The Angeles knew they had holes going into this season, losing John Lackey, Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero. They knew they probably were not going to win their division. So, they must have seen all this coming.
However, the Angels want to be better next year. They want to be able to compete with the Texas Rangers in the American League West. So, how do you do that? Improve your pitching.
But… The Angels did not have bad pitching. Ervin Santana, Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Joel Pinerio all had ERAs under 4.00. The only starter with a terrible Earned Run Average was Scott Kazmir, who may be the worst pitcher in the American League.
OK, the Rangers have good hitting too. Maybe the Angels need to improve that.
Let’s look at their lineup. Matsui, Morales, Hunter… Good start. Then Callaspo, Kendrick, Napoli, Bourjos… Wood… Izturis… Yeah, that might need to be improved. Napoli, a free agent, is most likely to leave the Angels. Mike Scoisa likes Jeff Mathis, and they have Bobby Wilson and Hank Konger. At first base they are set, with Kendry Morales returning next season. At third, Alberto Callaspo did an OK job, so he will probably stay there. Second baseman Howie Kendrick was OK as well, but I assume they want somebody better.
But the real place Anaheim needs improvements is the outfield. Torii Hunter is solid, and Bobby Abreu still under contract, but is Peter Boujos really the answer? Could Mike Trout be ready at some point next season?
But I also want to get into the Angels bullpen. At closer, Fernando Rodney is the heart attack on a mound, so nothing unexpected there. Jordon Walden and Micheal Kohn did a good job out of the pen. Francisco Rodriguez (The other one) was a bit disappointing. Kevin Jepsen probably could have been better.
So, what do the Angels need to do to improve? Sign some free agents. Could they maybe interested with Adrian Beltre? Cliff Lee?
Dear Theo Epstein,
You are a dope. Nice run-prevention theroy, eh? Scutaro can’t field. Cameron dropped a line drive. Beltre doesn’t know the meaning of the word walk. And why in Hell didn’t you sign some bullpen guys? Rameriz and Delcarmen are triple A players. I’d rather have Joe Nelson and Fernando Cabrera at this point. Even Alan Embree! The JD Drew contract is horrendus. He can’t hit at all right now. But the biggest problem: David Ortiz. Maybe this falls on the manager though. Why isn’t Mike Lowell in there as the DH? The real Big Papi ain’t walking through that door. It’s time to move on, and eat that salary. You where gonna do it with Lowell, a better player.
Another thing. Screw the farm system. It’s Gonzalez or bust. Trade Kelly, Buchholz, Fuentes, Kalish. Win now. Gonzalez is Mark Teixeira. He would put the Red Sox over the edge. Another rumor: Mike Lowell for Jeff Mathis. I like this. Mathis can throw guys out. Put Gonzalez at first, Youk at third, Victor DH. Mathis at catcher. This would be nice.
Love, Red Sox Nation.
The Bruins won their playoff game last night, 5-3. Ryder showed up, Thomas Vanek got hurt, Ryan Miller didn’t shut the Bruins out.
The Celtics won too. KG is likley going to be suspended. He probally deserves it.
Ubaldo Jimmenez of the Rockies threw a no-hitter last night. Not even Jason Heyward could hit him. First in Rockies history.
The Mets and Cardinals went 20 innings last night. Only the Mets…
Aaron Bates watch: Bates went 2-4 for with a double, RBI, anf runin the Pawsox heartbreaking loss to Rochester.
The Blazers need to win next week, or have Rochester lose to clinch the playoffs.
I made my before-Spring Training predictions, here are my Opening Day Season predictions. Plus, check out the player to watch feature which gives you a player to watch on each team during the reaguler season.
AL East Player to watch:
Boston Red Sox (Jacoby Ellsbury)
New York Yankees (Marcus Thames)
Tampa Bay Rays (Ben Zobrist)
Baltimore Orioles (Nolan Reimold)
Toronto Blue Jays (Adam Lind)
Minnesota Twins (Orlando Hudson)
Chicago White Sox (Jake Peavy)
Kansas City Royals (Rick Ankeil)
Detroit Tigers (Austin Jackson)
Cleveland Indians (Micheal Brantly)
Seattle Mariners (Chone Figgins)
Anaheim Angels (Kendry Morales)
Texas Rangers (Neftali Feliz)
Oakland Athletics (Brett Anderson)
Philadelphia Phillies (Jayson Werth)
Atlanta Braves (Jason Heyward)
Florida Marlins (Mike Stanton)
Washington Nationals (Nyjer Morgan)
New York Mets (Kiko Calero)
St.Louis Cardinals (Colby Rasmus)
Chicago Cubs (Randy Wells)
Cincinatti Reds (Aroldis Chapman)
Milwakee Brewers (Alcades Escobar)
Houston Astros (Hunter Pence)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Garrett Jones)
Colorado Rockies (Jason Hammel)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw)
San Fransisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner)
Arizona D-backs (Justin Upton)
San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard)
1. Evan Longoria
2. Joe Mauer
3. Kendry Morales
1. Albert Pujols
2. Chase Utley
3. Ryan Braun
AL Cy Young
1. Jon Lester
2. Cliff Lee
3. Zack Greinke
NL Cy Young
1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Tim Lincecum
1. Brain Matusz
2. Austin Jackson
3. Desmond Jennings
1. Jason Heyward
2. Mike Stanton
3. Madison Bumgarner
1. Don Wakamtsu
2. Ron Gardenhire
3. Joe Maddon
1. Bobby Cox
2. Tony LaRusa
3. Freddi Gonzalez
AL Comeback Player
NL Comeback Player
Those are my predicitions. My Internationl League predictions will be sometime next week.
This will be a busy weekend in Boston
sports. Tomorrow is the Final Four, with West Virgina playing
Duke and Butler taking on Michigan State. I take West Virgina
to win it all. The Bruins play the Toronto Maple Leafs
tomorrow night in a must-win(again). The Blazers play the
Orlando Titans in another big game. Of course on Easter
Sunday you have the Total Bases mailbag to look foward to.
Then the Celtics take on the Cavaliers, and of course, the
most wonderful day of the year, Opening Day. At 8:00, the Red
Sox take on the Evil Empire on Sunday Night baseball. I hope
to have an open thread during the game here at Total Bases.
The last Open Thread I had here was game five of the
Yankees-Angels series, in Total Bases early days (October).
My plan is to have an open thread every game except the games
I go too. Pawsox Opening Day open thread will be here
Thursday as well.
Thought #1: I love the offense. It is so deep at the bottom of the order. When you have JD Drew batting eighth, you are in good shape.
Thought #2: The Red Sox signed a guy named Boof. That can’t be a good thing.
Thought #3: I am exited about the personality on the team this year. Adding a guy like John Lackey is very helpfull for that. The team is too boring, with Ellsbury, Drew, Lester, etc. Now you have personalites like Pedroia, Ortiz, Papelbon, Lackey. They need that, I think.
Thought #4: The Washington Nationals will have a better record than the New York Mets. They have better pitching, other than Santana, but he’s injury prone anyways.
Thought #5: The Orioles will be out of the cellar this season. The Blue Jays will take their place.
Thought #6: Daniel Bard is changing his number from 60 to 51. I don’t get why. I can understand Ellsbury with 46 and 2, that is a drastic difference. But 51? Really? Is that any better than 60? Fun fact: The last Red Sox player to wear #51 was Enrique Gonzalez.
Thought #7: I like Tim Wakefield’s competitive attitude. He expects to start the season in the rotation, and we all know that’s not happening. But I love the competitvness.
Thought #8: I can not believe that Randy Winn is the starting LF for the Yankees.
Thought #9: It is kind of weird having Lackey, though. I always hated him when he was with the Angels. He was always an annoying loudmouth when it came to the Red Sox. And he nearly no-hit them, which is one of my worst fears. So it’s odd rooting for him, but I’m fine with it.
Thought #10: I can’t think of anything else, so go to BestBostonSports.com for Red Sox coverage all season! Spring Training game preveiws are already up!
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
New York Mets
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
AL MVP Top 3:
Evan Longoria- Rays
Joe Mauer- Twins
Kendry Morales- Angels
Red Sox MVP:
AL Cy Young Top 3:
Jon Lester- Red Sox
Zack Greinke- Royals
Cliff Lee- Mariners
Red Sox Cy Young:
NL MVP Top 3:
Albert Pujols- Cardinals
Jayson Werth- Phillies
Ryan Braun- Brwers
NL CY Youn Top 3:
Josh Johnson- Marlins
Tim Lincecum- Giants
Carlos Zambrano- Cubs
Desmond Jennings- Rays
Jason Heyward- Braves
The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East
The Royals will have a record around .500
Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs
The Reds will finish over .500
The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets
I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)
Welcome to the first installment of Contenders and Pretenders at Total Bases. Every week we will talk about the teams that are for real in regards to all sports. This week it’s the MLB free agent buyers and sellers.
Red Sox: Contender- I honestly have no clue what the Sox are doing. But I have to put them as a contender for their involvment with the major free agents so far. They are trying to get better, I just think they are not doing it right.
Mariners: Contender- Not for Jason Bay. He’s not going there. Maybe for John lackey, Adrian Gonzalez or Adrian Beltre.
Angels: Pretenders- They will not get Bay or Lackey, I don’t think. They may be sellers with guys like Jaun Rivera and Gary Matthews available.
Yankees: Contenders- Hard to call a team who gets Curtis Granderson a pretender. But I don’t see them doing much more.
Cardinals: Pretenders- They can’t afford Matt Holliday, I don’tsee them doing anything big.
Next week NFL teams- Where do the Patriots rank?