Senin, 23 April 2012

How to fix the Angels

The Los Angeles Angels have been one of the biggest disappointments in baseball so far as they are 6-10 overall. The Angels have struggled in general as a team as their bats have not hit well while their rotation has still been missing that genuine fifth starter. Jordan Walden has not had many save opportunities but has been fairly solid so far. Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson have been the bright spots of this rotation as both of them are off to great starts. Howie Kendrick has probably been the best hitter for the Angels so far. The Angels underperforming but the question is how do they turn this around?

1. Find a Third Baseman that can hit and field.
The Angels have put Mark Trumbo at third base for his hitting occasionly but his weak defense has made them use Alberto Callapso at third third. Callapso is not that good of a hitter and the Angels need to get more production from the hot corner. The obvious trade candidate for the Angels is Mets' 3B David Wright. Wright is one of the best third baseman in all of baseball and he has gotten off to a great start this year 2 home runs, 8 RBIs, and a .439 batting average. The other key is the fact that Wright is very good defensively which makes him the ideal fit in Anaheim. The Angels would have to send multiple players and prospects to get Wright but it could pay off huge overall.

2. Improve the Outfield Offensively.
Vernon Wells and Peter Bourjos have sboth struggled offensively so far as both are hitting for an average that is below .240. Both Bourjos and Wells are strikeing out a lot and Wells is definitely showing signs of age while Bourjos is probably in a sophomore slump. Wells defense is on the decline while Bourjos should keep his spot due to his very good defense in center field. The man that could give a kick start to the Angels from the outfield is top prospect Mike Trout. Trout is currently tearing it up at Triple A as he has 1 home runs, 11 RBIs, 6 stolen bases, and a .400 bating average. His OPS is 1.063 and Trout seems worthy of a promotion back to the big leagues. Trout could be an immediate game changer in the lineup for the Angels and could also put the necessary pressure on Wells and Bourjos to get them going offensively.

3. Find a Fifth Starter.
Jerome Williams won the fifth starting job in the Angels' rotation out of Spring Training and he has been a disaster in his to starts. Unlike Ervin Santana, who has also struggled, Williams is not making it deep into games and has a WHIP of 1.71. The Angels need a quality fifth starter if they want to have a truely elite rotation and the answer could be in Triple A. That starter is 23-year-old starting pitcher Garrett Richards. Richards has gotten off to a red hot start in Triple A Salt Lake this season as he has an ERA of 1.67, a strikeout to walk ratio of 9 to 2, and is averaging a strikeout every inning. Richards also the Angels' best pitching prospect and could be a consistent starter at the back end for the Angels. If they decide to trade for a fifth starter, some options include Oakland's Bartolo Colon and Brandon McCarthy, Minnesota's Carl Pavano, the White Sox's Gavin Floyd, Washington's John Lannan and Houston's Wandy Rodriguez. No matter what they do, the Angels will definitely find an upgrade in the fifth starter role.

4. Have Patience
Yes, the Angels are already 7 games behind the Texas Rangers but it is only April and with two wild card spots, there is no reason to panic. Albert Pujols and Torii Hunter have not had the best of starts but they will get going soon and allow the Angel offense to take off even more. The rotation has been pretty good with Jered Weaver looking like an All-Star while CJ Wilson is proving why he was worth a five-year-deal. Dan Haren hasn't been too bad and I expect to refind the form that made him an All-Star in the past. The bullpen has been good and Jordan Walden has only had one save opportunity while lefty Scott Downs has been dominate. The Angels have had a rough start but this team is too talented for this to continue so I expect a turnaround soon for the Angels.

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