This is our first in a series of deep dives on depth charts around the league. I have to go in alphabetical order because I’ll probably forget a team I don’t care about if I don’t. We’ll examine specific questions for each team because that will allow me to do as little research as possible. Thanks for reading, make sure to click on the ads or at least view them a handful of times 🙂
QUESTION: HOW AWESOME IS MIKE TROUT AND DO THE ANGELS HAVE ANY OTHER OUTFIELDERS?
I wonder if Angels fans know what a hot pile of garbage they’d be without Mike Trout. He’s literally worth double digit wins every year, which is the difference between being .500 and being a playoff team. He is a god among men. He is my hero. His neck is the size of Texas.
If Mike looks to his left he sees a chubbier version of Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones without the beard. Kole Calhoun is the definition of a league average right fielder. He’s going to hit 20ish home runs, collect RBIs and bat .270. He’ll grab just enough of the fly balls in his radius to not be horrible, and considering Trout is in center he doesn’t have to catch much to his right.
When Mike looks to his left he sees Cameron Maybin, or in other words, a fourth outfielder. Luckily another fourth outfielder in Ben Revere will be contending for playing time as well. Two fourth outfielders is basically as good as a regular outfielder right? Maybin batted over .300 for the first time in his career last season, but considering his BABIP was .383 and it’s never been over .315 I’d expect Cameron to return to his normal .260 range with no power and not enough steals to compensate.
QUESTION: CAN ALBERT PUJOLS KEEP HITTING 30 HOME RUNS UNTIL HE’S 41?
The reason I ask is because that’s when Albert’s contract ends with the Angels. When he’s 41 and due for a mid-life crisis. What do super rich people buy during their mid-life crises? Like, instead of a Mustang do they get like a hovercraft?
Anyways, we can only assume at this point that Pujols is going to be injured in some fashion for the entire season. Not to say he won’t play through it, but he’ll probably never be healthy enough to give us more than what he put up last year.
QUESTION: DO THE ANGELS HAVE ANY HEALTHY STARTING PITCHERS?
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I’m pretty sure every projected starter for the Angels rotation is made of glass, at least recently. Staff ace Garrett Richards elected to forego Tommy John surgery and get stem-cell treatments instead, which means he’ll probably need TJ at some point this season.
Tyler Skaggs underwent TJ late in 2014 and didn’t pitch again until 2016. He also had shoulder weakness a couple weeks ago which forced him to miss a spring training start. He’s also not very good. The Angels also have Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney on the shelf with elbow injuries and they aren’t slated to return until next season.
Matt Shoemaker literally had brain surgery after getting domed by a line drive from Kyle Seager. I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever faced a comebacker like that before, but it’s basically like watching your death come directly for your face. Now that he’s okay I’m glad we can finally talk about how far that ball went after bouncing off his skull. I’ve seen foul balls that come off the bat with less velocity than that. Seriously, glad he’s okay. But man…wow.
So the answer is no, they have no healthy starters.
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE OVER/UNDER ON NUMBER OF CLOSERS THEY’LL USE? BECAUSE I’LL TAKE THE OVER
Well, no surprises here. Huston Street is already out for a couple weeks with a lat strain. Expect that to continue throughout the season which begs the question, how many of these questionable bullpen arms will get a shot at the closing role?
Cam Bedrosian might be one to watch for the late innings. He had 50 K’s in just over 40 innings last season, and strikeouts usually bode well for pitchers. Andrew Bailey was a closer for the A’s at one point but I’m fairly certain he hasn’t gotten an out since 2013.
QUESTION: HOW MANY WINS?
I ask this question because it’s the easiest way to end these posts. Plus if I nail one I can ride it to fame and glory. Let’s also take a moment to remember that Angels in the Outfield had perhaps one of the most star-studded casts of any sports movie ever. Danny Glvoer, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Neal McDonough, Adrien Brody, Matthew McConaughey, and yes, a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The fact that this movie only received a 6.1 on IMDB is an absolute crime. Sad.