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MLB Opening Day 2016: The Angels official Opening Day 25 man roster

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Infield:

Albert Pujols 1B

Albert is going to give first base a go this season, but the good news is that he seems more open than ever to possibly taking on a full time DH role. Last year’s offensive numbers seem like Albert’s ceiling, maybe health will result in better average.

Johnny Giavotella 2B

The folk hero has been working on his defense, and it’s already shown this off-season. Hopefully he can continue to help out with his bat, too, as he plans to get a lot of work at the #9 spot(a place he’s had success before)

Andrelton Simmons SS

Not much to say that hasn’t already been said, other than FINALLY. Finally we get to see this guy in action, in an Angels uniform, almost every night. Expect amazing plays, runs saved galore, and a batting average in the .260 range.

Yunel Escobar 3B

He’s coming off a great year at the plate, and has had a good Spring, so here’s to seeing Escobar keep it rolling in the 2016 season. The only problem is his defense at the hot corner, but it’s improving and the Angels continue to work on it with him.

Cliff Pennington utility

Pennington is a vet, should be a serviceable replacement coming off the bench. Bat isn’t blowing anybody’s minds but his defense coming off the bench is valuable.

C.J. Cron 1B/DH

Cron is going to get another shot to prove his first round status this year. He’s always been good in short spurts, but has yet to put together a jaw dropping stretch for a considerable amount of time. It’ll be interesting to see how much he’ll play first, putting Pujols at DH. Depends on the old man’s health, but at least Cron has been working on his glove skills.

Ji-Man Choi 1B/DH

Choi was one of the last guys to get onto the roster, but most knew he’d be here when the day come. The Rule 5 pick had a scorching start to his Spring, but then cooled off a bunch; it happens. He’s good with the glove at first, and hits to contact as a lefty at the plate. He’ll fight with Cron for starts, whether at DH or 1B.


Outfield:

Daniel Nava LF

The left field was the talk of the off-season, and now we get to see if Billy Eppler’s experiment works. Nava has some upside, just needs to stay healthy. He was perhaps the best Angels player all Spring, and if he can get things going in 2016, it’ll be a good "told ya so" moment for the front office.

Mike Trout CF

You know everything about Mike Trout already. You know he was ready to go after the first AB of Spring Training. He’s going to be gunning for another MVP award, and another shot to shine in the post-season. He’s the key to all of this, let’s be honest.

Kole Calhoun RF

Kole is coming off a great campaign in 2015, and should be a huge part of the Angels success, if they’re to have any. He’s proved he can hit for average, and hit for power, and at some point Mike Scioscia needs to make him the cleanup hitter. Until now, he’ll be a pretty darn good #5 spot option.

Craig Gentry OF

Gentry is the other part of the Eppler/Arte eschewing of free agents and going the route of the platoon. Gentry will spell Nava, and he’s also coming off a good camp so there actually might be something to this cheap, two-headed creation.

Catcher:

Carlos Perez

Perez had a fine rookie season in 2015, and looks to catch a ton of balls in 2016 as the main apple of Scioscia's catching eye. He's had a great Spring at the plate, so he's more than just a great defensive backstop. He's got hitting upside.

Geovany Soto

Soto is a veteran, so he's already Scioscia-approved. He's not as good at the plate as Perez, and doesn't have the defensive prowess, either. Still, he's a decent backup option, at least until the Angels decide to call up Jett Bandy.


Starting Rotation:

Garrett Richards RHP

Getting the opening day start for the first time in his career, and the team is going to depend on him like an ace. He didn’t have a bad 2015, but it wasn’t the huge leap people expected him to take after 2014. Garrett has been throwing some HEAT in Spring, and looks comfy in the starting rotation captain’s chair. Could be epic, but at the very least he’ll be OK.

Andrew Heaney LHP

We got to see Heaney for the first time last year, and we loved him. Now, he’s getting some more time out on the bump, and if Spring is any indication, he’ll be a very solid rotation piece for Mike Scioscia to play.

Hector Santiago LHP

We kind of know what to expect out of Hector by now: some great starts, followed by some scary starts. The guy is still solid in the middle of your rotation, and proved he can be all-star level last year(at least for half a season).

Jered Weaver RHP

Not being able to get above the low 80s on his fastball was the Weaver story of the Angels’ camp. Some days he couldn’t crack 80 at all. It’s getting dire, but Weaver is a gamer and will try to give it a go. I can see him pulling out some home wins, but stay away from road Weaver.

Matt Shoemaker RHP

Shoemaker backslid last year after kicking some butt in 2014. Spring Training hasn’t exactly been his friend so far in 2016, either, but those Spring games can have deceptive numbers. Scioscia and pitching coach Charles Nagy obviously think he’s going to be up to the challenge, though, and he’s locked into the rotation on Opening Day.

Bullpen:

Huston Street RHP

Joe Smith RHP

Fernando Salas RHP

Mike Morin RHP

Cory Rasmus RHP

Jose Alvarez LHP

Cam Bedrosian RHP

The bullpen is very similar to last year’s, so if you were a fan, great! If you weren’t…sorry. Along with Ji-Man Choi, Cam Bedrosian was one of the last two players to make it onto the Opening Day roster. Reliever Greg Mahle was close, but the club went with Bedrosian. There is some talent in this bullpen, and with some of the question marks plaguing the rotation, the Angels are going to desperately need it.