Thursday, July 29, 2010
Looking to the Future.
I know other Angels Bloggers are out there right now writing on how the season isn't over. If this were the Angels I thought they'd be on Opening Day, but somehow found themselves 8.5 games out on July 29th, I'd reconsider. But they are without Kendry Morales, their offensive catalyst. They only have three healthy big-league starters. Not to mention Texas is actually still working to improve their team to not only clinch the division, but go on a lengthy post-season run.
I'm very excited about the pickup of Dan Haren. He is quickly rocketing up my list of favorite Angels players, even if he has only pitched 4.1 innings.
However, the rest of the season looks bleak. With Pineiro being the newest casualty, and Kazmir already on the DL (If I had known 2 weeks ago that I couldn't wait for Kazmir to get of the DL, I would have just packed it in then). The Offense hasn't just been bad the last week or so, its been downright awful.
However, the rest of the schedule see a lot of Baltimore, Cleveland, Toronto, Seattle and Oakland, a much easier couple of months than the Angels are accustomed to.
So it looks like the Angels could probably go out and win 37 more games this season (note: this is a completely realistic number, considering the Angels every home series, and don't get swept on the road again, oh, and sweep the rest of their games against Seattle). That would put them at 89 wins. A pretty respectable number, and probably going to be enough to win just about any division in the NL. However, in order to win the West with 89 wins, that means Texas would have to finish the season 29-32. (The Wild-Card is even less likely)
So the Angels will not only have to exceed all expectations, they will also need Texas to choke. It could happen, but this casual observer does not find it very likely.
So, what should the Angels do, you ask? I'll tell you. Trade away contracts that aren't helping you anymore, and do it soon, while these players still have some value. Trade Rivera, Abreu and Matsui. Trade one of our damn Catchers, trade Fuentes and designate Scot Shields for assignment.
You don't even need to get back major league ready talent, just freeing up the salary space is important at this point.
Then, call up Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos, and a few arms from Salt Lake. Hopefully, this influx of new faces and talent will re-energize the team, and help them win down the stretch. If nothing else, it will help the Angels assess how well these potential stars will do in the big leagues, and give the fans something new to look at.
Now, with Fuentes gone, we will need a new closer. I like the bullpen by committee approach, that will usually help you find your best man for the job. A rotation of Rodney, Rodriguez and Kohn will be a good place to start.
For the problem of having just three starters, lets do a fourth starter by committee too. Cycle guys in and out, give some guys a spot start here and there. It worked kinda well last season, when just about everyone in our rotation was hurt. So, lets take a look at my new, perfect scenario starting lineup for our August 3rd game in Baltimore.
1. Erick Aybar - SS
2. Howie Kendrick - 2B
3. Torii Hunter - CF
4. Mike Napoli - C
5. Macier Izturis - DH
6. Mark Trumbo - 1B
7. Kevin Frandsen - 3B
8. Reggie Willits - LF
9. Peter Bourjos - RF
1. Jared Weaver
2. Dan Haren
3. Ervin Santana
4. Trevor Bell/Matt Palmer/etc
And whenever Scott Kazmir decides to be healthy, he can come in as the 5th starter in the rotation.
I'd go into what I'd like the Angels to do over the off season, but I've already gone on for far too long.
My point is, what the Angels are doing right now is obviously not working. Lets mix things up and make this team watchable again, because having the same tired looking team trot on to the field every day is not my idea of a good time.