Angels could have a strong rotation in ’18 … if they can stay healthy

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error ANAHEIM — Hours before the Angels began their final weekend of a disappointing 2017 season, Matt Shoemaker was in the outfield playing catch, building for 2018.A little later, Garrett Richards stood in the clubhouse and pondered the possibilities.“Everybody in our rotation has had moments where they’ve looked unbelievable,” Richards said. “We know it’s certainly possible.”The Angels’ rotation has been decimated by injuries two years in a row, most notably with Richards missing almost all of both seasons. Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs, who started Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners, also missed most of both seasons. Shoemaker has been out the second half of this season, after missing the final month of 2016 when he had to have brain surgery after getting hit in the head by a line drive. JC Ramirez (damaged ulnar collateral ligament) underwent stem-cell treatment last month. He has an ultrasound scheduled for Sunday to check the progress, he said. General Manager Billy Eppler said the damage to his elbow was not as serious as the injuries that Richards and Heaney had when they underwent stem-cell therapy, so there’s optimism he can bounce back without surgery.Otherwise, the Angels go into the winter healthy.“It seems like, all of the sudden, you can can flip the page to 2018, we can have some starting rotation depth, which we haven’t had in three years,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s very promising, some of these guys are getting on the right track.”A look at the 2018 starting pitching depth chart, as it stands today:Richards, 29, successfully came back from a damaged UCL, using stem-cell therapy, but then he missed five months of 2017 because of biceps nerve irritation. He returned to post a 2.74 ERA in five starts, all on a limited pitch count.“The last month the ball was coming out of my hand as good as it ever has,” Richards said. “I got to check a lot of things off the list, as far as concerns or doubts or whatever.”Heaney, 26, made it back from Tommy John surgery earlier than expected, pitching five times before shoulder inflammation knocked him out of his last three starts. Heaney is now healthy – he would have started Thursday if the Angels hadn’t been eliminated on Wednesday – and he’s turning his attention to performing better. He had a 7.06 ERA in those five starts, a far cry from the 3.49 ERA he posted the season before undergoing surgery.Skaggs, 26, missed most this season with a strained oblique. After he returned, he pitched poorly for a month. Skaggs then tweaked his delivery and reintroduced his two-seam fastball, which helped him be more successful.Parker Bridwell, 25, was the beneficiary of the opportunity provided by all the other injuries. Acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations in April, Bridwell has a 3.87 ERA heading into his final start of the regular season, on Sunday. Although he pitches to contact, which some suggest might not be sustainable, the Angels believe he has the stuff, and the mentality, to do it.“He’s not afraid to go out there and compete,” Richards said. “That’s as useful as any particular tool you can have as a pitcher. I’m excited to see him build off this year.”Nick Tropeano, 27, has been rehabbing all season from Tommy John surgery performed last August. He is currently throwing extended bullpen sessions in instructional league. He is expected to face hitters in a game-like setting next month in Arizona, and then have a normal winter and be unrestricted in the spring.While it requires a good deal of optimism to think they all will be healthy next year, Richards said they’ve all come out stronger from their injuries.“Everybody has learned a lot about themselves, not only physically, but mindset wise as well,” he said. “I’m excited. We have the potential to be very very good.”center_img “When somebody goes down, we are all like, Really? This is happening?” Richards said. “I don’t think there’s any method to the madness. It’s all just sheer bad luck.”Which is why there is hope around the Angels that, if their luck can change next season, their weakness could suddenly become a strength.“If we could have four or five guys up and healthy,” Shoemaker said, “the sky is the limit.”As they close this season, five of the top eight starting pitchers under control for next year are able to throw without restrictions. Only one — Alex Meyer, who had shoulder surgery — is out for next season.Shoemaker (radial nerve compression surgery) is throwing, with the plan of working up to extended bullpen sessions within a month. If he passes that test, he’ll be shut down and considered healthy for spring training.last_img read more

Guardiola’s Man City win to keep perfect Liverpool in their sights

first_img“But we created from wide areas in the second half and we had the quality of Riyad Mahrez for the goal.“Everton have fast players, they caused a lot of problems at the back, so I’m delighted because we want to go for this league and try to win it again.”– Kane strikes –Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino recalled his big guns for the home match against Southampton, making 11 changes from the side that suffered a shock League Cup exit at Colchester in midweek.Spurs had won just two of their opening eight games in all competitions before Saturday and looked in deep trouble when they were reduced to 10 men.Tanguy Ndombele fired the home side ahead but they suffered a blow when Serge Aurier was sent off after half an hour for two yellow cards.Hugo Lloris then gifted Southampton an equaliser with a goalkeeping howler, Danny Ings dispossessing the Frenchman in his six-yard box and forcing the ball home before Harry Kane restored the home side’s lead shortly before half-time.The 2-1 win lifted Spurs into fourth place in the Premier League, one spot behind West Ham, who drew 2-2 away to Bournemouth after beating Manchester United last week.Pochettino said he was proud of the spirit his side had shown, adding it was an “amazing victory” for his team.“Unbelievable fightback from the team, scoring the goal with 10 men and then fighting all together in the second 45 minutes, keeping a clean sheet in the second half,” he said.Chelsea boss Lampard said his side’s 2-0 home win against Brighton, coupled with a clean sheet, would boost his players’ confidence.Speaking about the crop of young players coming through, he told the BBC: “It is great for the club and a long time coming. The work is done in the academy. The mentality is great. They want toShare on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester City clung onto the coat-tails of Premier League pacesetters Liverpool with a hard-fought win against Everton on Saturday after Jurgen Klopp’s men extended their perfect start to the season.Elsewhere, 10-man Tottenham put their recent wobbles behind them to clamber into the top four with victory against Southampton while Chelsea grabbed their first home league win under new boss Frank Lampard.In the early match, Liverpool won their seventh Premier League game out of seven thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum’s fortunate strike in a 1-0 victory at Sheffield United.The European champions looked short on invention against the well-organised Blades until Wijnaldum’s shot from the edge of the box 20 minutes from time trickled between the legs of United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.Liverpool, who have won 16 consecutive league games, finished a single point behind champions City in the Premier League last season but are now setting a searing pace as they chase their first top-flight title since 1990.“For us it was important to win, we had unbelievably big chances,” Klopp told BT Sport.“In the first half we had two big chances and in the second one, which we scored from. These games, they are not all beauties and you have to work hard for the results.”City were under huge pressure to respond in the late kick-off at Goodison Park and took the lead through Gabriel Jesus midway through the first half.But while Pep Guardiola’s men were irresistible going forward, they looked shaky at the back, with makeshift centre-back Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi in central defence.Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised and both sides had further chances to score before a Riyad Mahrez free-kick and a late Raheem Sterling goal sealed a 3-1 victory, which moved City back to within five points of Liverpool.“It’s always difficult here,” said Guardiola. “First half we started incredible, the first 20-25 minutes, then we had problems to control Gylfi Sigurdsson in that position.last_img read more

FOCAC starts today in South Africa

first_img4 December 2015Ties between China and Africa are expected to strengthen as the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) summit commences today. The historic event, the first to be hosted in Africa, will run till tomorrow in Joburg, South Africa.It is co-chaired by Chinese President Xi Jinping, already in South Africa for a State Visit, and President Jacob Zuma.Numerous heads of African states, representatives from the African Union (AU), heads of regional organisations and multilateral organisations are also participating in the summit, which has the theme “Africa-China progressing together: win-win co-operation for common development”.The Johannesburg DeclarationA new declaration – the Johannesburg Declaration – will be adopted at the conclusion of the summit. It is an action plan to outline measures to consolidate the expanding relationship between Africa and China.The summit will pick up on key areas of co-operation that the two sides have identified. These include economic co-operation, infrastructure development, beneficiation, debt relief, industrialisation, investment promotion, market access expansion, co-operation in health, agriculture, science and technology, and education, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.The Johannesburg Declaration will also take into account the AU’s first 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063. The agenda is a continental vision for an African continent that is united, peaceful and prosperous, and which moves towards industrialisation and value-addition, infrastructure development and greater intra-African trade.China and Africa partnershipThe historical relationship between China and Africa has grown in the last few years. The oriental country has been Africa’s largest trade partner for six consecutive years and Africa is assuming growing importance as an investment and engineering contract destination for Chinese enterprises.Over the past 15 years, the trade volume between China and Africa has soared from $10-billion (R144-billion at today’s exchange rate) to $220-billion. During the same period, China’s direct investment in Africa has sharply increased from $500-million to $30-billion.China&Africa: Together we make a better world #XiJinping, African leaders to attend #FOCAC summit in S. Africa https://t.co/3aRGWiOlhG— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 3, 2015South Africa’s relations with China remain central to realising its developmental agenda through foreign policy as it increases efforts to implement its National Development Plan; and collaborate in agriculture, environmental affairs, trade and industry, and finance. This comes as the country continues to drive the agenda of moving South Africa forward.Arrival of Chinese presidentPresident Xi arrived in South Africa on 2 December. In his arrival statement, he said the relationship between South Africa and China was at its best and had become a model of solidarity and co-operation between developing countries.The two countries had “steadily enhanced political trust, deepened practical collaboration in all areas and engaged in dynamic people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and carried out interestingly close international co-operation”.About FOCACEstablished in 2000, FOCAC aims to promote bilateral ties between China and Africa through dialogue.This year marks the 15th anniversary of the forum. It is the first time the ministerial meeting has been upgraded to a leader’s summit. This is seen as a reflection of the developing and growing relationship between the two sides.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

George Lopez Teams Up With PETA To Say Adiós To HomelessAnimal Crisis

first_imgCradling his canine pal Owen, George Lopez stars in a new ad for PETA that proclaims, “Fixing Your Animals Is Chingón!”George Lopez PETA AdThe new campaign reminds families that failing to spay or neuter animal companions is loco, since “fixing” them is the only way to reduce the number of dogs and cats in animal shelters and on the streets.In an exclusive video Q&A with PETA, the Lopez star shares another key way to help homeless dogs and cats: adopting from animal shelters. “I found Owen in a shelter — who knows what would have happened to him if I hadn’t come along,” he says. “If you see the look on a face of a dog who’s in a shelter, and then look at them when they get rescued, just for that sheer joy of that look on their face that you’re responsible for, it’s a beautiful thing to see.”PETA — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” — notes that more than 6 million unwanted cats and dogs enter animal shelters every year in the U.S., and roughly half of them have to be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough good homes. Countless more suffer on the streets throughout the country.In addition to combating the homeless-animal overpopulation crisis, sterilizing animals makes them less likely to develop cancer of the reproductive system and — in the case of neutered males — less likely to roam or fight.Lopez will unveil his ad live at Sublime Restaurant & Bar in Fort Lauderdale this Sunday. He joins a long list of celebrities — including Kate del Castillo, Carla Morrison, Joaquin Phoenix, Alicia Silverstone, Casey Affleck, Eva Mendes, Alfonso Herrera, and Taraji P. Henson — who have teamed up with PETA to promote kindness to animals.last_img read more