April 3, 2017
Opening day is a beautiful day for all baseball fans. We hold hopes, and possibly some ignorance, that our teams will snag a division title, a pennant, or a World Series championship. We at least expect we will be able to watch games that matter in September.
The Angels weren’t good last year. Today, though, we imagine, hope and expect this year will be different.
I’m feeling optimistic about the 2017 Angels, and there have been some positive expectations in many pre-season write-ups. So, with hopes of enjoying baseball in October, here are reasons to look forward to the 162 games in the meantime:
- Mike Trout — No duh, amiright? Just get him on the field for 155 games and it amounts to 10 extra wins. And really…he even made games last September interesting to watch.
- Manufactured runs — The most disappointing thing for me when Josh Hamilton was signed was the seeming intent to field a team that tried to slug the ball out of the park in a stadium that isn’t so friendly to slugging it out of the park. Nor is that the style that has brought success to Mike Scioscia. This season, it looks like a roster more geared for Scioscia style baseball. More speed. More hit and run. More extra bases taken. More fun to watch.
- Defense — You could drop me at third base on this team, without a glove even, and the rest of the defense would make up for my lack of fielding. Same goes for Yunel Escobar.
- Depth — The Angels haven’t had a bench like this for a few years. They couldn’t overcome injuries, especially last year. This year, they should be in okay shape with some games missed here and there.
- So many arms in that bullpen — Let’s not pretend that the Angels trekked back from Tempe with a run squashing bullpen. But they’ve taken chances on a lot of second chance type guys. A lot of them. If even a couple work out, they might be able to eat up some innings until Cam Bedrosian does his thing. They can’t all wash out can they?
- Mike Trout — No duh still, amiright?
April 1, 2017
More good expectations for the Angels on the eve of the season. This one calls them the AL’s Cinderella team:
In all, there’s enough in Anaheim to take the Angels from a 74-win team to better than an 85-win team. That would be good enough for wild-card purposes.
A fun take on the never ending stream of articles about how good Mike Trout. I never tire of reading them.
February 10, 2017
Adams, 30, has a 6.29 ERA over 58 2/3 innings in the majors over the past three seasons. A former fifth-round pick, Adams has a career 3.33 ERA in the minors.
February 7, 2017
If the Angels can’t afford to buy quality arms, and if the minor league system can’t deliver them at the moment, Eppler is gambling that the team is better off rolling the dice on high-ceiling arms than on journeymen who might be gone in a year anyway. He said he has had no conversations with longtime ace Jered Weaver about returning, no matter how opportunistic a deal the Angels might be able to strike.
We didn’t expect Jered back, but still hard to read. Thanks for so many great years, Jered.
January 24, 2017
Perhaps it’s all about the left hand bat, but this is so very curious.
CJ Cron continued to improve last year, and there’s no reason to think 2017 wouldn’t be even better. The Angels played .400 ball during the 35 games he was injured and were just under .500 when he was healthy.
November 30, 2016
They can’t really be worse than we think. I hope.
The 2017 projections at Fangraphs.com (yes, these are up already) indicate that they could be. They peg the Angels for 85 wins, an 11-win jump from their 2016 total and a number that would put them at the head of the AL wild-card pack.
There are some reasons for optimism if they stay healthy. But there is very little depth that is MLB ready if key players go down, especially in the starting rotation.
July 6, 2016
If any player were not going to be fatigued but the HR derby, wouldn’t it be Trout with his quick, compact swing? And if ever he were going to fatigue himself, wouldn’t this be the year to do it, this season with a team no going anywhere? I’d love to see him do it. But maybe he’s such a team guy (he is) and still expects the Angels can make something of this season. Maybe.
April 6, 2016
“When stuff starts hitting the fan and we’re in the dog days and you need that veteran leadership, we’ll find out,” Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun said. “We’ll find out. Because those are two tough people to replace. It’s going to have to be some guys stepping up, it’s going to have to be some guys who came in.”
This was my primary concern when Aybar was traded away — it was clear that he brought something special to the clubhouse and dugout alike. (The game last year where he was yanking bats around to wake them up comes to mind.) Who will be the guys that bring not just an example, but a strong voice, to the clubhouse. They need to show up tomorrow after those first two games against the Cubs.