Calling Angel #5

Angels, pitching
Angels pitchers and catchers report tomorrow.  Finally!  It's the start of the 2015 baseball season and I am ready for it.  There certainly are a few question marks in a mostly unchanged Angels lineup, including: Will Josh Hamilton be anywhere NEAR his prediction of a .300/30HR/100 RBI season? (nope) Who will play second base? (more on that soon) Who will win the 5th spot in the Angels rotation? Today, let's look at the third unknown on this list - who will win that 5th rotation spot? The Angels rotation will likely look like: Jered Weaver Garrett Richards CJ Wilson Matt Shoemaker Hector Santiago, Nick Tropeano, or Sean Andrew Heaney Questions about Richards recovery aside (he is doing great so far), and which version of CJ Wilson will we get in…
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Is Santiago a good starter?

Angels, pitching
You will hear that Santiago is pitching better during the second half of the season.  While that may be true on some level (his ERA is down, OBA is down, etc), he still struggles as a solid starting pitcher. A good starting pitcher will go out and give you 6-7 solid innings and not give up more than 2 or 3 runs.  Santiago has shown over and over this season that he has a hard time pitching more than 5 solid innings.  I still contend he makes a great middle reliever - but a starter? In some ways the Angels don't really have a choice as to whether or not he pitches.  Santiago has proven to be able to throw 80-100 pitches and the Halos options are limited when it…
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Angels Lose an Ace

Angels, pitching
Everyone knows an Ace in your hand makes your odds go up.  An Ace in your hand is more likely to beat a ten.  However, it's not just one card that makes the hand - it takes 5.  In this case it takes 9 (at a given time) on the field to a win a baseball game. If you are like me, you cringed when you saw the Angels Ace go down last night in the second inning.  Seeing Richards lay there on the ground in pain made me a bit sick to my stomach.  Having had a knee injury myself and seeing many around me, I know that even a minor injury takes you out a few week.  Being in that much pain most likely equals an ending to…
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Freeway Series: Winners and Losers

Angels, Dodgers
Well, that didn't go as we had hoped!  This year's freeway series is over and the result is that the Angels now sit 3 games behind the Oakland A's in the AL West.  Who were the winners and losers of this 4 game series?  See my thoughts below.   The Losers: Los Angeles Angels: The Angels lost the series 3-1 and at the very least should have split it.  Lack of offensive showing and errors proved to be part of the reason for the series loss.  The Angels were outscored 14-10, but more so they only scored 1 run in the last two games (AT HOME) with a combined 7 hits.  The Angels have been great at the Big A this year but apparently the Dodgers didn't get that memo.…
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Santiago vs. Kershaw vs. Santiago Factor

Angels, Rankings
It's not even fair to compare their stats so I won't.  The Angels CAN win this game.  They have the offense to get it done and the bullpen to hold it down. Looking at the offense you have Puljos who has a career .444 against the Dodgers ace.  Adding to that a .565 OBP and he has basically owned him.  Kendrick also has a career .417 against Kershaw which is pretty amazing as well.  However, no one else other than McDonald has hit better than .300 off him and if McDonald starts the way he's been hitting this year then..  Hamilton, Trout and Calhoun are all unknowns with no career stats against Kershaw and Aybar has a respectable .273 though he's been off lately. Strategy - The Angels need to…
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Return of Wilson

Angels, pitching
CJ Wilson should be back in the rotation by this weekend and Santiago should be back where he belongs.  Santiago pitched great last week but continues to have problems lasting more than 5 innings which makes him an excellent choice for middle relief. Wilson, who now has a 1.000% win rate in AA this year, threw 81 pitches over 5.1 innings for Arkansas last night.  He struck out 7 and gave up 2 runs, 2 walks and 4 hits (one of which was a home run) The Travelers 15 hit offense was led by Kaleb Cowart who went 3 for 4 with a triple and 4 RBIs on the way to their 9-3 win over the Naturals.
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