Previewing The AL West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Stephen Dunn

A brief snapshot on new divisional opponent, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Team Overview

Manager: Mike Scioscia (14th season, 1,155-951)

Hitting coach: Jim Eppard

Pitching coach: Mike Butcher

Projected lineup

C: Chris Ianetta

1B: Albert Pujols

2B: Howie Kendrick

SS: Erik Aybar

3B: Alberto Callaspo

LF: Mike Trout

CF: Peter Bourjos

RF: Josh Hamilton

DH: Mark Trumbo

Projected rotation

1. Jered Weaver

2. C.J. Wilson

3. Jason Vargas

4. Tommy Hanson

5. Joe Blanton

Projected bullpen

Closer: Ryan Madsen

Projected Win Total

90-72

Offseason additions

SP Jo-Jo Reyes

SS Brendan Harris

OF J.B. Shuck

CL Ryan Madson

SP Tommy Hanson (Traded from Braves for CL Jordan Walden)

SP Joe Blanton

RP Sean Burnett

SP Jason Vargas (Traded from Mariners for 1B Kendrys Morales)

OF Josh Hamilton

Offseason losses

SP Zach Greinke (Free agent, signed with Dodgers)

SS Maicer Izturis (Free agent, signed with Blue Jays)

OF Torii Hunter (Free agent, signed with )

RP LaTroy Hawkins (Free agent, signed with )

SP Ervin Santana (Traded to Royals for RP Brandon Sisk)

SP Dan Haren (Free agent, signed with Nats)

Comments

The 2012 Angels had a disappointing season, missing out on the playoffs and finishing 89-73. Oh, how Astros fans would like to be disappointed with a season like that.

The reason the Angels felt so disappointed is because they landed the biggest prize on the 2011 free agent market in Albert Pujols and had the breakout season to end all breakout seasons from Mike Trout. Add in a very impressive sophomore campaign by Mark Trumbo and LA/Anaheim should have felt very secure.

Yet, they were caught by the Rangers and Athletics and missed the playoff boat.

What did they do to get over this soul-crushing disappointment? Just signed the best free agent hitter on the market yet again.

With Josh Hamilton as part of a lineup that features Trout, Pujols and Trumbo, the Angels have a middle of the order that can play with anyone. As long as age doesn't catch up to Pujols and injuries or dipping don't derail Hamilton, the Angels offense should be one of the most potent in the league.

However, it's the pitching that may cause the Angels the most trouble. After struggling with a rotation fronted by Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson last season, the Angels traded for Zack Greinke at the deadline. But, Greinke didn't move the needle much on LA's season and he signed with crosstown rival, the Dodgers, last winter.

LA then retooled the rotation behind Wilson and Weaver, trading Santana to the Royals and picking up Tommy Hanson in a trade with the Braves and signing Joe Blanton. To get Hanson, they had to trade away young closer Jordan Walden, so they also signed Ryan Madsen to fill that void.

Basically, if there was a problem, money could fix if for these Angels.

Right now, PECOTA ranks the Angels at the top of the American League West. With that offense and decent pitching, it's hard not to see why. But, there are also enough questions about whether this team can hold up over the course of an entire season to wonder if they wont' leave 2013 disappointed again.

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