A Los Angeles Angels team that was 1st in batting average and 4th in runs last year, added 43 HR and 128 RBI in the form of All-Star Josh Hamilton. Will it be enough to overcome a questionable back end of the rotation? Will Mike Trout suffer from a sophomore slump? Will the Angels new investments be enough to reclaim the AL West? Here is a look at the 2013 Los Angeles Angels:
Jason Vargas, Josh Hamilton, Joe Blanton, Sean Burnett, Tommy Hanson, Ryan Madson, Ervin Santana
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Kendrys Morales, Jordan Walden, Zack Greinke, Torii Hunter, Dan Haren
It’s pretty simple, this team can hit. With a full year from the rookie phenom Mike Trout (30 HR and 49 SB) and the addition of Josh Hamilton (43 HR and 128 RBI) to go along with Mark Trumbo (32 HR and 95 RBI) and Albert Pujols (30 HR and 105 RBI), the Angels are the definition of “loaded” when it comes to the offensive side of the game.
As long as Trout can avoid a complete sophomore collapse and the rest of the big 4 stay healthy, this should be the most explosive offense in baseball with a great mixture of power and speed.
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After losing Zack Greinke and Dan Haren in the off-season, the Angels have plenty of question marks regarding their pitching staff. While Weaver and Wilson at the top could combine to be a solid 1/2 punch, the rest of the supporting cast could prove to be an Achilles heel.
Tommy Hanson’s stock has continued to drop since his impressive rookie campaign. His velocity has dropped while his ERA has risen, which isn’t likely to change after moving from the NL to AL. Also, despite being an innings eater, Joe Blanton has been posting an ERA close to 5.00 over the last 4 years.
Not to mention the fact that the closer job is in the hands of Ryan Madson, who missed the entire 2012 season with an injury.
While I think this team’s offense will carry them to the postseason, it’s difficult to tell if their back end of the rotation will be able to do enough to keep the Angels at the front of the AL West.
However, even if the back end is below average, if Weaver and Wilson can perform at an “ace” type level, I think the Angels offense—if healthy— can find a way to win the AL West. Pitching wins in October though, so I am not sure the Angels will do much once they get in.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson