David Schoenfield and Eric Karabell from Sweetspot pretty much ripped the Angels a new one today. Let's take a look at what they said, along with thoughts on each item:
- Pujols and Calhoun should be hitting better. (Huh? Calhoun is batting .304 right now and his k% is down almost 10% from last season. Pujols? Yes, they are absultely right on that one.)
- Escobar is doing okay. (Okay? I'll take a .363 OBP with 3HR in the leadoff spot. He's not your typical leadoff hitter, but he is getting on base and maybe we have low expectations since the leadoff spot has been a black hole for a few years).
- Bottom of lineup is terrible - Simmons can't hit enough. (This is mostly true. Choi, Perez, Pennington, Giavotella, and Simmons are all batting .215 or lower. Soto has been good in that bottom of the lineup, as has Cron lately. But overall, our lineup DOES drop sharptly after our first 5 hitters)
- Weaver can't throw hard any more - major problem. We are seeing the end for him. (Mixed feelings on this one. He's done okay this year, considering. Whether or not he can keep up a sub 5.00 ERA all season is definitely up for debate and I would hazard to guess no. On the season, Weaver now has a .325BAA and 5.40ERA)
- Where will we get enough good innings to compete in the division? (this is a fair questions. Before the season started we had a plethora of pitching. Now we don't even know who's going to pitch tomorrow. Part of the problem has been injuries. Another part is unpredictable young talent. Quality starts are going to be tough to come by in 2016 with the current staff, and have been mostly non existent over the past week. It's going to put a lot of stress on our bullpen.)
- Nate Karns (#5 mariners) would be #2 guy on the Angels. (Yes suck it Dipoto. So the Mariners are doing well. Not sure that Karns slots in at #2 on the Angels, but it does show the current problems we have with our pitching staff)
- Where will we get enough good starting pitching and lineup depth to win 50% of games. (This is just carrying on from the last two points, but they say we'll struggle to win 81 games this year. That could be true.)
- Pujols will struggle to hit 200 this year. (An over-exaggeration, however, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up in the .230 range this year. He hasn't hit near .300 since 2010 and it seems he's even getting slower and hitting into more double plays this year - as if that were possible.)
- We need old Albert Pujols and he is long gone. (Ain't that the truth. Preach it! We aren't getting anything close to the Pujols of his Cardinals days.)
- Angels will lose 90 games. (Maybe. This team has a way of making things happen though, so I think we'll end up right around .500 without any major moves.)
- Could be last place team unless we trade for pitching or get it from the minors. (Pitching isn't our only problem, but it is becomming a big problem as of late. We don't have much help in the minors other than maybe Nate Smith, and I hope Eppler would trade for a good bat long before he trades for a big arm. That being said, we really don't have a lot of good trade pieces anyway. But last place? It's possible. The other teams in the AL West all seem to be improved from last season and are doing well. Exception would be the Astros but they are starting to turn things around.)
- Mike Trout will have an MVP season again and won't win it. (I'd almost bet on this one. It's hard to win MVP when you don't go to the playoffs unless there is no one else close to your stats - which could happen. This is really crappy that he doesn't already have 3 MVP awards and he would on a team that could be playoff bound every year.)
What do you think? They paint a pretty dark picture of the 2016 season. Our offense has been heating up lately, but we are no Cubs or Astros or many other teams when it comes to run production. Now we have pitching problems coming out of the woodwork. Could it be a long, tough season? Probably. But it's still early right?