...urp! - Jeff Zelevansky
Less than two months until the Angels 2013 campaign begins and, more than the 2012 season, the roster seems complete. Arte Moreno has shown he is not afraid to foot the bill for talent yet again and Jerry Dipoto has made the appropriate adjustments. So what makes the Angels a complete team? Let's look at the their pitching staff and lineup.
With the additions CJ Wilson and Zack Greinke, one would think that the Angels would make a serious run in the playoffs. For the most part, everyone did their job. The Halos ranked sixth in opponent's batting average and sixth in hits allowed; however, there were some shaky parts that the pitching staff struggled with. So when it was time to fix the pitching staff, the Angels cut ties with Ervin Santana by trading him to the Kansas City Royals and declined to make Dan Haren a qualifying offer, after battling an ailing back. To replace them, the Angels sent Jordan Walden to the Braves and in return they received Tommy Hanson. Also, the Angels received left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas from the Mariners after deciding to move on from Kendrys Morales. And in sort of a questionable deal, Joe Blanton can prove to be a silent cast member adding depth. The addition of Hanson gives the Angels someone who can win 14-17 games with a chance at two hundred innings. If CJ Wilson can perform like he did in the beginning of the 2012 season, the Angels should remain comfortable with their starting rotation. As for the bullpen, adding Ryan Madson provides little risk with a chance of a high reward. The Angels removed pieces that were not as valuable and productive. My Expected Rotation: Jered Weaver, CJ Wilson, Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton.
This category should not need much attention because in 2012, the Angels proved something: they can hit the ball. Take a look at their rankings and the Halos consistently appear in the top ten. The Angels made yet another splash in free agency this year when they signed outfielder Josh Hamilton. Signing the former MVP could only add to what numbers the Angels are going to put up in 2013. Also, Mike Scioscia has flexibility with his lineup due to the abundance of outfielders. Add in Hamilton's annual averages with those of Albert Pujols (expect a rebound), Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick, and Erick Aybar to bolster the Angels offensive stats throughout the season. My Expected Lineup: LF Mike Trout, SS Erick Aybar, 1B Albert Pujols, RF Josh Hamilton, 2B Howie Kendrick, DH Mark Trumbo/Vernon Wells (Wells will have to play sometime), 3B Alberto Callaspo, CF Peter Bourjos, C Chris Iannetta.
The Angels have made the proper adjustments for the 2013 season. A void left by Torii Hunter's signing with the Tigers led Jerry Dipoto to strike a deal to land Josh Hamilton (yet another stealth move by the Halos' General Manager). The decline of Dan Haren and the erratic performance of Ervin Santana showed them the door; therefore, Tommy Hanson, Jason Vargas, and Joe Blanton will be alongside Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson. Also, the sensational phenom, Mike Trout, is sure to deliver and dispel any talk of a "sophomore slump." As Spring Training approaches, the Angels and their fans will be excited because they have a full plate and they're ready for the big check at the end.
Who will be the most important member of the Angels roster this season? Comment too!
Albert Pujols (31 votes)
Josh Hamilton (15 votes)
Jered Weaver (14 votes)
Mike Trout (114 votes)
CJ Wilson (29 votes)
Ryan Madson (24 votes)
Ernesto Frieri (5 votes)
Other (comment who!) (9 votes)
241 total votes