The 2012 Angels season is half over as of the end of play of the team's 81st game Tuesday evening in Cleveland. Following here is a quick analysis of it...
Wednesday's debacle, game #82, was the first game of the second half.
The oddest thing about the team in relationship to the five out of six season division title run of '04-'09 was how those teams excelled in having most regulars perform at or near an OPS+ or ERA+ of 100 and then had a few excel at around 120 or 130. This club has two outliers in the 160 range on offense, pitching and relief and almost everyone else below expected norms. Weird.
Five Best Moves of the Season...
- Promoting Mike Trout and even more importantly, playing him every day
- Trading for Ernesto Frieri and even more importantly, placing him into high-leverage situations regardless of "save" context
- Moving Mark Trumbo to Left Field. The Vernon Wells injury helped to write this in stone but the riskiness of having his glove at 3B (although he fielded there for Weaver's no-hitter) is a distant memory and he has not been terrible in the outfield. The biggest cost has been in sacrificing Peter Bourjos to the status of fourth outfielder, but Mark's bat is too good to exchange for a Speedy McAllglove.
- De-Leveraging and Demoting Jordan Walden - not just from the role of closer but fourth in bullpen leverage behind Mister Freeze, ShutDowns and LaTroy. If one Angel form the opening day roster is traded at the deadline it will be Walden, who has been taken out of pressure situation in order to sell that 100 MPH heat for top return.
- Testing Kendrys Morales in the field. Dude will be tradebait after the All Star game and the National League has to know whether he can field.
Five Worst Moves of the 2012 Angels season...
- Giving Vernon Wells 142 Plate Appearances
- Giving Bobby Wilson 118 PA
- Batting Kendry cleanup ahead of Mark Trumbo after Trumbo's MVP-level power surge
- Not demanding Dan Haren see a back specialist
- The 24.2 combined innings pitched of David Pauley, Kevin Jepsen, Rich Thompson and Bobby Cassevah: Three losses, 35 hits, 5 HR, 21 Earned Runs.
Five Myths about the 2012 Angels...
- Bobby Abreu was to blame for our lousy April. The dude had 27 Plate Appearances.
- Torii Hunter moving to the Two Hole revived him. OPS+ after his first game in that spot in the lineup: .766. Current OPS+: .760
- Jason Isringhausen has been better than advertised. He has accrued the same 0.5 WAR as LaTroy Hawkins and had to face 47 more batters to do that.
- Ervin Santana has been a lot worse than Dan Haren. Dan has faced only a dozen more batters in 103 to 12 IP this year and given p 28 more hits than Ervin, While he has walked 15 fewer batters, the legacy of being "a homerun pitcher" is something Ervin, with 19, has fessed up to while Dan is silent having given up 16 longballs.
- Erick Aybar is a gold glove Short Stop. By a truckload of defensive metrics both advanced and ancient, he is almost eerie in his league average-ness.
Here are your first half leaders:
Plate Appearances: Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick (349 and 301)
Runs: Mike Trout and Pujols (52 and 42)
Homeruns: Mark Trumbo and Pujols (20 and 13)
Hits: Pujols, Trout and Trumbo (85, 82, 82)
Doubles: Pujols and Erick Aybar (21 and 16)
Walks: Pujols and Trout (30 and 22)
On Base Percentage: Trout and Trumbo (.396 and .355)
Slugging: Trumbo and Trout (.604 and .552)
OPS: Trout and Trumbo (.959 and .947)
OPS+: tie between Trout and Trumbo at 163
Starter ERA: Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson (2.13 and 2.33)
Reliever ERA: Ernesto Frieri and Scott Downs (0.00 and 0.32)
Strikeouts: Dan Haren and C.J. (86 and 84)
K per 9: Haren and CJ (7.5 and 7.2)
WHIP: Frieri, Weaver and then Downs (0.904, 0.936 and 0.964)