Los Angeles Angels

Angels Report: Can the Angels compete in 2017?

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.

Rotation

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.

Bullpen

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.

Offense

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.

Defense

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.

Conclusion

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.

AL West Wednesday: Trouble in Anaheim, promise in Houston and a new home for Matt Joyce

Los Angeles Angels: After reading the “2017 Season Primer” (a four-part series  from Angelswin.com) it is clear that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are caught between a rock and a hard place. The team has major financial obligations for 2017, issues surrounding the stadium, and the looming issue of trying to retain Mike Trout after the 2020 season. Robert Cunningham, who authored Part I of the series for Angelswin.com, believes that General Manager Billy Eppler is the right man to lead the Angels through this difficult off-season.

23573425971_6888a2d6f5_z

Angels GM BIlly Eppler by Arturo Pardavila III

Check out Part II and Part III of the series to read David Saltzer’s musings about the options that Eppler has (cheap, strategic or big spending) and what pieces are the building blocks of the franchise. A recent addition examines the 2017 starting rotation.

https://angelswinblog.blogspot.com/

Houston Astros: The charmingly sarcastic AstrosCounty.com published “Somethings a-happenin’ in Astrvoille” that details the club’s activity in the early parts of the off-season. Josh Reddick, Brian McCann, Nori Aoki and Charlie Morton will all be in Houston next season.

Astros County also envisions the Astros adding a power bat, suggesting the acquisition of a major bat via free agency (Jose Bautista or Carlos Beltran) or maybe a trade (Jay Bruce is now SUPER available).

http://www.astroscounty.com/

Texas Rangers: Jamey Newberg of the Newberg Report, a blog that “Covering the Texas Rangers from Top to Bottom” wrote a piece highlighting the tremendous change that the  roster in Arlington has undergone in the recent years. Only  11 players that were in the 2014 media guide are still remaining on the team. Newberg also cites MLB Network Radio’s Casey Stern who believes that the Rangers will make the biggest impact this off-season.

http://www.newbergreport.com/default.asp

Seattle Mariners: Marc W. with the U.S.S. Mariner shares his insights on the recent trade of the former first round pick, outfielder Alex Jackson, to the Atlanta Braves. The Braves sent Rob Whalen and Max Povse back to Seattle. Neither player will contribute with the 2017 club, but in the opinion of the writer, it gives the M’s a decent return. Check out the full article for a detailed analysis of both prospects.

http://www.ussmariner.com/

Oakland Athletics: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the A’s have signed Matt Joyce to a 2 year, $11 million deal. Joyce hit .242/13 HR/42 RBI last year in his lone season with the Pirates. This will be Joyce’s third team since leaving the Rays at the end of the 2014 season. He is definitely an Oakland type of guy. Low cost (relatively speaking) and high OBP, .403 last season and .341 over his career.