We have all the information we need - time for some predictions about the Angels season ahead of us...
1. Mike Scioscia is as great a manager as his bullpen will allow...
Scioscia will win more games when there are players with clearly defined roles who execute at those roles. This is no clearer in his rigid bullpen management. Joe Smith and Huston Street doing what they do best will cover up many of the flaws in Mike that longtime Halo-Watchers detest.
2. Mike Trout will repeat as American League Most Valuable Player...
He will be a little more aggressive at the plate and a lot more aggressive on the basepaths. He turns 24 in August. The high inside strike is his next conquest.
3. Albert Pujols will have his best season as an Angel
His knee feels great, this is his fourth year in Anaheim and the chance to have one great year on the books here is likely to be now. Overall Albert has been pretty good - but he hasn't been the pretty great of Cardinals Albert. This will be the season we get a taste of pretty great.
4. The pending Chris Iannetta free agency will seem to be the thing that needs to be most dealt with...
The skill set of Iannetta will suddenly seem irreplaceable ...and in looking around baseball it will in fact turn out to be downright impossible to get what Chris gives.
5. C.J. Wilson gone
Look for Andrew Heaney to get refined enough in AAA that replacing Wilson in the rotation will be a no-brainer. The Halos will try to trade C.J. and might even bring back a fellow salary dump or malcontent from one of 29 other suckers, er, teams out there.
6. Defense an issue
We are going to miss Howie Kendrick but the player the Angels will miss the most will be Alberto Callpaspo. Look for Erick Aybar to compensate for lousy post-Howie D at the keystone by playing closer to the middle. David Freese will not be able to do much about the real estate his glove is supposed to cover. Except maybe to just stand there and look dumb. Yeah. He can and will do that to an all star caliber on plays that Callaspo would have embraced as routine.
7. C.J. Cron Power
Look for Cron to slug over .500 in 2015 and be placed permanently in the cleanup role.
8. Garrett Richards All Star
Despite missing three turns in the rotation in April, Garrett Richards will get an All Star nod and join Trout, Pujols, Street, and Cron in Cincinnati this July.
9. No HamBone
Josh Hamilton will rehab his shoulder all season and it just won't get better. He will not have a Plate Appearance with the big club in 2015.
10. Neck and Neck with Seattle
This one is going to be a dog fight all the way. The American League West will be won by the Angels or M's with less than six games left in the season at the earliest.