#1 through #5 the Angels have solid starting pitchers which should give them an advantage in 2010. 27-year old righty Jered Weaver will be the #1 starter for the Angels in 2010. He started 33 games for the Angels last season and he was 16-8 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He only gave up 196 hits in 211 innings last season while whiffing 174 batters showing what kind of stuff he has. In his four years with the Angels, Weaver has started 110 games in which he is 51-27 with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Expect another solid season out of Weaver in 2010.
26-year old lefty Scott Kazmir will likely be slotted as the #2 starter for the Angels in 2010. Kazmir started 6 games for the Angels last season after coming over in a trade with the Rays and he was 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. He started 26 games overall for the Angels & Rays last season in which he was 10-9 with 4.89 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Kazmir has won in double figures in the last five years and he will make it six in a row as long as he can stay healthy.
31-year old righty Joel Pineiro had a breakout year for the Cardinals in 2010. He started 32 games for the Cardinals last season and he was 15-12 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. Pineiro only walked 24 batters in 214 innings last season as he pounded the strike zone a lot in 2009. I just don’t see Pineiro putting up the same kind of numbers that he did in 2010 as the A.L. is a much tougher hitting league than the N.L. But, I do think that Pineiro will give the Angels a lot of quality innings in 2010.
28-year old lefty Joe Saunders started 31 games last season for the Angels and he was 16-7 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Saunders has really been solid the last two years for the Angels as he has compiled a 34-14 record. I see no reason to think that Saunders won’t turn in another solid year for the Angels in 2010.
27-year old Ervin Santana had a off year in 2010 as he dealt with shoulder and elbow problems. Santana pitched in 24 games (23 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 8-8 with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. In his five years with the Angels, Santana has pitched in 140 games (137 starts) in which he is 59-45 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. If Santana is right this could be a big year for him as he probably has the best stuff of all of the Angels’ starting pitchers.
30-year old righty Matt Palmer was a lifesaver for the Angels last season working in both the rotation and as a long reliever. Palmer pitched in 40 games (13 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 11-2 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Palmer only gave up 105 hits in 121 1/2 innings last season for the Angels but his control got him into some trouble as he walked 55 batters. Look for Palmer to be the Angels’ first starter in if something happens to one of their top five starting pitchers.
22-year old righty Sean O’Sullivan was not too impressive anywhere in 2009. He pitched in 12 games (10 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 4-2 with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. O’Sullivan last pitched in 17 games (16 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year where he was 7-6 with a 5.44 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. The Angels probably have their fingers crossed hoping that they won’t need O’Sullivan to start any games for them in 2010.
23-year old righty Trevor Bell got a rude awakening in his first taste of the majors last year. Bell pitched in 8 games (4 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 1-2 with a 9.74 ERA and a 2.51 WHIP. Bell gave up 40 hits in 20 1/3 innings last season for the Angels which is pretty shocking. Bell also started 22 games in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 7-7 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. Bell is the Angels’ #10 prospect heading into the 2010 season according to Baseball America so he will likely get another chance with the Angels soon.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROTATION IN 2010: A-