2B belongs to Howie Kendrick for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 15 February 2011 at 10:41 am

27-year old righty swinging Howie Kendrick finally stayed healthy for the Angels in 2011. He played in 158 games for the Angels last season and he was 172 of 616 (.279 avg, .721 OPS) with 67 runs scored, 10 homers, 75 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. Last season was the first year that Kendrick played in more than 105 games in his major league career. The Angels think that Kendrick will hit over .300 in 2011 while scoring more runs and maintaining his power numbers. Kendrick played in 143 games at 2B for the Angels last season and he made 9 errors while showing poor range. I think Kendrick is a much better player than he showed last season, but he is brittle.

30-year old switch hitting Maicer Izturis is a fine backup infielder for the Angels. He made 1 error in 22 games at 2B last season while showing pretty terrible range. He is a pesky hitter who would be more than capable of starting at 2B for the Angels if Kendrick gets hurt again.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS 2B IN 2011: B

The Los Angeles Angels need a healthy Kendry Morales in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 7 February 2011 at 12:49 am

The Angels season went into the toilet last season when 27-year old lefty swinging 1B Kendry Morales went down to a broken ankle, injured during a celebration at home plate after a walkoff homer. Morales played in 51 games for the Angels last season and he was 56 of 193 (.290 avg, .833 OPS) with 29 runs scored, 11 homers and 39 RBIs. Morales was on his way to having another excellent season like he did when he broke out in 2009. He played in 152 games for the Angels in 2009 and he was 173 of 566 (.306 avg, .924 OPS) with 86 runs scored, 34 homers, 108 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Morales is an average defensive 1B as he made 2 errors in 51 games there in 2011. I look for Morales to return with a vengeance in 2011 as he will be looking to make up for lost time.

25-year old righty swinging Mark Trumbo will be the first player in line at 1B if something happens to Morales again in 2011. Trumbo played in 8 games for the Angels last season and he was 1 of 15 (.067 avg, .192 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. He also played in 139 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 160 of 532 (.301 avg, .945 OPS) with 103 runs scored, 36 homers, 122 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Trumbo played 6 error-free games at 1B for the Angels but he’s an average defender at best.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS 1B IN 2011: A

The Los Angeles Angels are going young at catcher in 2011

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 28 January 2011 at 3:38 pm

Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson and Hank Conger are going to engage in a open competition behind the plate this spring to see who will be the two catchers in 2011. 27-year old righty swinging Jeff Mathis has the most experience of the bunch so he might have a slight edge heading into camp. Mathis played in 68 games for the Angels last season and he was 40 of 205 (.195 avg, .497 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 3 homers, 18 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He whiffed 59 times for the Angels last season while only walking 6 times so there isn’t a lot of hope that his hitting is going to improve any time soon. Mathis has the reputation of being a good defensive catcher but he didn’t show that at all last season. Mathis made 7 errors and he also had 6 passed balls in only 67 games behind the plate for the Angels last season and that’s pretty bad. Mathis only threw out 7 of 54 (13%) runners trying to steal on him last season but Angels’ pitchers had a 3.67 ERA with him behind the plate. Mathis isn’t a good enough defensive catcher to make up for the fact that he just can’t hit. If his hitting doesn’t improve this spring, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts the 2011 season in the minors.

27-year old righty swinging Bobby Wilson came into last season as the Angels’ #26 prospect according to Baseball America. Wilson played in 40 games for the Angels last season and he was 22 of 96 (.229 avg, .705 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 4 homers and 15 RBIs. He has power potential as a hitter and I think his average would also come up with an increase in P.T. Wilson only had 1 error but 3 passed balls in 38 innings behind the dish for the Angels last season. Wilson threw out 6 of 34 runners (17.6%) trying to steal on him last season and Angels’ pitchers had a 3.63 ERA with him behind the plate. Wilson has as good a chance as Mathis or Conger of winning the starting gig behind the plate this spring.

23-year old switch hitting Hank Conger came into last season as the Angels’ #1 prospect according to Baseball America. Conger played in 108 games in AAA-ball last season in which he was 116 of 387 (.300 avg, .847 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 11 homers and 49 RBIs. He also showed a good eye in the minors last season as he walked 55 times while whiffing 58 times. Conger also played in 13 games for the Angels last year in which he was 5 of 29 (.172 avg, .570 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs. Conger made 3 errors in 10 games behind the plate for the Angels last season but he didn’t have any passed balls. He might have just been a tad nervous in his first experience in the show. Conger threw out 1 of 9 (11.1%) runners trying to steal on him last season but Angels’ pitchers had a 1.91 ERA in 80 innings pitched. Conger will likely start the 2011 season in AAA-ball if he doesn’t win the starting job in spring training.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ANGELS CATCHERS IN 2011: C-

Mike Scioscia is the ruler of the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 30 March 2010 at 4:59 pm

Manager Mike Scioscia manages the way he played….with aggression. He led the Angels to a 97-65 (59.9%) record last season before bowing out in the A.L. Championship Series to the Yankees. Scioscia has compiled a 10-year record with the Angels of 900-720 (55.6%) as the manager. He has won 1 A.L. Pennant with the Angels and he also won the World Series that year. Scioscia is the right man to get the most out of the Angels once again in 2010.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE MANAGER IN 2010: A

The Los Angeles Angels look like they have a talented bullpen for 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Friday 26 March 2010 at 2:36 pm

The Angels will likely use both lefty Brian Fuentes and righty Fernando Rodney to save games in 2010. Fuentes pitched in 65 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 1-5 with 48 saves, a 3.93 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. In his 9 years in the majors, Fuentes has pitched in 503 games (0 starts) in which he is 18-32 with 163 saves, a 3.47 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Fuentes has only allowed 396 hits while whiffing 526 batters in 477 major league innings showing how truly nasty he can be. Manager Mike Scioscia’s faith in Fuentes teetered at times last season hence the signing of Fernando Rodney.

33-year old righty Fernando Rodney will likely get his fair share of save opportunities in 2010. He pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Tigers last season and he was 2-5 with 37 saves, a 4.40 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP. Rodney walked 41 batters in only 75 2/3 innings so he will have to improve his control before Scioscia truly trusts him late in games.

34-year old righty Scot Shields is healthy this spring and he could give the Angels a huge boost in 2010. Shields pitched in 20 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 1-3 with 1 save, a 6.82 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP. He has now pitched 9 years for the Angels appearing in 448 games (14 starts) in which he is 46-41 with 21 saves, a 3.03 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. If Shields stays healthy in 2010 the Angels will have a very deep pen.

31-year old righty Jason Bulger really stepped up last season for the Angels. He pitched in 64 games (0 starts) in which he was 6-1 with 1 save, a 3.56 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. He only gave up 46 hits last season in 65 2/3 innings while whiffing 68 batters showing just how nasty he was last year. The Angels need him to keep up the good work in 2010.

30-year old righty Brian Stokes also has a really good arm. 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 needs to tighten up his control to be effective in the American League as he walked 38 batters in only 70 1/3 innings and that is way too many.

25-year old righty Kevin Jepsen will be the kid of this pen. He pitched in 54 games (0 starts) for the Angels last season and he was 6-4 with 1 save, a 4.94 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP. Jepsen has a good arm so he has the upside to help the Angels’ pen in 2010 and beyond.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE BULLPEN IN 2010: B

The Los Angeles Angels sport a solid rotation for the 2010 season

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 21 March 2010 at 7:18 am

#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-

Bobby Abreu keeps rolling along in RF for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 10 March 2010 at 4:58 pm

36-year old lefty swinging Bobby Abreu played in 152 games for the Angels last season and he was 165 of 563 (.293 avg, .825 OPS) with 96 runs scored, 15 homers, 103 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. Abreu made 8 errors in 126 games in RF last season while showing slightly above average range. Abreu had 10 assists last season out of RF as he still has a strong throwing arm. Look for Abreu to have another solid year in 2010 as he has shown no signs of slowing down.

28-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits played in 10 error-free games in RF last season while showing average range. Look for him to get in a few games in RF for the Angels in 2010.

31-year old righty swinging Juan Rivera didn’t have any errors in 7 games in RF last season but he showed poor range. He did have 1 assist while in RF showing off his cannon attached to his right shoulder. Rivera will be the starting LF for the Angels in 2010 so he won’t get much P.T. in RF this year.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE RF IN 2010: B+

The Los Angeles Angels need Torii Hunter to stay healthy in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 10 March 2010 at 4:51 pm

34-year old righty swinging Torii Hunter is one of the best all-around CF in baseball and the Angels need him to stay healthy in 2010. Hunter played in 119 games for the Angels last season and he was 135 of 451 (.299 avg, .873 OPS) with 74 runs scored, 22 homers, 90 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Hunter still has 30/30 potential if he can stay healthy enough to play in 145+ games in 2010. Hunter only made 1 error in 115 games in CF last season while still showing good range. Hunter does get challenged on the bases as he only had 2 assists last season.

28-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits will backup Hunter in CF in 2010. He played in 49 games for the Angels last season and he was 17 of 80 (.213 avg, .493 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 6 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Willits has a career batting average of .265 with a .675 OPS in 295 games in the majors so expect him to rebound with the bat in 2010. Willits played in 6 error-free games in CF last season for the Angels while showing slightly below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE CF IN 2010: B+

The Los Angeles Angels are banking on Juan Rivera again in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 10 March 2010 at 4:43 pm

The Angels finally gave 31-year old righty swinging Juan Rivera a full time job in 2009 and he ran with it. Rivera played in 138 games for the Angels last season and he was 152 of 529 (.287 avg, .810 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 25 homers and 88 RBIs. Rivera not only was a good hitter as he was a solid fielder in 2009 as well. Rivera played in 124 games in LF last season and he made 2 errors while showing good range. He also had 10 assists while playing LF showing off a very strong throwing arm.

28-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits will likely be the Angels’ #4 OF in 2010 so he will likely get some P.T. in LF in 2010. He played in 27 error-free games in LF last season for the Angels but he showed pathetic range. Willits is a natural CF so look for him to improve his defense in 2010.

35-year old lefty swinging Hideki Matsui will be the full-time DH for the Angels in 2010 but he would like to play a few games in LF. It will be interesting to see if the Angels grant him his wish or not.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE LF IN 2010: B

Godzilla is coming to the Los Angeles Angels in 2010

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 22 February 2010 at 3:41 pm

35-year old lefty swinging Hideki Matsui was signed to replace Vladimir Guerrero over the winter. Matsui will be a full-time DH for the Angels who need him to stay healthy. Matsui played in 142 games for the Yankees last season and he was 125 for 456 (.274 avg, .876 OPS) with 62 runs scored, 28 homers and 90 RBIs. The most important thing is to keep Matsui healthy because in his 5 years that he played in 140+ games he has averaged 92.2 runs scored, 24.6 homers and 104.6 RBIs. This guy is Mr. Clutch as he almost always seems to come through with runners on base.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE DH IN 2010: A

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