2015 MLB Predictions

Baseball
It's finally baseball season in a couple days, which means it's time for Baseball Chick's 2015 predictions.  Let's get this party started with the best division in baseball. AL WEST Los Angeles Angels, 95-67 Seattle Mariners, 90-72 Oakland Athletics,  84-78 Houston Astros, 81-81 Texas Rangers, 68-94 Of course I'm going to put the Angels on top, but let's face it - Aside from Howie Kendrick, this team remains largely unchanged from 2014 when they wont 98 games.   There are some question marks around second base still and pitching (as always), but there is little reason the Angels can't repeat as division champs. I'm also going to predict the first non losing record for the Astros since 2008. AL CENTRAL Detroit Tigers, 90-72 Chicago White Sox, 87-75 Cleveland Indians, 86-74 Kansas…
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Handicapping the Halos 2B battle

Angels, Second Base, Spring Training
The battle for second base is on!  We are about 1/3 of the way through spring training, and we've had a good look at the contenders so far. I think it's likely that one of the four will get the starter role and another will end up as utility man who can also play SS and 3B. INN Chances PO A E DP RangeFactor Giavotella 26 17 5 12 4 2.43 Featherston 29 16 5 9 2 3 2.00 Rutledge 29 15 4 11 2 2.50 Green 14 8 3 4 1 0 2.33 Judging by these fielding stats, someone seems to have no love for my favorite, Grant Green.  He has only played HALF of the innings any of these other guys have seen.  What's the deal with that?…
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Angels Opening Day Roster Predictions

Angels
It's a bit of a crap shoot still, but there are some certainties, some highly-likley and some what Scioscia will probably do.  Let's take a look at how the Active roster will/should look on opening day. Position Players Catcher (2) -  Chris Iannetta is a no brainer here.  Let's hope he has another great season and so far by the looks of his bat in spring training, he's heading in the right direction.  Despite being one of the worst players to ever swing a bat, Drew Butera could land the backup job for his defensive skills.  My hope is that Carlos Perez will impress in spring training and land the backup job.  Sadly if I had to bet, I'd go with Butera since I'm pretty sure they got him for…
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Angels Spring Training – Relief Pitchers

Angels, pitching, Spring Training
There is a slew of relief pitchers in training camp (10) with most of them bound to end up in AAA or AA.  This last issue of spring training player review looks at this 10 guys and their chances of playing on the active roster for a substantial portion of 2015 (let's say 20+ innings). Cesar Ramos 246 big league innings have mostly been a mixed bag for Ramos.  A career 3.90 ERA and 1.36 with a BAA of .245.  Nothing overwhelming for sure.  Ramos hasn't pitched in the minors since 2012 and has a shot at the Angels bullpen mostly because he is a lefty with experience.  His odds are high, despite competition in the pen.  Ramos has also pitched 1 perfect inning so far in Tempe. 2015 Active…
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Angels Spring Training – Starting Pitchers

Angels, pitching, Spring Training
There are essentially 9 starting pitchers in Tempe for 5 spots.  Since Garrett Richards is set to start the season on the DL, there will be 7 pitchers vying for those 5 spots (at least for the first few weeks of April).  Let's take a look at all 9, along with the chances of making a substantial number of starts in 2015 (10+ games or so) Andrew Heaney If you are going to trade away Howie Kendrick, then have a lot of faith in the pitcher you get for him.  Heaney is not only a top Angels prospect, but a top 25 prospect in all of MLB.  He has had a very impressive and short minor league career but a very disappointing 29 big league innings with Miami last year (5.83…
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Angels Spring Training – Catchers + Outfield

Angels, Spring Training
The Angels have 4 catchers in Tempe, along with 6-8 outfielders (depending on how you count them).  If you count Josh Hamilton but NOT Grant Green, then you get 7.  If you don't count Hamilton (not actually in Tempe) OR Green (trying out for second base spot) then you get 6.  The combinations continue, so let's leave it at that.  I've also broken down their percent chance of being on the active roster for a substantial portion of the season. Jett Bandy Bandy, along with Drew Butera and Carlos Perez, is vying for the backup cacher spot.  He spent the last two season in AA with the Travelers and due to the fact that he is a top prospect (ahead of Johnny Giavotella by some counts), he could have a…
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Angels Spring Training – Infielders

Angels, Spring Training
Ten infielders have journeyed to Diablo Stadium in Tempe.  Most notably, are four second basemen though one of them (Grant Green), is listed as an outfielder.  Let’s break them all down, including chances of staying on the 25-man Active roster 2015 (for 50%+ of the year). Erick Aybar This one is a no brainer and Aybar had a career year last year with highs in runs, RBIs, hits, walks, games played and a trip to the All Star Game.  The only real question is - who will be he flipping double plays with? 2015 Active Roster Chance: 100% C.J. Cron This big lovable goof looks more like a computer nerd than a pro baseball player but he can sure hit the crap out of a ball when he's not busy free swinging…
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Angels Spring Training – Non Roster Position Players

Angels, Baseball, Spring Training
The Angels have invited 11 non roster position players to join them in sunny Tempe this spring.  Some names you have probably heard of, and others not so much.  Let’s break them down, including chances of a roster spot (at any point) in 2015. Charles Cutler - C Cutler was signed to a minor league contact with a Tempe invite.  He has decent numbers with 7 seasons in the minors batting .304 and he only strikeouts about once every 8 at bats.  Cutler can also play 1B and OF, the later of which is odd for a catcher who has no speed (8 SB in 7 years). Cutler is one of many catchers the Angels signed this past off season. 2015 Roster Chance: 0% Stephen McGee - C Picked in the…
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Angels Spring Training – Non Roster Pitchers

Angels, pitching, Spring Training
The Angels have invited 12 non roster pitchers to join them in sunny Tempe this spring.  Some names you have probably heard of, and others not so much.  Let's break them down, including chances of a roster spot (at any point) in 2015. Trevor Gott Gott is a 23-year old reliever who came over to the Angels from the Padres as part of the Huston Street trade.  He has converted 22 of 29 saves in his short minor league career and amassed 101 Ks through 96 innings along with a 1.21 WHIP.  In 2014 he had a pretty average K/BB ratio of 2.4. Gott only has 29 inning at the AA level (the rest A or below) so it's highly unlikely he makes an opening day roster but he could have a…
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