AL West Preview 2011 – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Posted on March 15, 2011 by

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Thanks to a bunch of injuries and a weak overall season, the Angels missed the playoffs. This year they look to turn everything around, with a lot on the shoulders of newly acquired OF Vernon Wells. With the departure of Hideki Matsui to Oakland and the failure to sign coveted free agent Carl Crawford, the Angels needed to fill a void in the outfield. Wells was their extremely expensive answer as the team decided to take on the burden of his contract in Toronto (the Jays owed him $86 million through 2014). Hitting – wise, he might lose a little bit due to Angels Stadium not being a right – handed hitting park, but as long as his health is solid he should post a potential all-star campaign. Torii Hunter shifts from his spot in center to right field and second year fielder Peter Bourjos will take over. The team seriously hopes that Bourjos can step in and surprise the league with his bat, but that’s highly unlikely. In order for their offense to succeed this year two players need to step up big. They need 2B Howie Kendrick to prove that he can hit the ball like all the scouts said when he entered the league. They also need 1B Kendry Morales to come back strong with his bat after embarrassingly breaking his leg after jumping on home plate during a walk-off home run celebration. If there’s a position that needs to be totally revamped for the Angels it’s at 3B. It’s going to be seriously tough when the team enters into the season with Alberto Callaspo, Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood on the third base depth chart. Those third basemen were a combined .573 OPS, which was dead last in the league.Their pitching rotation wields some seriously solid aces led by Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. Any rotation with those two plus Ervin Santana and Joel Pineiro in the fourth spot will keep the team in most games, bearing that they’re healthy. Last year’s addition of Fernando Rodney as the new closer has improved the bullpen a bit. With Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi setting – up Rodney, the Angels really need about six innings out of their starters. Both will help in the bullpen, but the Angels really sent a lot of money their way to sign them so they better show they can produce every game when needed.

Starting Rotation (09-10 stats included)
Jared Weaver: 13 – 12 / ERA 3.01
Dan Haren: 12 – 12 / ERA 3.91
Ervin Santana: 17 – 10 / ERA 3.92
Joel Pineiro: 10 – 7 / ERA 3.84
Scott Kazmir: 9 – 15 / ERA 5.94
Notable Relievers
Fernando Rodney (closer): 4 – 3 / ERA 4.24 / 14 SVs
Hisanori Takahashi: (with New York Mets) 10 – 6 / ERA 3.61 / 8 SVs
Probable Line Up
3B Maicer Izturis: .250 / 53 Hits / 7 SB
DH Bobby Abreu: .255 / 20 HRs
RF Torii Hunter: .281 / 23 HRs
1B Kendry Morales: .290 / 11 HRs
LF Vernon Wells: (with Toronto Blue Jays) .273 / 31 HRs
2B Howie Kendrick: .279 / 172 Hits
SS Erick Aybar: .253 / 135 Hits / 22 SB
C Jeff Mathis: .195 / 3 HRs
CF Peter Bourjos: .204 / 6 HRs
Overall Grades
Starting Rotation:  B+
Bullpen – B
Lineup – B+
Overall – B+

 

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Posted in: A's, MLB, Uncategorized