So 15 games under the belt. Not a huge sample, but a nice snapshot of where the team is and is heading in 2008:
1. The infield - Isn't this what we've been waiting for? A+
1B - Kotchman: .352, 1.027 OPS, 4 HR
2B - Kendrick: .500, 1.220 OPS, 5 doubles
SS - Aybar: .324, 3 sb, some (mostly) slick glovework
3B - Figgins: .393, .507 OBP, 7 sb
2. The outfield - B
To expectation: a combination of strength with some signs of ageing
Vlad impales, daily; GMJ is, to be fair, what we expect him to be (for better or worse, for now, like a spouse you've realised you want to divorce); Torii has started reasonably well (better with the bat than the glove, methinks, unexpectedly); GA is showing signs of wear and tear: he sort of reminds me of my grandfather - he needed a little warming up in the morning (early season) before he could give of his best. Not ideal, but he was my gradfather so I could forgive him that
3. The rotation - B
Good performance so far from the guys that HAD to pick it up (Santana, Weaver, Saunders), Moseley needs to be back in the pen, for Garland the jury's out so far. With Big John returning and Adenhart looking sweet at AAA, we should be fine (injury notwithstanding, touch wood and sacrifice something large at the altar of chance)
4. The pen - D
Christ on a bike - showing signs of life now, but I thought we were going to have to get out the paddles for an impromptu resuscitation. Needs health and a more even share of the workload. May well need propping up between now and the end of the season.
All in all, I think this team is looking like it could/should do well.
As hoped for, offensively the Angels appear much stronger than last year, with a few of the younger guys growing into the role. The pitching has been reflective of the injuries that the team has had to carry, while again being supported by 3 younger guys fgrowing into the role. I feel pretty confident. I think even with the injuries, we're going to take some beating.