2011 American League Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Off-season analysis: If any Yankee fans out there are wondering why so many were cautioning against the tendency to do something rash after missing out on a top free agent target, look no further than Anaheim. Though they were at various times seen as the most obvious landing spot for Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, and/or Rafael Soriano, the Angels failed to sign even one of those guys, mostly because they were reportedly offering them low-ball contracts. Instead, they gave away a top draft pick to sign Downs to a 3 year contract, and gave away Mike Napoli‘s bat for Wells’ contract (to make matters worse, Napoli wound up on the Rangers’ roster a couple of weeks later). Missing out on Beltre will probably hurt them the most, as they have a glaring hole at 3rd base. But at least Scott Boras won’t be cashing a commission check from Arte Moreno’s bank account, right?

Projected lineup: (2010 wOBA):

Jeff Mathis C (.223 in 218 plate appearances)

Kendry Morales 1b (.357 in 211 plate appearances)

Howie Kendrick 2b (.317)

Erick Aybar SS (.288)

Alberto Callaspo 3b (.295)

Vernon Wells LF (.362)

Peter Bourjos CF (.273 in 193 plate appearances)

Torii Hunter RF (.350)

Bobby Abreu DH (.348)

Projected rotation (2010 FIP):

Jered Weaver (3.06)

Ervin Santana (4.28)

Dan Haren (3.71)

Joel Pineiro (3.84)

Scott Kazmir (5.83)

2011 outlook: While the Angels’ off-season has been widely and rightly criticized, rumors of their demise are most likely exaggerated. First and foremost, the Angels have a very solid rotation, anchored by three guys who can rack up strikeouts. Their offense is a bit more of a question mark, but they do have four guys who could provide some offense in the middle of the rotation, though only Morales is anywhere close to being a sure bet to do well at the plate. The bigger problem for the Angels is that the Rangers and A’s have definitely caught up to them, and even in the best case scenario for Anaheim, both of those teams could win more games than the Angels in 2011

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

One thought on “2011 American League Preview: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  1. CS Yankee

    I see a really good rotation and so-so lineup, however their farm is decent on position players.

    Mathais is beyond a weak bat (has to be b5 in the AL), weak left side IF, but decent OF. I could see a weak 1st place or a distant 3rd place, but likely the later. Unlikely they would trade with NYY come June if they were way back as Arte & Mike like to beat that anti-Yankee drum.

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