30-year old righty reliever Dane De La Rosa has been a bright spot for the Angels during a very dim 2013 season. No one really blinked an eye when the Angels dealt reliever Steve Geltz to the Tampa Bay Rays for De La Rosa last March 27th, but it has been a huge move for the Angels. De La Rosa has pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 6-1 with 2 saves, a 2.92 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. De La Rosa has given up only 56 hits and 28 walks while whiffing 63 batters in his first 71 innings for the Angels, which are very impressive numbers. De La Rosa has now pitched in 85 games (0 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 6-1 with 2 saves, a 4.10 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.
You would never now that the Angels were stinking it out this year if you concentrated on watching 22-year old righty swinging outfielder Mike Trout. He finished #2 in the A.L. MVP Voting last year and he is showing this year that was only a glimpse of things to come. Trout has played in 150 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 186 of 568 (.327 avg, .999 OPS) with 108 runs scored, 26 homers, 92 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. Trout also has walked an A.L. leading 102 times while whiffing 125 times so far this year. Trout is leading the Angels in both runs scored (108) and stolen bases (33) in 2013 and he is also second on the team in both homers (26) and RBIs (92). Trout has now played in 329 games in his first three years with the Angels and he is 395 of 1,250 (.316 avg, .952 OPS) with 257 runs scored, 61 homers, 191 RBIs and 86 stolen bases.
28-year old righty closer Ernesto Frieri is back in a solid groove for the Angels. He was taken out of his closer’s role for a little bit and he has returned a better pitcher. Since August 1st, Frieri has pitched in 17 games (0 starts) for the Angels in which he is 2-1 with 9 saves, a 2.41 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He has given up 15 hits and 3 walks while whiffing 26 batters in his 18 2/3 innings since August 1st. Frieri has now pitched in 62 games (0 starts) overall this year for the Angels and he is 2-4 with 34 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Frieri has really tightened up his control lately and the Angels hope that continues into the future.
25-year old lefty swinging outfielder Kole Calhoun is taking advantage of his shot to play this year for the Angels. He has played in 8 games for the Angels so far in September and he is 11 of 28 (.393 avg, 1.040 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 7 RBIs. Calhoun has now played in 39 games for the Angels overall this year and he is 35 of 122 (.287 avg, .856 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 6 homers, 21 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Calhoun came into this season as the Angels’ #11 prospect according to Baseball America and he’s trying to show that he’s going to be ready for a big role in 2014 and beyond for them.
26-year old righty swinging outfielder Peter Bourjos won’t be able to bat the rest of the 2013 season due to lingering discomfort in his right wrist. He will be allowed to play defense and pinch run if needed. Bourjos has played in 55 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 48 of 175 (.274 avg, .710 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 3 homers, 12 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. He has now played in 354 games in his first four years with the Angels and he is 258 of 1,026 (.251 avg, .704 OPS) with 144 runs scored, 24 homers, 89 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. The Angels got a lot of younger outfielders to cover for Bourjos in CF the rest of the way in 2013.
UPDATE: (9/9/2013) - The Angels will be without Peter Bourjos for the rest of the season, as he will have surgery tomorrow on his right wrist.
25-year old switch-hitting catcher Hank Conger is hot at the plate right now. He has played in 22 games since August 1st for the Angels and he is 18 of 59 (.305 avg) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer and 6 RBIs. Conger has now played in 79 games for the Angels overall this year and he is 52 of 201 (.259 avg, .751 OPS) with 22 runs scored, 7 homers and 20 RBIs. Conger is starting to prove that he could handle being the starting catcher for the Angels as early as next year.
The Angels have acquired 30-year old righty swinging 1B/OF Rusty Ryal from the Dodgers for cash. Ryal played in 106 games in AAA-ball for the Dodgers this year and he was 98 of 370 (.265 avg, .669 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 4 homers and 49 RBIs. Ryal last played in the majors in 2010 with the Diamondbacks. Ryal has played in 134 games in his first two years in the majors and he is 70 for 266 (.263 avg, .721 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 6 homers and 20 RBIs. Ryal might get a few ABs in September for the Angels.
32-year old lefty starting pitcher C.J. Wilson is the other guy (Albert Pujols) that signed a big, long term deal with the Angels two winters ago. Wilson, unlike Pujols, has been worth the cash so far for the Angels. He has pitched in 27 games (all starts) for the Angels so far this year and he is 13-6 with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He has given up 170 hits and 68 walks while whiffing 156 batters in his first 171 1/3 innings so far this year, which are solid numbers. Wilson has now pitched in 61 games (all starts) in his first two years with the Angels and he is 26-16 with a 3.61 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. The most impressive thing to me about Wilson’s performance this year is that he is rising above his team and giving them a good chance to win every time he’s on the bump.
The Angels have placed 27-year old righty swinging 3B Chris Nelson on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right hamstring. Nelson has played in 33 games for the Angels so far this year and he is 24 of 109 (.220 avg, .626 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 3 homers, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Angels have called up 25-year old righty swinging 3B Luis Jimenez to replace Nelson on the active roster. Jimenez played in 24 games earlier this year for the Angels and he was 16 of 69 (.232 avg, .539 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs.
28-year old lefty swinging outfielder Robbie Widlansky is having a solid year in the minors for the Angels. He has played in 96 games in AA+AAA-ball so far this year and he is 93 of 336 (.277 avg, .758 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 10 homers, 52 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Widlansky has now played in 647 games in his first seven years in the minors and he is 671 of 2,343 (.286 avg, .773 OPS) with 297 runs scored, 50 homers, 351 RBIs and 26 stolen bases. As good as he has played this year, he’s still a longshot to get called up when rosters expand next week.