Jump to content


Yo! You're not logged in. Why am I seeing this ad?

Photo

The 2010 Angels


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
12 replies to this topic

#1 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 03 May 2010 - 01:01 PM

There's not a lot of Angels' talk on this board. I follow them closely and have a few observations. (My work takes me to the OC a few times a year, and I've actually seen more Sox games in Anaheim than in Fenway the past few years.)

And so we have the matchup of the irresistible force against the moveable object, as the 12-14 Angels have spent the first 4 weeks of the season discovering that Joel Pineiro is not a full replacement for John Lackey and that Brandon Wood is not a comp for the departed Chone Figgins, and that finally beating the Red Sox in a playoff series was not going to make them happily ever after.

Both the Sox and the Angels have become accustomed to being perennial contenders, and yet both have looked little like a 2010 contender.

Luckily, for the Angels, any record above .500 will have earned you first place in the 2010 AL West, so, unlike our Boston Red Sox, they can afford to slack for a few more months and still have a chance at the playoffs. The Sox are not nearly so lucky, and the team has to have the edge in urgency for this series. Sometimes a sense of urgency lights a fire under one's ass, yet, sometimes it only leads to a player to press and make things worse.

What's gone right for the Angels so far:

1. Jered Weaver could be the Ace replacement for the departed John Lackey. Before his lousy start yesterday (4.2 IP, 7 H, 4ER) Weaver had thrown QS in his first 5 appearances. Still too early to tell if he'll be more consistent in 2010, but clearly the Angels' best pitcher, and he will NOT pitch in this week's series vs the Sox.

2. Brian Fuentes and Fernando Rodney have not sucked nearly so badly as feared. Rodney filled in as closer and was 5 for 5 in save opportunities. He has a WHIP under 1.00, even with a BB/K of 9/7 in 12.2 IP.

3. Kendry Morales, although off a bit from his 2009 breakout season, is still off to a good start with an .869 OPS, 6 homers, 16 RBI. He's no one-year wonder.

What's gone wrong for the Angels:

1. Brandon Wood, formerly a "can't miss' prospect (2008), is hitting .189, with a .454 OPS and 22 K's with just 2 BB. The only good news is that he's raised his average over 100 pts in the last 8 games going 10/28. Wood hit a ton of homers in the minors and for 4 years he's been touted as the next big thing. But he's never been able to make contact in all of his mlb stints, has always shown little selectivity or patience at the plate, and, to make matters worse, he's now out of options, so it's a case of sink or swim in his effort to hold down the 3rd base job.

2. Joe Saunders now knows that regression to the norm can indeed be a bitch. Back in 2008 "Average Joe" became enemy #1 for all the sabermetric boys when he started the season off with a 9-2 record and an ERA close to 2.50, thanks to a BABIP under .260. "Unsustainable!" cried the numbers guys, and, indeed the BABIP increased, as did his ERA, but, in spite of it all, he came into the 2010 season with a lucky(?1) career W-L of 48-22, with an OPS+ lower than that of Tim Wakefield. This year, Joe has not been good or lucky.

3. Scott Kazmir has a great future behind him. After missing a couple of starts on the DL, Kaz has resembled the bad version of DiceK, with just 21 IP over 4 starts. On Saturday, Kaz finally had a good start vs the Tigers, lasting 6 IP, while throwing 117 pitches, walking 4, with 7 K's. Just one ER allowed. Scioscia hopes that Kaz can have a hot streak similar to his 6 game debut with the Angels at the end of 2010, but streaky appears to be the best the Angels can hope for.

4. Joel Pineiro misses Dave Duncan, St. Louis and the National League. 3 QS to start the year, 15 ERs allowed in his last two starts.

5. Injuries -- Jeff Mathis, given the starting job by Scioscia because of his defensive skills, is on the DL with a wrist injury. Mike Napoli, considered the offensive option at catcher, has hit poorly since taking over.

6. Scot Shields is the Angels' version of Big Papi... well sort of(okay, a stretch). Shields was one of the top set up men in baseball during the Angels' run that began with their 2002 World Championship. He had been Scioscia's security blanket, and his managing of the late innings of games often depended upon the availabilty of Shields. 2010 is the last year of Sheild's contract and he's coming back from injury. And he's sucked. But Scioscia is giving him every opportunity to succeed... or fail.


After dropping 3 to the Orioles, this early-May series suddenly has way more importance that it should. But the pitching matchups for Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday (Buchholz v Saunders, Lester v Santana and Lackey v Pineiro) clearly favor the Red Sox, with Thursday's matchup of DiceK vs Kazmir promising to be 4 hour plus affair with 3 hours allotted to the first 6 innings.

This series is a good chance for the Sox to rebound vs a "name" opponent. Besides the growing urgency to turn it around before falling 10+ games out of the playoff race, this a chance to avenge getting their asses kicked last October. Not to mention that Wednesday is NOMAR DAY!! c070.gif

#2 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 11 May 2010 - 03:27 PM

The Bullpen of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (file under: So you think your team's pen sucks?!)

During the last 8 days in May, the Angels have continued to be the Sox best ally in keeping them in playoff contention. In addition to playing poor baseball and being swept by the Sox, in their 4 game series last week, the Angels have also split the 6 games played vs the Yankees this season, and last night managed to scrape out an extra-innings win vs the suddenly slumping Tampa Bay Rays.

One thing is clear and that is that the Angels' 2010 bullpen is a disaster. While the Angels team is commited to a $120 million payroll this year, $25 million of that is for contracts to the following relief pitchers:

Brian Fuentes - 7.04 ERA 1.565 WHIP in 10 K/7 BB in 7.2 IP($9 mil in 2010, plus a vested option in 2011[55 GF in 2010] for $9 mil)
Fernando Rodney - 2.87 ERA 1.213 WHIP, but 11 BB in 15.2 IP ($5.5 mil in 2010, plus $5.5 mil in 2011)
Scot Shields - 7.71 ERA 2.464 WHIP 11 BB in 9.1 IP ($5.3 mil in 2010, the final year of a 3 year, $14.6 mil deal)
Justin Speir - (Released, but owed $5.25 mil in the final year of a 3 year contract.)

I find it astonishing that an organization like the Angels, that is considered(under Mike Scioscia) to have a very good track record of properly evaluating pitching, would be on the line for over 1/5th of their payroll to relief pitchers, let alone relievers that are contributing so little. Fuentes was out for a couple of weeks and Rodney actually was 4 for 4 in save opportunities, but his career BBs/9 (4.7) makes him less than an ideal candidate for closer. Nonetheless, Rodney could become the closer in the wake of Fuentes' blown save to the Rays last night. (and the fact that moving Fuentes out of the closer role will prevent the 2011 option from being vested)

And to make matters worse for Manager Mike Scioscia, there has yet to emerge any younger, lesser paid reliever to pick up the slack. The rest of the pen includes:

Kevin Jepsen 4.05 ERA, 1.425 WHIP 15 K/7 BB in 13.1 IP.
Brian Stokes 7.31 ERA 2.500 WHIP 16 BB in 16 IP. (Stokes came from the Mets in the GMJr deal last winter)
Jason Bulger 4.50 ERA 1.857 WHIP 10 BB in 14 IP.
Matt Palmer 5.50 ERA 2.056 WHIP 14 BB in 18 IP. (Palmer also made one spot start, not included in his relief stats.)

Overall, the Angels' 2010 pen has allowed 75 BBs in 99.2 IP pitched, inflating it's collective WHIP to 1.846 and ERA to 5.42. (By comparison, the Red Sox pen to date, has allowed 45 BBs in 103.2 IP, a WHIP of 1.350 and ERA of 4.77)

The only promising candidate, currently on the staff, is Kevin Jepsen, who, at 25, can learn to get past the occasional diastrous outing like the stinker he had vs the Sox one week ago. (3 BB and 2 Hits in 0.2 IP of relief.) Meanwhile, recently promoted from AAA, the Angels have Trevor Bell, a 23 year old right-hander, who's K'd over 6 per 9 in the minors with decent control, but who failed in 20 innings with the big club last year.

The Angels may yet be a front runner in the weak AL West, but it remains to be seen how Mike Scioscia will be able to even apply lipstick on this pig of a bullpen.

Edited by WenZink, 11 May 2010 - 03:50 PM.


#3 Mueller's Twin Grannies

  • 222 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:16 AM

Morales broke his leg in a walk-off celebration.

This team just can't catch a break.

::ducks::

#4 Snodgrass'Muff


  • smarter as Lucen


  • 20,941 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 04:27 PM

SI.com is already jumping to the "Lowell to the Angels" conclusion.

QUOTE
Whether [Kendry] Morales plays again this year, the Angels are staring at a gaping hole at first base, which is where Lowell enters the equation.


They were referencing a Herald article that makes the same leap.

QUOTE
Lowell, who has played sparingly since David Ortiz [stats] exploded at the start of the month, could be just what the Angels seek, particularly if the Red Sox [team stats] pick up at least three quarters of his $12 million salary, as they were prepared to do when trying to trade Lowell to Texas last winter.

Right now the idea of Lowell landing in Anaheim is pure speculation, but it makes sense for both sides.


Obviously, the last line in the second quote here is the most important one. It's all just speculation, which is why it's here and not on the main board. Interesting thought, though.

#5 Gunfighter 09


  • wants to be caribou ken


  • 4,337 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 04:58 PM

A Brandon Wood flier perhaps?

I have to think he would be better at SS and 2B than Hall or Woodward. Wood has played 36 games at short in the major leagues, I wonder if Sox could figure out the mystery of why his power hasn't translated at the ML level. He is out of options and on a rehab assignment at Salt Lake City, I imagine the Halos will see if he gets his swing untracked in SLC and if he has not, find another first basemen, probably sending Wood away in the deal when he has to come back up or be released on June 19.

#6 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 01 June 2010 - 03:00 PM

QUOTE (Snodgrass'Muff @ May 31 2010, 05:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SI.com is already jumping to the "Lowell to the Angels" conclusion.



They were referencing a Herald article that makes the same leap.



Obviously, the last line in the second quote here is the most important one. It's all just speculation, which is why it's here and not on the main board. Interesting thought, though.


Having acquired Matsui in the off-season, the Angels don't seem to be ready to add another aging, slow player to the team. For the short term, they've placed catcher Mike Napoli at first. Sciosica likes his teams to be aggressive on the basepaths, and with Matsui and sluggish Juan Rivera already in the lineup, he would be reluctant to add Lowell -- who may be the slowest player in baseball. Napoli, considered a poor defensive catcher, has found his swing, after a slow start. And with Mathis coming off the DL, manager Mike Scioscia has hopes that Napoli can handle first base and still keep his bat in the lineup. Napoli has not played first base, even semi-regularly, since his minor league season of 2006.

The Angels had appeared to be on their way to being a factor in the 2010 AL West race, raising their record to 26-27 and pulling within 2.5 games of division leader Oakland. Much of it has to do with an easier schedule after facing much of the league's top teams in the first 7 weeks. The loss of Morales is huge, and I'm not sure if the Angels are willing to risk much of their limited farm depth on trying to save the season. Running up to the All Star break, the Angels have 7 games vs the division leading Oakland A's, plus a 3 game series vs the Rangers. How they fare vs their division rivals will determine how active they are in the trade market.

#7 Al Zarilla


  • SoSH Member


  • 22,105 posts

Posted 01 June 2010 - 03:11 PM

QUOTE (WenZink @ Jun 1 2010, 01:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
....he would be reluctant to add Lowell -- who may be the slowest player in baseball.

Bengie Molina makes Mike Lowell look like Usain Bolt. Bengie literally looks like he's running in molasses. When he's on second, a hit has to be practically down the line or a gapper to score him. Bengie is an epically slow baseball player. Carry on.

#8 Mueller's Twin Grannies

  • 222 posts

Posted 01 June 2010 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (Al Zarilla @ Jun 1 2010, 04:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Bengie Molina makes Mike Lowell look like Usain Bolt. Bengie literally looks like he's running in molasses. When he's on second, a hit has to be practically down the line or a gapper to score him. Bengie is an epically slow baseball player. Carry on.


Jim Thome isn't exactly fleet of foot, either, nor Matt Stairs. But none of them are on the Angels and only one - Lowell - makes any sense to acquire in a trade. By that justification, he's the slowest possible replacement on a team that already has Rivera...but Lowell IS an excellent baserunner by many accounts and that is something I think Scioscia would value a bit to make up for the loss of speed. We'll see, though. If Morales is going to be back, he may just get a short-term fix and Lowell is not that with his contract. Then again, Arte Moreno may not care to eat a few million to DFA him if such is the case.

I doubt the Sox get Brandon Wood for Lowell, though. The Angels aren't dumb when it comes to making trades - it's why they don't do a whole lot during the season, or at least didn't for a long time - and know that Lowell's value is mediocre at best right now on the open market, so there's not much sense offering a former top prospect who's only had a couple cups of coffee in the Majors and could very easily emerge as a prototypical late bloomer. Hell, the Tigers just dealt Dontrelle Willis - former NL Rookie of the Year, 2-time All-Star - to the Diamondbacks, an NL team, for a low level prospect. Willis, for all his problems now, is a starting pitcher - much more valuable than a position player of Mike Lowell's calibre - and hasn't exactly been awful this season (meh ERA, but much better than his past years in the AL), but he can also generate a little offense from that position in the lineup (if he can still hit the way he did with the Marlins), which is extra value to an NL team.

And, again, it was for a low level prospect. No way Mike Lowell moves for much better, especially if the Halos have to eat any of his contract.

#9 Gunfighter 09


  • wants to be caribou ken


  • 4,337 posts

Posted 01 June 2010 - 11:02 PM

QUOTE (Mueller's Twin Grannies @ Jun 1 2010, 05:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jim Thome isn't exactly fleet of foot, either, nor Matt Stairs. But none of them are on the Angels and only one - Lowell - makes any sense to acquire in a trade. By that justification, he's the slowest possible replacement on a team that already has Rivera...but Lowell IS an excellent baserunner by many accounts and that is something I think Scioscia would value a bit to make up for the loss of speed. We'll see, though. If Morales is going to be back, he may just get a short-term fix and Lowell is not that with his contract. Then again, Arte Moreno may not care to eat a few million to DFA him if such is the case.

I doubt the Sox get Brandon Wood for Lowell, though. The Angels aren't dumb when it comes to making trades - it's why they don't do a whole lot during the season, or at least didn't for a long time - and know that Lowell's value is mediocre at best right now on the open market, so there's not much sense offering a former top prospect who's only had a couple cups of coffee in the Majors and could very easily emerge as a prototypical late bloomer. Hell, the Tigers just dealt Dontrelle Willis - former NL Rookie of the Year, 2-time All-Star - to the Diamondbacks, an NL team, for a low level prospect. Willis, for all his problems now, is a starting pitcher - much more valuable than a position player of Mike Lowell's calibre - and hasn't exactly been awful this season (meh ERA, but much better than his past years in the AL), but he can also generate a little offense from that position in the lineup (if he can still hit the way he did with the Marlins), which is extra value to an NL team.

And, again, it was for a low level prospect. No way Mike Lowell moves for much better, especially if the Halos have to eat any of his contract.



Then what do the Angels do with the out of options Wood if they add a Mike Lowell or Adam Laroche etc?

#10 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:26 PM

Your Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue to show their resilience under Manager Mike Scioscia.

Since losing Kendry Morales in a walk-off celebration that ended him being carried-off, the Angels have won 9 out of 11, pulling to within 1/2 game of the AL West leaders, the Texas Rangers. In Morales' absence, the Angels have split the playing time at 1st base between Catcher Mike Napoli and the much-maligned Robb Quinlan.

The primary reason for getting hot has been the favorable schedule, with the Angels facing the weak hitting Mariners and A's, as well as the Royals. Against that competition, Joe Saunders has thrown 2 good starts in a row, as has Scott Kazmir -- although Kaz' starts are still short in innings, owing to high pitch counts. Pineiro continues to look like a NL Duck out of water. Jered Weaver, in spite of a poor start vs Oakland, on Tuesday, has had a consistent season of high quality. And Erwin Santana is much more like the stud from 2008, rather than the injury-plagued dud from 2009.

The Angels' 15 game interleague interlude has them paired against the surprising Dodgers for 6 games, as well as series versus the Rockies and Cubbies. At the end of the month, the Angels face the Rangers, in Anaheim.

For now, anyway, the Angels appear to be content with their in-house options at 1st base. Catcher Jeff Mathis, on the DL since mid-April, is scheduled to return this weekend, and that will supplant the depth that was lost when Napoli became the alternate at 1st base. Meanwhile, Brandon Wood, Angels' Opening Day 3rd baseman, continues to 'rehab' from a case of the Hellenic Flu, down at the Angels' Salt Lake City affiliate. Wood, who was hitting .156 with the Angels when Scioscia kicked him in the .... I mean when Scioscia noticed Wood's ailing hip, has compiled a .182 BA in AAA in 10 games. (But 4 hits in his last two games.)

The Angels still have a lot of problems. Morales is a longshot to return this season, their bullpen still has a lot of holes, their starting rotation is mediocre after the first 2 spots and there appears to be no decent replacement in case of injury to one of their top 5. And without Morales, their offense consists of some smurfs and a bunch of good, but aging ball players - Hunter, Matsui, Abreu. But Scioscia is a master at keeping the ship calm even in troubled waters. His "What me worry?" approach has kept the Angels at or near the top of a crappy division for years and years.

#11 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:31 PM

Angels' shortstop Aybar has meniscus injury.

http://latimesblogs....cus-injury.html

"Angels shortstop Erick Aybar was diagnosed with what the team called "meniscal damage" after Dr. Lewis Yocum reviewed the MRI examination of Aybar's left knee. The Angels said Aybar would be re-evaluated Friday."

Aybar could be out for 4-8 weeks if surgery is required.

More bad news for the Angels' infield that had already been hit with the loss of Kendry Morales for the season. Currently, they are alternating C-Mike Napoli and utility IF, Kevin Frandsen at 1st base. (Frandsen is an alum of the 2010 PawSox, and primarily a middle infielder, having only played a dozen games of AAA ball at 1st.) If Aybar is out for any length of time, that leaves the oft-injured Maicer Izturis as their shortstop, leadoff man (OBP:.322) and backup to the current 3B, Brandon Wood (who just came off his DL rehab stint in AAA, and is now hitting .152).

Clearly, if Aybar is gone for a month, the Angels' infield situation is untenable, unless Wood has a miraculous turnaround at the plate.

This clearly increases the opportunity for the Sox to move Mike Lowell to the Angels, if only as a first attempt by LAA to fix their depleted infield. Of course, it's still not sure what the Angels have that could make any impact on the 2010 Sox, but it could mean that the Sox would be paying a smaller percentage of Lowell's 2010 salary remainder.

Edited by WenZink, 16 June 2010 - 02:32 PM.


#12 WenZink

  • 605 posts

Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:59 AM

Angels' infielder, Maicer Izturis, to DL with shoulder injury. And the hits just keep on comin'!

http://sports.yahoo....ngels-izturisdl

In the last 3 weeks, the Angels have seen their infield decimated. Starting 1st baseman Morales out for the season; starting SS Aybar with miniscus tear, and now 3B-SS backup, Maicer Izturis on the 15 day DL with a shoulder injury.

Consider that the Angels now have converted catcher, Mike Napoli playing 1st, and AAAA utility middle infielder Kevin Frandsen playing 3rd and the .156 hitting Brandon Wood now playing at his old minor league position of SS. Frandsen has posted a .400 OBP in his few weeks with the Angels, but how often have we seen a utility player get his shot, start off hot and then be exposed? (see -- Green, Nick)

Not surprisingly, the Angels' defense at the corners, has taken a hit, with Frandsen and Napoli having trouble making the plays at their new positions. (Frandsen has also played 1st base, on occasion.) Their outfield defense is also piss-poor at the corners, with club-footed Juan Rivera getting most of the starts in left, and the athletic, but indifferent, Bobby Abreu playing in right.

Still, the Angels are 5 games above .500 and within 2 games of division leading Texas. But, the Angels have 10 games scheduled against Texas between now and the end of July. Those 10 games could decide the AL West division. Although not normally considered an impact player, Mike Lowell, could actually have an impact on the outcome of those games if he ends up with either Texas or LAA, and if the trade is completed within the next week -- whatever positive effect he might have would be doubled in the 10 head-to-head matchups.

(If the Sox can't pull the trigger on a Mike Lowell deal, then I'd be stunned. I'd even be surprised if the Sox would have to pick up much of his salary, assuming they'd be satisfied with just getting a warm body back in trade.)



#13 melonbag

  • 133 posts

Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:35 PM

What's gone right for the Angels so far:

1. Jered Weaver could be the Ace replacement for the departed John Lackey.
2. Brian Fuentes and Fernando Rodney have not sucked nearly so badly as feared.
3. Kendry Morales, although off a bit from his 2009 breakout season, is still off to a good start with an .869 OPS, 6 homers, 16 RBI. He's no one-year wonder.

What's gone wrong for the Angels:

1. Brandon Wood, formerly a "can't miss' prospect (2008), is hitting .189, with a .454 OPS and 22 K's with just 2 BB.

2. Joe Saunders now knows that regression to the norm can indeed be a bitch.
3. Scott Kazmir has a great future behind him.
4. Joel Pineiro misses Dave Duncan, St. Louis and the National League.
5. Injuries -- Jeff Mathis, given the starting job by Scioscia because of his defensive skills, is on the DL with a wrist injury. Mike Napoli, considered the offensive option at catcher, has hit poorly since taking over.


Wow, lots of changes for the Angels since this thread was created.
They've fallen on hard times (for them) by missing out of the playoffs for 2 consecutive years.

Of the "what's gone right"....

Jered Weaver has replaced Lackey as the ace and was signed to an extension for Lackey money. Good job.
But the Fuentes/Rodney experiment didn't work out at all.
And Kendrys shattered his leg after a walk off and missed nearly all of the last two seasons.


As far as the "what's gone wrong"....

Wood is gone, labeled as a failure.
Saunders was traded for Dan Haren- a very good move.
Piniero is still a liability on the mouind.
Mathis had a break out season....for the Rangers.

An update on the what's gone right:

Good young talent.
Mike Trout, Peter Borgeous, Jordan Walden, Jerome Williams, and Mike Trumbo all have promising futures.


Offseason forecast:
The Angels need bats, but this seems to be a very light free agent market outside of first basemen. And the Angels already have a potential logjam at 1B with Trumbo (possible ROY) and Morales. I think Aramis Ramirez would be the best fit at 3rd.