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Tuesday Halolinks: Angels Are One of "Super Six", Projecting 2012 and Beyond

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Projections, previews, production, prospects, and positions edition of Halolinks:

  • As spring training quickly approaches, it's becoming time for many sites to begin publishing their previews and projections. I liked this one mainly because they call the Angels one of the "Super Six" powerhouse teams of the American League; American League's super six teams will be fun to watch this season - FOX Sports on MSN. "ANGELS - Strength: Offensive depth. Weakness: Pitching depth/bullpen. X Factor: Trout." I'm not sure that I agree with what they claim the biggest weakness for the club is. The bullpen may not be as strong as previous years, but the rotation depth is deceiving. Not may teams can claim their #4 starter could actually be the #1 on many teams.
  • And here's the first projection I've read for the final standings: Projecting 2012 - Part 1 - Baseball Nation. "ALW: Angels / Rangers (tie)". This is a link to a link, so you'll have to follow a couple different clicks to get to the original post (a Yankees' blog).
  • Prior to last season, I criticized the 2011 projection for Jered Weaver for not giving the Angel ace enough credit for his 2010 season. In fact, they projected Weaver to have the worst season of his career: Deadly Accurate: AL West : Baseball Daily Digest. "PECOTA projected a fall back to Earth for Jered Weaver after he established full-season career bests in nearly every major category in 2010, including winning the ML strikeout crown. Much of the foretold regression was based on a correction in BABIP, since Weaver’s 2010 mark of .276 was well below the league average. Instead, Weaver’s ERA and WHIP dropped into Halladay territory when his BABIP pulled a Robbie Alomar and spat in the face of PECOTA’s projection, checking in at a microscopic .250." I'm not claiming to be a projection genius (the squirrel in my avatar might be sight-impaired), but sometimes it helps to use a little common sense mixed in with the numbers.

MORE LINKS AFTER THE BREAK...

  • Sorry, but this has got to be the dumbest idea ever: Solving a Long Term Problem - baseballmusings.com. "Note that Albert Pujols isn’t just a great first baseman, he has amazing range for a first baseman. When I ran the Probabilistic Model of Range, Pujols would come out head and shoulders among his peers at first. He was so good, I wondered if the Cardinals gave up on him as a third baseman too soon.Should the Angels try to maximize their offense, and put Albert at third? I’d love to see them give it a try." Let's put the guy with a gimpy elbow, who we invested a quarter of a billion dollars on, at a position he has hardly played. Yeah, that'll work.
  • Okay, so if Brooks Pujols isn't an option, who is? Angels Inbox: Who will play third base? - angels.com. Replacement Lyle answers fans' questions (and of course there's the obligatory David Wright question) about the upcoming season, including this great question: "How different is playing third base from playing first base, aside from the obvious part about catching rather than throwing the ball? What sort of things does Trumbo have to work on in order to try to make that transition? -- Zach V, Fort Collins, Col."
  • How do things look heading into the future? Baseball America trys to show us: Prospects: Rankings: 2012 Los Angeles Angels Top 10 - BaseballAmerica.com.

    PROJECTED 2015 LINEUP:
    Catcher - Chris Iannetta
    First Base - Albert Pujols
    Second Base - Jean Segura
    Third Base - Kaleb Cowart
    Shortstop - Erick Aybar
    Left Field - Mike Trout
    Center Field Peter Bourjos
    Right Field - Howard Kendrick
    Designated Hitter - C.J. Cron
    No. 1 Starter - Jered Weaver
    No. 2 Starter - Dan Haren
    No. 3 Starter - C.J. Wilson
    No. 4 Starter - Ervin Santana
    No. 5 Starter - Garrett Richards
    Closer - Jordan Walden
  • Hi Mark, welcome to the conversation: What about Mike Trout? - ESPN Los Angeles. "Shortly after the Angels signed Albert Pujols, the focus began to turn to the logjam that move created. Mark Trumbo and Kendrys Morales lost their positions and Bobby Abreu may have lost a job. But the most intriguing player lost in the shuffle, at least for now, is the team’s top prospect, Mike Trout." Mark Saxon does point out an interesting stat from last season in this post: Question No. 3: Can they maximize Albert Pujols' impact? "Angels leadoff men last year, mostly Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar, scored 79 runs, worst in the American League."
  • Guess which contract ISN'T number one: Princely Gluttony: The 10 Worst Contracts in Baseball - Huffington Post. I'm pretty tired of these articles, but I had to link to this one mainly for the use of the words "gluttony" and "gluttonous underbelly". "With baseball's gluttonous underbelly fresh in our minds, it's time to survey the excess. Here are the 10 worst contracts in the game, with remaining years and value noted." It's not very often I get to link to one of the seven deadly sins other than lust, vanity, pride, or envy. (H/T: Ranking MLB's Worst Contracts - Baseball Nation)
  • Some of the other stuff Pujols and Fielder get besides piles of cash: Pujols vs. Prince, & other contract details - Gonzo and 'The Show. Pujols gets "4 mutually-agreed-upon seats for all home games (may purchase same seats at end of contract); use of suite for 10 home games per year for Pujols Family Foundation; may purchase suite for all home games; will donate $100K per year to club charity; gets a suite on the road." When your making more than a few million dollars a year, isn't four season ticket packages somewhat "ashtray" money? And does the suite include the continental breakfast?
  • An interesting quote from one of the scrappiest players in baseball history: Eckstein weighs in on Pujols - IlliniHQ.com. "Were you surprised to see Albert Pujols leave St. Louis? To be honest, no. If you read what his wife said, I kind of was in the same situation when I was there in my final year there. The one thing is if the Cardinals want somebody, they get him. At the end of the day, I think if any of that is true, he would be a Cardinal."
  • Major League Baseball announces game times for 2012 regular season - MLB.com. "Friday's coverage includes the San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks at 4:10 p.m. MST/PT, followed by the Kansas City Royals visiting the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at 7:05 p.m. PT in the Angels debut of nine-time All-Star Albert Pujols."
  • An Angel catcher made the list! The new golden age of catching - The Hardball Times. "Last season 11 players totaled more than 3 fWAR; not one was by benefit of an above-average defensive value. This new group included Mike Napoli in a breakout season, Alex Avila, Matt Wieters, Yadier Molina, Carlos Santana, Nick Hundley, Chris Iannetta and Wilson Ramos."
  • Kind of funny: Fernon’s Anaheim landlord - Bugs & Cranks. "Dear Abner, I currently find myself in a rather awkward situation and was hoping you could give me a few words of advice. I run an apartment complex in Anaheim with nine studio units for rent...."
  • Rich guys and their hobbies: CJ Wilson relishes role as race car team owner - FOX Sports on MSN. "Wilson’s two Mazda MX-5s fared respectively — 15th and 33rd place in the 41-car ST class — in their season debut Friday afternoon: a Continental Tires Series race or sort of Triple-A series compared with the weekend’s marquee 24-hour event." I once raced RC cars...until it got too expensive.
  • This is good news since I had already started making my "Astros Suck" signs to take to the stadium next year: Houston Astros Owner: No Team Name Change - MLB Daily Dish. "One thing that we are not going to change is the name. We received strong feedback and consensus among season ticket holders and many fans, and we will not change the name Astros. The Houston Astros are here to stay."
  • Ready to drop into your Kindle or Nook: John McGraw & Christy Mathewson: Out-of-Copyright Authors - Baseball Prospectus | Wezen-Ball. "Currently, there are at least five different baseball books available free on Google Books written by early-20th century baseball stars, including legendary Hall of Famers John McGraw and Christy Mathewson."
  • There are players everyone knows of, there are players most fans have heard of, and there are the guys just the hometown fans follow. I've sort of heard of Skip Schumaker, but now that I've read this post, I wish I hadn't: Schumaker calls squirrel card 'ridiculous' - Fox Sports. ""It's pretty ridiculous," Schumaker told FOXSportsMidwest.com. "I have a shoe on my baseball card. And a squirrel. It's pretty ridiculous." Seriously? You have nothing better to whine about than your frickin's baseball card?? Here is the limited run card:582774_medium
    via www.foxsportsmidwest.com
  • This is classic Uecker: The funniest moment, courtesy of Uecker - JSOnline
    When the microphone was being passed among the crowd, a young boy raised his hand to ask a question. "What's your name?" asked Uecker. "Tyler," said the young boy. "Poor kid," said Uecker, taking a shot at Brewers vice president Tyler Barnes, standing just off-stage. But the young boy didn't know it was a joke and started crying, burying his head into his mom's shoulder. (H/T: baseballmusings.com)