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Los Angeles Angels MLB News - Angels Baseball Blog » Positional Preview for Season

The Los Angeles Angels are loading in the starting rotation

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 31 January 2012 at 12:32 pm

The Angels have one of the best rotations in all of baseball from #1 to #4. They will have competition for the #5 job between three capable pitchers. Here is a look at the Angels’ starting rotation as of today:

#1: Jered Weaver: 29-year old righty Jered Weaver finished #2 in the voting for the A.L. Cy Young Award last year as he was awesome. Weaver pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Angels last year and he was 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. He has now pitched in 177 games (all starts) in his first six years with the Angels and he is 82-47 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Weaver is a workhorse at the top of the rotation and I expect him to be one of the top pitchers in all of baseball once again in 2012.

#2: Dan Haren: 31-year old righty Dan Haren pitched really well in the long shadow of Jered Weaver last year. Haren pitched in 35 games (34 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 16-10 with a 3.17 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. In his first two years with the Angels, Haren has pitched in 49 games (48 starts) in which he is 21-14 with a 3.09 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Haren, like Weaver, is a horse at the top of the rotation. He likes to pitch late into games and give the bullpen a break. Haren has now pitched in 266 games (256 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 107-84 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.

#3: C.J. Wilson: The Angels stole 31-year old lefty C.J. Wilson away from the A.L. West rival Texas Rangers. Wilson pitched in 34 games (all starts) for the Rangers last year and he was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. He has now pitched in 325 games (73 starts) in his first 7 years in the majors and he is 43-35 with 52 saves, a 3.60 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Wilson started his career as a reliever, but he has been outstanding the last two years as a starting pitcher. The Angels hope he keeps up the good work for them, and I think he will.

#4: Ervin Santana: 29-year old righty Ervin Santana will be one of the best #4 starters on the planet in 2012. He pitched in 33 games (all starts) for the Angels last year and he was 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Santana has now pitched in 206 games (203 starts) in his first 7 years with the Angels and he is 87-67 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Santana is in line for a good year for the Angels in 2012, as he always seems to pitch well in even numbered years for some reason.

#5: Jerome Williams: 30-year old righty Jerome Williams will battle Garrett Richards and lefty Brad Mills for the #5 spot in the starting rotation this spring. Williams pitched in 10 games (6 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 4-0 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. He has now pitched in 86 games (77 starts) in his first six years in the majors and he is 27-29 with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Williams will have the edge when spring training opens as he pitched good for the Angels last year and he has more experience than the guys challenging him.

Garrett Richards: 23-year old righty Garrett Richards got his first taste of the majors last year and it didn’t go too well. Richards pitched in 7 games (3 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP. He also pitched in 22 games (21 starts) in AA-ball last year and he was 12-2 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. I have a feeling that Richards will start 2012 in AAA, but you never know.

Brad Mills: 26-year old lefty Brad Mills will be a longshot for the job. He came to the Angels over the winter in the deal that sent catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays. Mills pitched in 5 games (4 starts) for the Blue Jays last year and he was 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP. Mills also pitched in 24 games (all starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Mills has had issues in the majors so far in his career. He has pitched in 14 games (9 starts) in his first three years in the majors and he is 2-3 with a 8.57 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP. Maybe a change of scenery will do him some good.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2012: A+++

Mike Scioscia will try to get the Los Angeles Angels back on the right path in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 25 March 2011 at 12:44 pm

52-year old manager Mike Scioscia is going to try to get his troops to rebound in 2011 after finishing last year with a 80-82 (49.4%) record. The Angels are 980-802 (55%) during the regular season in Scioscia’s first 11 years in charge. They are also 21-24 (46.7%) during the post season under Scioscia’s watch. Scioscia led the Angels to a World Series Championship back in 2002. Look for Scioscia to get the Angels back to their aggressive style on the basepaths and in the field in general in 2011.

The Los Angeles Angels have a lot of live arms for the pen in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 25 March 2011 at 12:39 pm

The Los Angeles Angels have a pretty good mix of youth and experience in the pen for 2011. 35-year old righty Fernando Rodney will be the closer when the 2011 begins. He pitched in 72 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 4-3 with 14 saves, a 4.24 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Rodney has now pitched in 380 games (0 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 19-33 with 84 saves, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Rodney doesn’t have a lock on the closer’s job though so he will have to produce when called upon to keep his gig.

23-year old righty Jordan Walden comes into this year as the Angels’ #5 prospect according to Baseball America. Walden pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Angels in his first taste of the majors last year and he was 0-1 with 1 save, a 2.35 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. He had 23 whiffs in only 15 1/3 innings for the Angels last year but he also walked 7 batters which is a little too many. He will likely be first in line to replace Rodney at closer if he has any issues. Walden also pitched in 44 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 1-1 with 8 saves, a 3.44 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

35-year old lefty Scott Downs will start the season on the D.L. with a broken toe, but he will have a big role at the back end of the pen when he gets healthy. Downs pitched in 67 games (0 starts) for the Blue Jays last year and he was 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has now pitched in 379 games (50 starts) in his first 9 years in the majors and he is 27-28 with 16 saves, a 3.79 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP.

35-year old lefty Hisanori Takahashi could serve as the long man in the pen, a spot starter or he could work in short relief for the Angels in 2011. Takahashi pitched in 53 games (12 starts) for the Mets last year and he was 10-6 with 8 saves, a 3.61 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. Takahashi had 114 whiffs in his 122 innings last year which shows what kind of stuff he has. He will have a big role in some capacity with the Angels in 2011.

26-year old righty Kevin Jepsen still has a big time arm. He pitched in 68 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-4 with a 3.97 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Jepsen has now pitched in 131 games (0 starts) in his first three years with the Angels and he is 8-9 with 1 save, a 4.43 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. He will likely be working in the early and middle innings for the Angels this year.

26-year old righty Michael Kohn comes into this year as the Angels’ #15 prospect heading into this year according to Baseball America. Kohn pitched in 24 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.11 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. He whiffed 20 batters in 21 1/3 innings for the Angels last year but he also walked 16 batters which is way too many. Kohn also pitched in 41 games (0 starts) in AA+AAA-ball last year and he was 5-4 with 11 saves, a 2.15 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

32-year old righty Jason Bulger is still around. He pitched in 25 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 0-0 with a 4.88 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. Bulger has now pitched in 111 games (0 starts) in his first five years with the Angels and he is 6-1 with 1 save, a 4.51 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. He has 122 whiffs in only 113 1/3 innings for the Angels but he has walked 60 batters which is way too many.

29-year old righty Francisco Rodriguez pitched in 43 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 1-3 with a 4.37 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. He has good stuff but he was a tad wild last year as he walked 26 batters in only 47 1/3 innings. He will need to improve his control if he wants to pitch for the Angels in 2011.

27-year old righty Rich Thompson might wind up being a late bloomer for the Angels. He pitched in 13 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. Thompson has now pitched in 35 games (0 starts) in his first four years with the Angels and he is 2-0 with a 5.10 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.

25-year old righty Bobby Cassevah comes into this year as the Angels’ #24 rated prospect according to Baseball America. He pitched in 16 games (0 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. Cassevah also pitched in 45 games (0 starts) in AAA-ball last year and he was 3-4 with 5 saves, a 4.27 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS BULLPEN IN 2011: C+

Torii Hunter will be the Los Angeles Angels full time starter in RF in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 20 March 2011 at 9:27 pm

35-year old righty swinging Torii Hunter will be making the full time switch to RF in 2011. Hunter played in 152 games for the Angels last year and he was 161 of 573 (.281 avg, .819 OPS) with 76 runs scored, 23 homers, 90 RBIs and 9 stolen bases. Hunter’s bat still has quite a bit of sting in it. Hunter had 2 errors and 2 assists in 46 games in RF last season in which he showed outstanding range. Hunter is likely going to be one of the Angels best all-around players in 2011.

29-year old Reggie Willits and 37-year old switch hitting Bobby Abreu will back up Hunter in RF in 2011. Willits played in 8 games in RF last year where he showed outstanding range but he had 1 error and 1 assist there. Abreu played in 93 games in RF for the Angels last year and he had 6 errors and 6 assists while showing poor range. That’s why he’s moving to DH in 2011.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS RF IN 2011: B+

Peter Bourjos will start the 2011 season as the Los Angeles Angels starting CF

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 20 March 2011 at 9:19 pm

23-year old righty swinging Peter Bourjos enters the 2011 season as the starting CF. He played in 51 games for the Angels last year and he was 37 of 181 (.204 avg, .618 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 6 homers, 15 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Bourjos also played in 102 games in AAA-ball last year and he was 130 of 414 (.314 avg, .861 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 13 homers, 52 RBIs and 27 stolen bases. Bourjos had 1 error in 51 games in CF for the Angels last year and he showed off an excellent arm as he had an amazing 10 assists there. He also showed out of this world range in CF. If Bourjos can hit at least .250 for the Angels in 2011, he will be a huge asset for them.

29-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits will likely be Bourjos’ top backup in 2011. Willits played in 97 games for the Angels last year and he was 41 of 159 (.258 avg, .643 OPS) with 23 runs scored, 8 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Willits didn’t have any errors in 29 games in CF for the Angels last season and he had 4 assists while showing out of this world range.

32-year old Vernon Wells (the starting LF) or 35-year old Torii Hunter (the starting RF) could also play CF for the Angels if the need arises. Wells didn’t have any errors in 151 games in CF last season for the Blue Jays and Torii Hunter only had 1 error in 98 games in CF for the Angels last year.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS CF IN 2011: C+

Vernon Wells will be taking over in LF for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 20 March 2011 at 9:11 pm

32-year old righty swinging Vernon Wells will be shifting over to LF for the Angels in 2011. He is a natural CF. Wells played in 157 games for the Blue Jays last year and he was 161 of 590 (.273 avg, .847 OPS) with 79 runs scored, 31 homers, 88 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. The Angels really hope that Wells will give them big time power in the middle of the batting order in 2011. Wells didn’t have any errors in 151 games in CF last season for the Blue Jays and he had 5 assists while showing slightly below average range. In left field though, Wells could be spectacular defensively in 2011 for the Angels.

29-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits will likely be the Angels’ #4 outfielder in 2011. He played in 44 games in LF for the Angels last season and he didn’t have any errors or assists there while showing out this world range. Willits will do a good job whenever Vernon Wells needs a day off.

37-year old switch hitting Bobby Abreu is going to be the full time DH for the Angels in 2011, but he can play some in LF if the Angels need him to. He played in 41 error-free games in LF for the Angels and he showed average range there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS LF IN 2011: B+

The Los Angeles Angels are loaded starting pitcher wise for 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 15 March 2011 at 12:14 pm

1-5 the Angels have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball. It all starts at the top with 28-year old righty Jered Weaver. Weaver started 34 games for the Angels last season and he was 13-12 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP as he led the American League with 233 whiffs. Weaver has now started in 144 games for the Angels in his first five years and he is 64-39 with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. If the Angels get Weaver more wins in 2011, he could make a serious run at winning the Cy Young Award.

30-year old righty Dan Haren is a very solid #2 starter who would be the ace on quite a few pitching staffs. Haren started 14 games for the Angels last season after coming over in a deal with the D-Backs and he was 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He started 35 games overall last season for the Angels & D-Backs and he was 12-12 with a 3.91 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Haren has now pitched in 231 games (222 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 91-74 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Weaver & Haren give the Angels a huge advantage when they are on the bump on most nights but they need help from the bats in 2011.

28-year old Ervin Santana had another good season for the Angels but you never really know what you’re going to get out of him from year to year. That being said, Santana has some of the best pure stuff on the Angels’ pitching staff. He started 33 games for the Angels last season and he was 17-10 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. Santana has now pitched in 173 games (170 starts) in his first six years with the Angels and he is 76-55 with a 4.39 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. The Angels are hoping for another big year out of Santana in 2011.

32-year old righty Joel Pineiro gets by on pitching know how as his stuff isn’t that great. He also pounds the strike zone while getting a lot of groundballs. Pineiro started 23 games for the Angels last season and he was 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He has now pitched in 308 games (239 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 97-86 with 2 saves, a 4.34 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. The Angels are hoping for another solid season out of Pineiro, who is one of the better #4 starters in all of baseball.

27-year old lefty Scott Kazmir still has good stuff but he was simply awful for the Angels last season. Kazmir started 28 games for the Angels last season and he was 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. He has now pitched in 34 games (all starts) in his first two years with the Angels and he is 11-17 with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Kazmir is a much better pitcher than he showed last season and if he can pitch well the Angels are going to have a downright nasty starting rotation.

24-year old righty Trevor Bell will likely be the first starter to join the rotation if one of the top five get injured. Bell pitched in 25 games (7 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 2-5 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. He has now pitched in 33 games (11 starts) in his first two years with the Angels and he is 3-7 with a 5.98 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. Bell showed some signs of improvement for the Angels last season.

31-year old righty Matt Palmer will likely be the Angels’ long man in the pen in 2011 but he could also help out in the rotation if needed. Palmer pitched in 14 games (1 start) for the Angels last season and he was 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. He has now pitched in 54 games (14 starts) in his first two years with the Angels and he is 12-4 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP. Palmer is likely a lot better than he showed last year.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS STARTING ROTATION IN 2011: A

Bobby Abreu is moving to DH for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 1 March 2011 at 12:00 pm

36-year old lefty swinging Bobby Abreu is moving from the outfield to DH full-time in 2011. Abreu played in 154 games for the Angels last season and he was 146 of 573 (.255 avg, .787 OPS) with 88 runs scored, 20 homers, 78 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. Abreu will likely benefit from not playing in the field in 2011 so maybe he can get back to his career .296 batting average with a .888 OPS. In his last 13 seasons, Abreu has averaged 102.7 runs scored, 21.0 homers, 95.2 RBIs and 28.1 stolen bases per year. Look for Abreu to like being a DH in 2011 and for his bat to rebound.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS DHs IN 2011: B

The Los Angeles Angels need more production out of the 3B in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 1 March 2011 at 11:54 am

The Angels will open up the competition at 3B this spring. 27-year old switch hitting Alberto Callaspo, 30-year old switch hitting Maicer Izturis and 25-year old righty swinging Brandon Wood will battle for the job. Callaspo is probably the slight favorite to win the starting job. He played in 146 games for the Angels & Royals last season and he was 149 of 562 (.265 avg, .675 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 10 homers, 56 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Callaspo doesn’t like to walk (31 times last year) but he doesn’t whiff either (only 42 times last year), so I expect his batting average to come back up a little bit. He is a career .278 hitter with a .720 OPS in his first five years in the majors. Callaspo made 10 errors at 3B last season while showing good range.

Maicer Izturis was banged up most of last season but he’s ready to make up for lost time in 2011. He played in 61 games for the Angels last season and he was 53 of 212 (.250 avg, .684 OPS) with 27 runs scored, 3 homers, 27 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Izturis is a career .275 hitter with a .730 OPS in his first 7 years in the majors, so look for his bat to rebound in 2011. Izturis only made 1 error in 28 games for the Angels at 3B last season while showing slightly above average range. Izturis could beat out Callaspo for the starting job or he could platoon with him at 3B in 2011.

Brandon Wood was once one of the brightest prospects in all of baseball but he is starting to look like a AAAA-player. Too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors. Wood played in 81 games for the Angels last season and he was 33 of 226 (.146 avg, .382 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 4 homers, 14 RBIs and 1 stolen base. He was really overmatched at the plate as he whiffed 71 time while only walking 6 times last year. Wood has now played in 167 games in parts of four years with the Angels and he is a career .169 hitter with a .458 OPS. Wood made 5 errors in 56 games at 3B while showing average range, so at least he didn’t hurt the Angels with his mitt. Wood is running out of time in L.A.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS 3B IN 2011: C-

The Los Angeles Angels need improved production out of SS in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 21 February 2011 at 12:26 pm

27-year old switch hitting Erick Aybar will come into the 2011 season as the starting shortstop once again in 2011 but the Angels need more offensive production out of him. Aybar played in 138 games for the Angels last season and he was 135 of 534 (.253 avg, .636 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 5 homers, 29 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. Aybar has a career batting average of .274 with a .683 OPS, so the Angels have faith in Aybar that he will hit batter in 2011. Aybar had 20 errors in 135 games at SS last season while showing slightly below average range. If Aybar doesn’t improve both offensively and defensively in 2011, he could lose P.T.

30-year old switch hitting Maicer Izturis will likely get most of his P.T. at 3B in 2011 but he could also challenge Aybar for ABs if he gets off to a slow start with the bat. Izturis didn’t many any errors in 7 games at SS for the Angels last season while showing pretty good range. Izturis could bump Aybar from the starting SS job at some point in 2011.

31-year old righty swinging Gil Velazquez will likely start the season in AAA for the Angels. He played in 72 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 60 of 241 (.249 avg, .644 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 1 homer, 18 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Velazquez last played in the majors back in 2009 for the Red Sox. He has played in 9 games in parts of two years in the majors and he is 1 for 10 (.100 avg, .282 OPS) with 1 RBI. Velazquez keeps hanging around because of his mitt because he just can’t hit the ball.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS SS IN 2011: C

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