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Los Angeles Angels MLB News - Angels Baseball Blog » 2008 » March

The over/under for the Los Angeles Angels is 91.5 wins for 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 11:15 am

The Los Angeles Angels won’t likely win that many games unless Ervin Santana, Dustin Moseley and Joe Saunders can keep the rotation afloat until John Lackey returns in May. Also, Scot Shields is banged up and that will effect the Angels’ bullpen big time. The Angels will be a solid baseball team but they won’t get a whiff of 91 wins….take the under.

The Los Angeles Angels starting rotation is hurting heading into the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 31 March 2008 at 9:08 am

The Angels are darn lucky that they traded for Jon Garland in the off-season. John Lackey will likely miss at least the first month with a sore arm and Kelvim Escobar will likely miss the entire season. To put that into perspective, Lackey started 33 games last season for the Angels and he was 19-9 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Escobar started 30 games last season and he was 18-7 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Without those two guys in the rotation the Angels will need big efforts out of Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders and Dustin Moseley.

25-year old righty Jered Weaver will be the ace of the rotation by default. He started 28 games for the Angels last season and he was 13-7 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He has the stuff to be a big winner so it will be interesting to see if he takes a step forward in 2008.

28-year old righty Jon Garland will be the #2 starter for the Angels at the start of the season. He should benefit from his new home park and his improved defense that will be behind him. Garland started 32 games last season for the White Sox and he was 10-13 with a 4.23 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Garland was a combined 36-17 in the 2005+2006 seasons which shows that he has plenty of upside.

25-year old righty Ervin Santana should be so much better than he is because of his stuff. It appears that he gets rattled very easily when things don’t go his way. He pitched in 28 games (26 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 7-14 with a 5.76 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. In his previous two season for the Angels Santana was 28-16 so the potential is there for a rebound.

27-year old lefty Joe Saunders will be the #4 starter for the Angels this season. He started 18 games for the Angels last season and he was 8-5 with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Saunders now has a career record of 15-8 in 33 major league starts so look for him to take advantage of his big chance.

26-year old righty Dustin Moseley did a little bit of everything for the Angels last season but he will be in the rotation until Lackey returns. He pitched in 46 games (8 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 4-3 with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

21-year old righty Nick Adenhart is the top prospect in the Angels system from the pitching side and he will likely be the first callup if the Angels need a starting pitcher. He started in 26 games in AA ball last season and he was 10-8 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C+

Vladimir Guerrero is still the main man in RF for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 9:55 am

32-year old righty swinging Vladimir Guerrero and 33-year old switch hitting Gary Matthews will be sharing time at RF & DH this season. This is with the idea of keeping Guerrero healthy enough to play in 150+ games in 2008. Guerrero played in 150 games for the Angels last season and he was 186 for 574 (.324 avg, .950 OPS) with 89 runs scored, 27 homers and 125 RBIs. He played in 108 games in RF last season and he made 9 errors while showing average range. Not many batters challenged his throwing arm last season as he only had 5 assists. Look for Guerrero to have a monster 2008 season for the Angels.

Gary Matthews will bring his outstanding mitt to RF part time and it will make the Angels defense much better while giving Guerrero a breather.

Reggie Willits is likely #3 in line in RF also as he played 31 games there last season while only making 1 error and showing below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A+

The Los Angeles Angels are loaded in CF for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 9:49 am

32-year old righty swinging CF Torii Hunter was the Angels’ big addition over the winter. He played in 160 games for the Twins last season and he was 172 for 600 (.287 avg, .839 OPS) with 94 runs scored, 28 homers, 107 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Hunter only made 2 errors in 155 games in CF while showing average range. He does make a lot of acrobatic catches that get him on Sports Center.

Gary Matthews will be the main backup in CF for the Angels. He played in 135 games there for the Angels last season and he made 5 errors while showing outstanding range.

27-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits is #3 in line for playing time in CF this season. He played in 136 games for the Angels last season and he was 126 for 430 (.293 avg, .735 OPS) with 74 runs scored, 34 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. He played in 30 games in CF for the Angels last season and he made 1 error while showing average range.

28-year old switch hitting Nathan Haynes played in 40 games for the Angels last season and he was 12 for 45 (.267 avg, .624 OPS) with 10 runs scored, 1 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He played in 12 error-free games in CF for the Angels last season but he showed poor range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A-

LF will be a timeshare for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 24 March 2008 at 9:43 am

36-year old lefty swinging Garret Anderson will split time between LF & DH this season. He played in 108 games for the Angels last season and he was 124 for 417 (.297 avg, .828 OPS) with 67 runs scored, 16 homers and 80 RBIs. Anderson made 2 errors in 85 games in LF last season while showing below average range. Anderson will likely play in at least 135 games this season as the Angels will shuttle him between LF and DH in an attempt to keep him healthy and his bat in the lineup.

33-year old switch hitting Gary Matthews will play a lot of LF and RF with Torii Hunter now the starting CF. He played in 140 games last season for the Angels and he was 130 for 516 (.252 avg, .742 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 18 homers, 72 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. He made 5 errors in 135 games in CF while showing outstanding range so he should be great in LF for the Angels in 2008.

29-year old Juan Rivera also might get some ABs in LF this season. He played in 14 games for the Angels last season and he was 12 for 43 (.279 avg, .737 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 2 homers and 8 RBIs. Rivera has played in 466 games in his major league career and he has a .291 average with a .813 OPS, so the Angels will find a way to get him some ABs this season.

27-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits played in 64 games in LF last season making only 1 error while showing outstanding range but he has too many players in front of him on the depth chart to get too much playing time there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B

John Lackey could miss all of April for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Injuries by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 10:25 pm

The Angels are planning on shutting John Lackey down for the next 3-4 weeks as he tries to recover from a strained triceps muscle. The Angels couldn’t afford this to happen right now as they will already be without Kelvim Escobar until at least May. Lackey has a career record of 79-58 with a 3.82 ERA. Lackey will be replaced most likely by Dustin Moseley in the starting rotation. He has a career record of 5-3 with a 4.89 ERA.

The Los Angeles Angels are loaded at DH for the 2008 season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 10:21 pm

The Angels will be rotation four players at the DH position. Vladimir Guerrero, Garret Anderson, Gary Matthews and Juan Rivera will split up time at DH. Guerrero and Anderson will DH often to keep them fresh and healthy. Gary Matthews will likely play in place of Guerrero or Anderson in the field. When Anderson and Guerrero both play in the field either Gary Matthews or Juan Rivera will DH. The 29-year old righty swinging Rivera missed a lot of last season due to injury. He only played in 14 games for the Angels last season and he was 12 for 43 (.279 avg, .737 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 2 homers and 8 RBIs. Rivera has played in 466 games in his career and he has a .291 career batting average and a .813 OPS which shows the man can hit.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: A

The Los Angeles Angels are set at 3B for the 2008s season

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 10:16 pm

30-year old switch hitting Chone Figgins isn’t the prototype starting 3B because of his lack of power. But make no mistake Figgins is a game changing offensive player. Figgins played in 115 games last season for the Angels and he was 146 for 442 (.330 avg, .825 OPS) with 81 runs scored, 3 homers, 58 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. Figgins is not a good defensive 3B as he made 13 errors in 99 games there while showing poor range. Don’t look for Figgins to hit .330 again in 2008 as he never has shown capable of doing something like that in the past. Still, look for Figgins to have another good season as he challenges for the stolen base crown in 2008.

Maicer Izturis filled in and did a decent job for the Angels while Figgins was out. He played in 53 games there and he made only 3 errors but he didn’t show much range. Izturis will only back Figgins up if he doesn’t win the starting SS job. Erick Aybar and/or Brandon Wood could also get some P.T. at the hot corner this season.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B

The SS job will be fought for in spring training for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Saturday 15 March 2008 at 9:46 pm

Erick Aybar, Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood will duke it out in spring trainging for the starting shortstop job. 24-year old switch hitting Erick Aybar played in 79 games for the Angels last season and he was 46 for 194 (.237 avg, .568 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 1 homer, 19 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Aybar has been a high average hitter in the minors and he’s a base stealer. Aybar played in 20 games at SS for the Angels last season and he made 2 errors while showing below average range. He appeared to be the leader when spring training started.

27-year old switch hitting Maicer Izturis is such a valuable player off the bench that it may actually hinder his chance to win the starting SS job. He played in 102 games last season for the Angels and he was 97 for 336 (.289 avg, .754 OPS) with 47 runs scored, 6 homers, 51 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Izturis only played in 3 games at SS last season for the Angels and he made 1 error while showing outstanding range. Izturis would likely be the best option at SS if the Angels value defense there.

23-year old righty swinging Brandon Wood entered spring training as the long shot but he also is the player with the most upside. He played in 13 games for the Angels last season and he was 5 for 33 (.152 avg, .425 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs. He also whiffed 12 times and looked overmatched at times in the majors. He played in 3 games at SS for the Angels last season and he didn’t make an error while showing poor range. Wood is the #1 prospect in the Angels’ minor league system according to the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. He has played in 549 games in his minor league career and he is 611 for 2,163 (.282 avg, .878 OPS) with 361 runs scored, 107 homers, 384 RBIs and 61 stolen bases. If the Angels value offense at SS then Brandon Wood should win the starting job.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: C

Howie Kendrick is set up for a huge 2008 season for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 14 March 2008 at 4:39 pm

24-year old righty swinging Howie Kendrick is set up for a career season as long as he can stay healthy which has been an issue with him. He played in 88 games last season for the Angels and he was 109 for 338 (.322 avg, .797 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 5 homers and 39 RBIs. Look for Kendrick to compete for the American League Batting Title in 2008. But, Kendrick is a butcher in the field as his range is limited and he made 9 errors in only 86 games at 2B.

The loser of the battle for the starting shortstop job between Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar will be Kendrick’s backup. Either of these guys would be a huge defensive upgrade for the Angels but neither is on the same planet as Kendrick as a hitter.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2008 SEASON: B+

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