Depending on how you look at it, The Angels are either starting out slow, as per usual - or the ship is on fire and bigger buckets will be needed. Normally, I'm pretty hard on the Angels. As a fan, I have high expectations of the team and critiques are not akin to being a bad or fair-weathered fan. I'm hard on my own sports performances, as well as those of the teams I coach. Constructive criticism is a good thing, and in the spirit of being constructive, I'll start with the good :)
Shut your mouths you non-believers (including yours truly), Jered Weaver is still relevant, and in fact, turned in the best pitching performance of the week. Who would have predicted that? 6 innings, 6 hits, only 84 pitches thrown and only 1 earned run allowed.
Fans cried foul when very little was done in left field this past off season, but you can't say the new Left Field Platoon isn't working so far, with a combined .703 OPS and 2 RBIs.
Despite his strikeouts, Kole Calhoun had an impressive, team leading .429 OBP through the first week.
Close behind Weaver, Hector Santiago put in the second best pitching performance of the week, with 7Ks and 2 earned runs while holding batters to a .190 AVG thought 6 innings.
Huston Street, Joe Smith, and newly promoted A.J. Achter held down the back end of the bullpen in near-perfect fashion with 0 walks, 1 hit, and 5 Ks through 6.2 innings. It doesn't get much better than that.
Yunel "Erro-cobar" was far from lock down at third base, with 3 errors over 6 games. In fact, no team in the American League, other than Oakland (and they played one more game) committed more errors (5 total) than the Angels. Let's work on that defense eh?
Runs, we don't have them. Anti-congratulations go out to The Angels for tying the winless Twins with the fewest runs (12) in ALL of baseball last week. Pretty sure that step 1 in the Dummies Guides to Winning Baseball Games is to score more runs than your opponent. Right?
Strikeouts - those we have! Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun, and C.J. Cron combined for 17 Ks in 60 at bats, which is a strikeout pace only appreciated by opposing pitchers.
Given our weak offensive performance, you will probably not be surprised to learn The Angels also had the second worst OBP in all of baseball (thanks for being slightly worse Oakland!)
Fear the beard is a not a term Matt Shoemaker will be hearing after last week. Opposing hitters loved him to the tune of a .428 AVG.
Our ace, Garret Richards, was far from ace-worthy, giving up 14 hits and 4 walks over 11.2 innings and suffering his first two losses.
Pitching depth is already being tested, as the Halos lost Andrew Heaney to the DL with a forearm strain.
Absolutely zero stolen bases? Not a one? Nope. Many were hoping we'd see more stolen bases after the aggressive spring base running, but instead we end up one of three teams who put up blanks in the SB column. To be fair, you probably need to actually get on base if you want to steal.
Defensive shifts? Oh yeah. We have those too. The verdict is still out how helpful this will be, but The Angels have gone from one of the least shifting teams, to the most, thanks to Billy Eppler's new analytics department.
Overall, week 1 was pretty meh. It's too early to panic and it's too early to think we are winning it all. Sit back, relax and enjoy some baseball!!