable. Credit should also be given to Hunter for taking the move in stride and without ego. You should also look at the whole dynamic of the OF situation with Abreu moving to LF tonight.

    Comment by True Grich — August 3, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  4. There is TotalZone for MiLBers:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=bourjo001pet

    +76 (?!) in 2.4 years’ worth of games at CF.

    Comment by astrostl — August 3, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

  5. I don’t even understand where that 76 summary is sourced, though; the respective CF TZ’s from each listed season adds up to +52. There isn’t a TZ cited for his 2010 campaign. Maybe the additional 24 is coming from that, and added to the summary but not yet the season data?

    I’ll raise the Q with B-R and report back.

    Comment by astrostl — August 3, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  6. Hunter will likely continue winning Gold Gloves. I don’t think the award makes a distinction between the different OF positions, so the distinction is pretty meaningless anyway.

    Kind of like the award…

    Comment by symbaton — August 3, 2010 @ 6:34 pm

  7. I don’t think this move is going to improve the Angels. I don’t have confidence that the kid can hit. Putting up only average stats in Salt Lake City means hes probably going to be around replacement level with the bat. I assume he is a great CFer and he is a good baserunner too but I don’t know if he is every going to be good enough with the bat to be more than a platoon starter on a 2nd division team or a 4th outfielder on a good team.

    I’m also very surprised that they would move Hunter over to RF even if it is probably the right defensive alignment.

    Comment by Silencio — August 3, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  8. I am astonished at the gracious way in which Hunter accepted this change.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/08/torii-hunter-agrees-to-give-up-center-field-for-angels.html

    As a Mets fan, I wish Beltran would accept that his range has diminished due to injury and age, and relinquish his centerfield spot to Angel Pagan in a similar fashion. Unfortunately, rumor has it that he has been extremely resistant to such an idea.

    Comment by Anthony — August 3, 2010 @ 7:18 pm

  9. Torii’s move to RF and Bourjos’ audition in CF is most likely part of a larger plan; specifically, for the Angels to try and sign Carl Crawford this offseason.

    During the All-Star break, Torii pretty openly was attempting to recruit Crawford to join the Angels.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blog/2010/07/torii-hunter-gives-angels-sales-pitch-to-tampa-bay-star-carl-crawford.html

    A 2011 OF of Crawford-Bourjos-Hunter would complement the Angels flyball pitching staff perfectly. Crawford would be an ideal fit; superb defense and offensive skills that blend perfectly with Mike Scioscia’s style of baseball.

    The Angels have heavy payroll obligations in 2011 ($93.7 million) but this drops dramatically in 2012 ($49.9 million) and even further in 2013 ($4.5 million). Thus it would appear that the Angels could accomodate a large contract such as the one which will be necessary to land Crawford, most likely be simply deferring payments to years 2012 and beyond.

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tWBCtH8eoSECZxhX-dRCHIw&output=html

    Comment by The Joe From 1993 — August 3, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

  10. It is unfortunate that hunter has won those GG the last few years while his zone ratings show him to be mediocre, completely over-rated and a phoney. Plus his arrogant bat flip when he hits the ball, exposes him as a phoney, imo. twins fans remember how he would show that phoney smile to nearly every main writer of opposing teams during his last year with them. makes him a fraud. He doesn’t deserve to win a 10th GG and have as many as Junior, Kaline, and soon to be Ichiro.

    Comment by Nikolai Volkoff — August 3, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  11. Nikolai Volkoff is clearly an alias for Holden Caulfield, who is apparently not a Twins or Angels fan.

    Comment by Alex B. — August 3, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  12. The only way that Crawford isn’t playing for the Yankees is if he doesn’t want to be in New York. The Yankees won’t be outbid this winter for Crawford….

    Comment by Anthony — August 3, 2010 @ 8:36 pm

  13. Ditto Vernon Wells…

    Comment by 198d — August 3, 2010 @ 9:14 pm

  14. Alex, you and holden caulfield are a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
    twins fan.

    Comment by Nikolai Volkoff — August 3, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

  15. I’m not so sure about that. Even though the Yankees have a decent amount coming off the books ( When don’t you have a decent amount coming off the books when each player makes a crapton?) next year, alot of people feel that they won’t sign Crawford, especially if they sign Cliff Lee. The Yankees feel that Brett Gardner is more than adequate as Crawford-Lite and will cost them a bunch less.

    Comment by Joe Meyer — August 3, 2010 @ 10:15 pm

  16. I agree. The Yankees are in much more need of Cliff Lee, who will probably at least approach a Sabathia contract. Between that and the raises that are coming up to a few other guys, I can’t see how the Yankees would be able to get Crawford (or Werth, for that matter), despite all the talk. Great thought by Anthony, in my opinion. Crawford to the Angels is just too amazing of a fit.

    Comment by Lance W — August 3, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

  17. I don’t see anything wrong with Gardner, Granderson, or Swisher, so the Yankees do not need to sign any outfielder. OK, Granderson is wrong against LHP, but Crawford is a lefty too. They can solve that problem much easier, like maybe keeping Austin Kearns around as a platoon mate.

    This is not the Angels organization making a potentially unpopular move here. This was Hunter’s decision. I’m in awe right now of Torii’s selflessness and self awareness. As far as being a team leader goes, he’s at least a step ahead of Derek Jeter. Remember when Jeter’s team acquired a player who played better defense at the same position?

    Comment by Rally — August 3, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

  18. I hope you’re right and the Angels sign Crawford. But it’s not inconceivable that the Yankees could sign Lee and Crawford (especiallly if they don’t win the World Series (although, having said that, George has passed away, so that iron-clad will to do anything and everything after a failed year may not burn as strongly these days)).

    Comment by Anthony — August 4, 2010 @ 12:59 am

  19. actually VERNON range only diminished because of playing through a hamstring injury, and now is back to a plus defender, and by far the best CF on the team, better than bautista, flew, and snider cant play cf. maybe wise is better but their difference in bats is terrible and he should not see consistent time. in the outfield the jays have wells, lind, snider, bautista, and lewis….. clearly no spot for wise to get everyday action….

    Comment by Ryan — August 4, 2010 @ 2:36 am

  20. As a Twins fan, I am not at all surprised that Hunter is gracefully moving to right field. After all, one of the people who mentored Hunter in his very early minor league years was Kirby Puckett, who himself moved from center to right in favor of players like Alex Cole and Rich Becker.

    Side note: I also won’t be surprised to see Hunter return to Minnesota after his Angels contract is finished, to take on the Twins annual role of “good clubhouse veteran PH/occasional DH guy”.

    Comment by scottz — August 4, 2010 @ 2:50 am

  21. I contend that it is in fact Nikolai Volkoff who is the phoney.

    Comment by Mat Gonzales — August 4, 2010 @ 4:40 am

  22. Interesting that Hunter moved to RF, given that a lot of his lost defensive value (and the metrics, well UZR really, have been off on his value) has come from a drop in arm strength. That said, his debut featured an excellent throw to the plate and may well show that with the shorter throws and better ability to square up and balance, Hunter’s arm can still be an asset, or at least not a liability.

    The idea of having Crawford out there with Bourjous and Hunter strikes me as similar to the Seattle OFs of Chavez/Langerhans – Guttierez – Ichiro, with a touch less arm strength and more offense. Then you put Abreu at DH and have Rivera as a trade chip or 4th OFer.

    Comment by Alireza — August 4, 2010 @ 6:19 am

  23. Thank you for pointing this out. No one asked Torii to do this. He did it willingly, which is an awesome move from a decorated veteran.

    Comment by Ryan — August 4, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  24. Apparently, Hunter volunteered to play rf.

    Comment by wobatus — August 4, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  25. His road line is .313/.357/.495. It’s the PCL, but his line wasn’t completely driven by his home stats. His mle is .255/.294/.401. His walk rate doesn’t bode well for immediate success. Jose tabata, with better patience and less power, had an mle of .276/.331/.371, and he has outperformed that. Batting average driven. Not sure if Bourjos can quite get to slightly above-average, but his glove and positional value in center should make him an above-average player even now.

    Comment by wobatus — August 4, 2010 @ 11:15 am

  26. While the Angels make sense for Crawford, I am thinking/hoping that the Tigers will be making a decent pitch for him this offseason – they’ll be out from under a number of albatross contracts this offseason, and Crawford would be a perfect fit for a spacious LF, and batting 1-2 with Jackson atop the lineup. Yankees – would be difficult for them to bench one of Gardner, Granderson & Swisher. Best bet might be to try to move Granderson for pennies on the dollar, and likely eat some of his contract, in which case I’ll take him back here in Detroit – but that might be difficult, ego-wise, to pull the trigger on a move like that for the Yankees brass.

    Comment by Ian — August 4, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

  27. And agreed – kudos to Hunter for suggesting/agreeing to move to RF. Pretty rare these days.

    Comment by Ian — August 4, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  28. By any metric, VW is still a below average defensive CF — he’s just not quite as Dunn-esque this year. Admittedly, there is no viable replacement this year; Rios would have been much better in CF before he was let go but VW wouldn’t budge. We’ll see if he’s as gracious as Torii during the twilight years of his contract, but I have my doubts.

    Comment by 198d — August 4, 2010 @ 5:05 pm

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