While I have been down on the Los Angeles Angels heading into 2017, Scotty Allen of Angels Win (associated with Sports Daily) believes that the team will be better than many project. While I enjoyed reading the article and believe Allen made some good points, I’m not as optimistic. Check out his article and some of my points that either support or counter those made by Allen.
Allen notes that the rotation will be strengthened through the return of Garrett Richards and a potential breakout season from Tyler Skaggs. With Matt Shoemaker, Ricky Nolasco and any of the potential #5 starters that are in camp, Allen sees the rotation as a potential strength, not a weakness.
I like Nolasco, but his best days seem to be behind him. In fact, he was never even that good. While he could serve as an innings eater, he won’t be any better than a .500 pitcher, which he has not been since 2013.
When it comes to the bullpen, a healthy Houston Street is the key cog. Allen suggests that Street, along with Cam Bedrosian and a resurgent Andrew Bailey, could anchor a serious ‘pen.
Bailey has not had a productive year since 2013, and sported a 5.36 ERA last year.
Bedrosian is a great point, and could be a productive arm for years to come. The young righty struck out 51 batters in 40.1 innings last season.
While Street and Bedrosian could be counted on, I think hoping for anything productive out of Bailey is a bit of a stretch.
Allen believes that the offense, which produced the 17th most runs in the Majors last season, will receive a boost from Cameron Maybin, Danny Espinosa and others. Turning this offense into one that could be “flat out good” however would be a miracle, in my estimation.
Allen believes that Maybin had a “breakout” year last year, but I find that difficult to believe considering he only had 349 AB’s last season. While I have always been a fan of Maybin, I do not believe that he can be the difference between an average and “good” offense.
While there is more pop than last year, I don’t think they will finish above 15th in the MLB in runs scored. If the Brewers thought Martin Maldonado was worth anything, they would have held on to him after dealing Lucroy.
These guys can flash the leather. Allen cited the newly acquired Espinosa, who is paired up the middle with two-time Gold Glove award winner Andrelton Simmons. With Maybin in the outfield with Trout and Kole Calhoun, the shaky pitching staff will be well supported.
While I appreciate the article (man, I love baseball) I do not think the Angels will reach the .500 mark at the end of the year.