For a short while, Frank Tanana was a dominating pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 28 January 2010 at 9:48 am

Lefty starting pitcher Frank Tanana was a flame thrower with the Angels early on in his career. He gave the Angels and amazing 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with Nolan Ryan. Tanana pitched 8 years for the Angels in which he appeared in 225 games (218 starts) and he was 102-78 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Tanana was at his best from 1975-1977 when he was a youngster (21-23 years old). During that time frame he pitched in 99 games (98 starts) for the Angels and he was 50-28 with a 2.53 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He has a amazing 59 complete games and 14 shutouts in those three seasons! Tanana was a three time All-Star with the Angels and he led the American League in strikeouts in 1975 with 269 of them. Tanana’s name is all over the record books for the Angels. He is #2 all-time in complete games (92) in team history, #2 in shutouts (42), #5 in games started (218), tied for #4 in wins (102), #6 in ERA (3.08), #3 in WHIP (1.17), #4 in innings pitched (1,615 1/3) and he is #4 in strikeouts (1,233). The heavy workload early in Tanana’s career really took his fastball away and he reinvented himself as a junkballing lefty and he had a very long and successful career after he left the Angels. But, his best pitching days of his career were definately with the Angels.

Kendry Morales is ready to rock in 2010 for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Thursday 28 January 2010 at 9:37 am

The Angels finally gave 26-year old switch-hitting Kendry Morales his big shot last season and he ran with it. He played in 152 games for the Angels last season and he was 173 for 566 (.306 avg, .924 OPS) with 86 runs scored, 34 homers and 108 RBIs. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Morales who has the potential to put up even better numbers than he did last season and the Angels hope that is the case. He does need to tighten up his defense a bit as he made 8 errors in 152 games at 1B last season. But that is nitpicking with the best hitter on the team.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR 1B IN 2010: A

The Los Angeles Angels finally rid themselves of Gary Matthews

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Friday 22 January 2010 at 2:12 pm

The Angels have finally got rid of 35-year old switch-hitting outfielder Gary Matthews trading him to the Mets along with $21.5 million bucks for 30-year old righty reliever Brian Stokes. Matthews played in 103 games for the Angels last season and he was 79 for 316 (.250 avg, .697 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 4 homers, 50 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. He played three seasons for the Angels appearing in 370 games in which he was 312 for 1,258 (.248 avg, .708 OPS) with 176 runs scored, 30 homers, 168 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. The Angels have been pissed off at Matthews for quite some time. They signed him coming off a career year which was partially made possible by his use of HGH. He appeared in the Mitchell Report and it appears that he quit taking PEDs resulting in a very poor performance at a very high rate of pay. Brian Stokes has a good arm but he hasn’t got great results to this point in his career. He pitched in 69 games (0 starts) for the Mets last season and he was 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Stokes has now pitched in 157 games (5 starts) in his major league career and he is 6-11 with 1 save, a 5.02 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. If Stokes helps out in the pen I’m sure the Angels will be very happy….if not, owner Arte Moreno will still be happy because he won’t see Matthews around anymore.

The Los Angeles Angels sign Joel Pineiro

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Wednesday 20 January 2010 at 9:24 pm

The Angels have signed 31-year old righty starting pitcher Joel Pineiro to a 2-year deal worth around $16 million bucks. He pitched in 32 games (both starts) for the Cardinals last season and he was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The most impressive thing about Pineiro last season was that he only walked 27 batters in 214 innings. He has now pitched in 285 games (216 starts) in his major league career and he is 87-79 with 2 saves, a 4.39 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. The Angels are hoping that Pineiro can replace John Lackey in the rotation and it will be interesting to see how it works out. This was a risk worth taking for the Angels.

It will be interesting to see how the Los Angeles Angels split the playing time behind the plate in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 17 January 2010 at 6:41 pm

28-year old righty swinging Mike Napoli and 26-year old righty swinging Jeff Mathis pretty much split the playing time behind the plate right down the middle with Napoli also getting some at bats at DH. With Hideki Matsui in the role of DH this season it appears that Napoli won’t get as many at bats at DH this season. So who will catch more in 2010? Napoli is the better hitter while Mathis is the better defensive catcher so it will be interesting to see what Mike Scioscia decides to do. I would think that Napoli would get more P.T. behind the plate in 2010. He played in 114 games for the Angels last season and he was 104 for 382 (.272 avg, .842 OPS) with 60 runs scored, 20 homers, 56 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He made 8 errors in 96 games behind the plate last season and he also had 5 passed balls last year. He needs to improve on both of those areas. Napoli only threw out 15% of the runners trying to steal against him last season and Angels’ pitchers had a 4.86 ERA with him behind the plate.

Jeff Mathis would be a starting catcher in the majors if he could just hit a lick due to his defense. He played in 84 games for the Angels last season and he was 50 for 237 (.211 avg, .596 OPS) with 26 runs scored, 5 homers, 28 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Mathis’ true calling is defense although he could tighten it up a bit. He made 7 errors and he had 6 passed balls in 79 games behind the plate for the Angels last season and that’s not good enough. But, he did throw out 25% of the runners trying to steal on him last season and Angels’ pitchers had a 3.99 ERA with him behind the plate which is pretty impressive when compared to Napoli’s numbers.

26-year old righty swinging Bobby Wilson would get a call to the majors if anything were to happen to Napoli or Mathis. He played in 12 games for the Angels last season and he was 1 for 5 (.200 avg, .600 OPS). He also played in 97 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 96 for 354 (.271 avg, .714 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 8 homers and 55 RBIs. Wilson didn’t make any errors or have any passed balls in 11 games behind the plate for the Angels last season. He was 0 for 1 in throwing out base stealers last season but Angels’ pitchers liked throwing to him as they had a 3.00 ERA with him behind the plate.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CATCHERS IN 2010: C

Brian Downing was the most unlikely lead-off hitter in Los Angeles Angels’ history

Blogged under Blast from the Past,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Saturday 9 January 2010 at 4:01 pm

When you are a ex-catcher playing left field and you have the nickname of the Incredible Hulk it seems unlikely that you would be batting lead-off but that’s exactly where Brian Downing batted in the line-up and it worked. The Angels batted him at the top of the line-up because of his batting eye as he had great plate discipline. Downing played in 1,661 games in his 13 years for the Angels and he was 1,588 for 5,854 (.271 avg, .813 OPS) with 889 runs scored, 222 homers, 846 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Downing walked 866 times for the Angels while whiffing 759 times which was part of the reason he was leading off. Downing is all over the all-time lists for the Angels as he is #3 in games played, #3 in hits, #8 in OPS, #3 in runs scored, #3 in homers, #3 in RBIs and #2 in walks. In summation, Downing is one of the most underrated players in Angels’ history.

The Los Angeles Angels are almost ready to go in the field for the 2010 season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 7 January 2010 at 11:08 pm

The Los Angeles Angels have lost Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero but the line-up in the field looks pretty set for the 2010 season. If the season started next week this is the way the line-up would look like:

C-Mike Napoli
1B-Kendry Morales
2B-Howie Kendrick
SS-Erick Aybar
3B-Brandon Wood
LF-Juan Rivera
CF-Torii Hunter
RF-Bobby Abreu
DH-Hideki Matsui

The only position the Angels might try to improve on is at 3B and that is only if they don’t want to finally see what Brandon Wood can do. The Angels are rumored to be kicking the tires on Melvin Mora who would be a nice fit on this team as long as he doesn’t cost too much. The Angels still have Maicer Izturis who could also handle the hot corner if needed. Even if the Angels go with Wood at 3B they should score a lot of runs.

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