The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim had a rough last two seasons that were injury riddled and ended with no playoff berths in either.
After coming in third in the AL West in 2010 with an 80-82 record, 2011 did not prove much better as the Angels only won five more games; landing them 10 behind the division-winning Texas Rangers.
The most frustrating thing was the Angels had one of the best pitching staffs in the American League, but losing the MVP caliber bat of Kendry Morales, who broke his leg in a walk-off celebration, just proved too much to recover from. And Angel’s owner Arte Moreno had about enough as this off-season he made certain that his Halos would not have that problem again in 2012.
Will Moreno’s moves prove to be enough for his Halos to dethrone the Rangers as the kings of the AL West in 2012?
Let’s check it out….
Where should I begin?
The Angels were the talk of the off-season, as owner Moreno started by promoting John Carpino to president, who in turn hired Jerry Dipoto to be the new GM. Moreno basically handed Dipoto a blank check to go acquire the top two free agents available, first baseman Albert Pujols and pitcher CJ Wilson. Pujols is considered the best player in the game today, and he is fresh off a World Series Championship win with the Cardinals. Wilson was ironically the ace of the Angels division rivals in Texas, which should make his transition pretty easy. Moreno gave his new GM, Dipoto free rein to clean house in the front office too, allowing him to fill it with his own people. Dipoto made his second in command Scott Servais, who revamped the Rangers farm system into the best in baseball, so there was not only the immediate big name splash made here. The $317.5 million spent will help the Angels be relevant now, but the Angels are rebuilding internally will payoff long-term too.
In 2011 the Angels had one of the best pitching staff in baseball, and in my opinion now with the addition of Wilson, they enter 2012 having the actual best rotation across the board. Fangraphs.com, also recently ranked the Angels #1, which only further confirms my notion. What is scary is that Wilson looks to be the Angels number three, behind aces Jered Weaver and Dan Haren who are the best 1-2 in Bigs. That means the Angels top three rotation spots are held by three All-Stars, who each pitched over 220 innings last season and all three landed in top seven for the 2011 AL CY Young award. But what make the Angles rotation over-the-top is that there fourth starter, Ervin Santana happens to also be a former All-Star, who pitched 228 innings in 2011, with a 3.38 ERA. And Santana would be a solid two anywhere else, but of course Weaver, Haren and Wilson all qualify as #1’s. Oops…I forgot to mention that this foursome ranges in age from 29-32, which is primetime.
And I haven’t even mentioned the 10-time All-Star yet; who boosts 3 MVPs and two World Series rings named Albert Pujols. Pujols is considered the best in the business and he can carry a team with his bat, like he has done for 11 years with the Cardinals. Pujols would make any team he joined a playoff contender, but he is looking to be surrounded by a healthy Kendry Morales, an improved Vernon Wells, veteran Tori Hunter, Erick Aybar, Bobby Abreau and Howie Kendrick…..enough said. Pujols is the new face, in what looks to be a new era in Angel’s baseball.
Read the rest of 2012 MLB Team Preview: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
© Kate for Lady Loves Pinstripes, 2012. |
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Post tags: Albert Pujols, Angel, Arte Moreno, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana, Jerry Dipoto, Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mark Trumbo