I hope I am not stepping on more established toes or pre-empting an annual breakdown of which I'm unaware. If that is the case, my feelings will not be hurt if this is taken down.
The Angels have left Tempe and are wrapping up the exhibition season and a handful or roster moves. While it seems like just yesterday we celebrated "pitchers and catchers report," six weeks of camp have come and gone.
As we look forward to Opening Day, I thought it would be nice to look back at the developments of Spring Training. Here are my observations, please add your own.
1. The Good
Mark Tumbo. The man has given us hope by pummelling the ball. Could we really have a power bat?
The bullpen. Takahasi and Kohn have been excellent and Rich Thompson is impressing. Last year the bullpen lost a lot of games early in the year. A solid start this year could go a long way.
Starters 1-4. All four guys have pitched well and Pineiro is only scheduled to miss one start. We all know the Angels season will be largely determined by thier success or failure. Going into the season while pitching well is a good sign.
Bobby Wilson, Peter Bourjos and Jeff Mathis. I'll even throw in Brandon Wood. All of these guys needed to get off to good starts offensively to gain some confidence. All put up really good Spring Training numbers. "Will it last?" will be answered soon.
2. The Not-So-Good
Scott Downs injury. Hopefully his absence is short lived as he figures to be a very important piece of the Angels bullpen. A really freak injury that just sucks and falls under the "sh!* happens" category.
Fernando Rodney. No improvement. Not even going into a contract year. At least he acts like he totally doesn't care.
3. The Bad
Scott Kazmir still sucks. A whole off-season in Tempe and he comes out exactly the way he ended 2010. With him that close to the team all off-season, one would think the Angels would know he still sucks and have contingency plans in place. Not enough space to discuss how much this pisses me off.
Kendrys Morales no go. The blow is softened by Trumbo's great spring, but at least a few DH at bats would have gone a long way towards easing widespread fears about his future.
Most of Spring Training has gone about according to script with some remarkable performances like Howard Kendrick and Bobby Abreu. Overall, I would say that I am pleased with the team (minus Kazmir) and slightly more optimistic about our chances in the AL West than I was in January.
I give this year's Spring Training an overall grade of a B. You?