Tag: Jered Weaver

Ranking the Top 5 Los Angeles Angels Players in Franchise History

The Los Angeles Angels franchise has enjoyed plenty of success since being established back in 1961. While the Angels have a relatively short franchise history in comparison to some MLB teams, there has been no shortage of both team and player achievements. The Angels have seen multiple MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of Year Award winners, as well as a World Series Championship in their franchise’s history.

With players like Nolan Ryan, Tim Salmon and Mike Trout documented throughout franchise record books, determining the top-five players in Angels franchise history is no easy task. However, a careful analysis of statistics and player value may help give perspective to this never-ending debate.

This list will count down the five best players in Angels franchise history.

Begin Slideshow

Los Angeles Angels: 3 Early Predictions for Angels’ Offseason

There is a headline that constantly scrolls in my mind every time predictions begin to swirl around the Los Angeles Angels’ offseason moves—each scenario popping with the lights of a ‘50s-style camera.

Big names. Big money. Big moves. Big…mistakes?


It never fails—especially in the past few seasons—making the Angels one of the more intriguing organizations to watch in the winter.

What will they do for an encore?

Remember: This is the Los Angeles Angels we are talking about here. If they went out on the first day of the offseason and acquired four top-tier pitchers for cash and the eating of a few contracts and Vernon Wells, would you really be surprised?

I wouldn’t.

However, to me, this offseason will be different. Not less interesting, but definitely different. For the first time in at least three seasons, I don’t think we see any major hype.

Sure, the cameras will be there, it’s 24/7 sports news in the offseason—they need filler. But the idea of big moves and bigger headlines coming from Anaheim just doesn’t make sense.

Granted, whenever it comes to predicting the Angels’ offseason moves, I also immediately think of those studies that explain the chances of winning the lottery.

Both instances, regardless of how you think it will go, are never an easy hit. Most often, it’s a miss—about a 1-in-175 million chance of getting it right.

In the case of the Angels, with owner Arte Moreno always poised for the unknown and astonishing, that number may be a little greater—like 1-in-180 million.

But I won’t let the odds keep me from throwing in my two cents. It’s fun. No shame in that.

And though I don’t think something drastic will happen—it’s way too early to completely exhaust every angle and detail anyways—I do feel there are three key scenarios that will lead to this revolution (let’s call it that) of an offseason.

So, let this be the first of probably thousands of prediction-based articles for the Angels this offseason.


Arte Moreno will surprise the guessers, as usual in the offseason, and keep both Jerry Dipoto and Mike Scioscia

What’s the rush on this? This team is not going to be fixed overnight, and it certainly isn’t going to get some high-powered boost if Moreno cuts loose either Scioscia or Dipoto (or both).

In fact, any such moves might set the team back even worse—if you can believe that.

Sure, I’ve seen the same reports, from the same writers as you, but I struggle to understand how this debate is clear to so many when there is obvious doubt towards the effect seeping from the cause.

We know the team is a ship without sails at this point. They have little room for spending money in the offseason, and the best efforts will be parting ways with good talent in order to secure the now and the future.

There is Albert Pujols, causing worry and concern.

There is Josh Hamilton, causing worry and concern.

There is a need for pitching, while understanding that Mike Trout is going to get more expensive.

It’s a difficult situation, no question.

But why take a ship with no sails and start removing the boards from the haul for the sake of blaming why the sails went missing in the first place?

Wouldn’t that ultimately just sink the ship?

In recent months, it seems as though both Dipoto and Scioscia have made nice, at least in the PR-latent form we hear spewed to reporters from time to time.

(It’s like watching two cast members on a sitcom, who dislike each other, smile pretty when the camera is rolling and the questions start flying their way. “No, no, we have had our differences…but I think we have a good thing going here and I think…”)

The truth is Scioscia likes to control the situation—the entire situation. But so does Moreno. To that, I imagine Dipoto would like a little flexibility to control things too, though his chances are slim.

They all like the idea of control.

In the end, it will always be a three-way struggle between Scioscia, Dipoto and Moreno, and ultimately that will be the downfall of the working relationship.

But that doesn’t mean the group needs to break up right now, dissipating like a baseball version of Guns and Roses.

There are more important things.

Dipoto has one year left on his contract. Scioscia has until the end of the 2018 season left on his—with some heavy cash to go with it.

The smart move would be to let both continue to attempt rebuilding the squad and act accordingly if failure continues in 2014 like it did in the past—a la Dipoto’s pitching acquisitions not performing well, or Scioscia struggling to manage effectively in one-run and extra-inning games.

If that kind of failure continues, then Moreno can unleash with fury, at the expected times—Dipoto at the end of 2014, followed by Scioscia not long after that.

It doesn’t need to be a surprise every time a move is made. After all, it’s thinking like that on Moreno’s part that originally cut the sails on this ship in the first place.


Mark Trumbo will overshadow Howie Kendrick on the market

I had some original doubt that the Angels would be completely willing to trade Howie Kendrick during the trade deadline. His value—in the clubhouse and on the field—seemed too great of an asset to the team.

Trading him, in my mind, equaled the same kind of sour deal that occurred with Torii Hunter.

Then I heard about the potential, almost-fulfilled, trade between the Los Angeles Dodgers and—well, I threw my doubts out on the 5-Freeway, along with the Angels’ pride, apparently.

Kendrick, almost by some “you tried to send me to the enemy default,” will be traded this winter.

And why not? There aren’t too many scenarios—especially with the teams Kendrick can block in a trade going from 13 to six—where I see the second baseman not gaining interest.

With that interest, there should be a chance for the Angels to pick up talented, young (that’s talented first, young second) arms to add to the pitching staff.

However, I don’t see Kendrick gaining the most interest of all possible trade candidates; that crown goes to Mark Trumbo, who comes with the same high-risk reasoning that got the Angels in trouble these last few years: ditch the small ball, dig the long ball.

Trumbo is certainly a long ball kind of guy. If the 29, 32 and 33 (and counting) home runs he has produced for the team the past three seasons doesn’t tell you that, then the 2012 Home Run Derby display should jog the memory.

The guy can crush a baseball.

The problem is, however, Trumbo’s average has suffered—even by new-aged power-hitter numbers—and his second-half dry spells the past two seasons have not helped the Angels.

Power aside, he is not the type of player that can provide much else. And the Angels have got other players—C.J. Cron and Kole Calhoun—that can fill in with better consistency.

There is also light at the end of the tunnel: Teams in search of a power bat will not care about the batting average. They look at the power potential and that is it.

And Trumbo has definitely got that—not to mention he will be turning 28, while Kendrick will be 30 (turning 31) next season. All of those factors could be enough to land Trumbo on the most-prized trade chip this offseason.

If you go by this next guy’s words of wisdom, it may also help the Angels get back to a winning form of old.


Jered Weaver’s thoughts and advice will impact how the Angels move forward

While there will be plenty of guessing from the talking heads, writers and fans about the Angels’ offseason moves and future, it really comes down to what the players think.

They are the ones in the clubhouse, and on the field, who have the best idea about what needs to be done for the betterment of a team.

Jered Weaver is that guy for the Los Angeles Angels.

If you didn’t get a chance to read the article MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez wrote about Weaver’s thoughts on the Angels’ situation, you are missing what I consider to be a team-changing moment for this franchise.

Or, at least, words from the clubhouse level to management level on how to reconstruct the club.

Weaver made it clear:

I think we changed our approach as far as how Angels baseball [was]. When I first got here, it was doing the little things—stealing bases, first-to-thirds—and we didn’t really sit back and wait for home runs and things like that. I think that now, we have some guys with some sock in the lineup and guys who hit home runs. The lineup is a little different from that regard.

And by different, he didn’t mean bad or good. Mediocre perhaps.

We have a lot of talent in this clubhouse, man; it’s just a matter of time before it starts clicking. I think that the way we used to go about things and the way we go about things now has taken a little bit to get used to. We’ve seen glimpses of us working together and playing well, and there’s obviously been times where it hasn’t worked out and we’ve been struggling. We have to find that happy medium where we’re playing good, consistent baseball.

Remember that goal: a happy medium.

When the seemingly right answer this offseason is to add pitching, then add some more pitching, getting rid of whoever is the man of the day. Remember what Jered Weaver has told us.

Basically, things are not all that bad; they just need a tweak here and there.

They don’t need to be flashy, highly paid or ready for ratings.

It can be as simple as relying on the learning curve of Cole Calhoun, Garrett Richards, J.B. Shuck and Grant Green, while Hamilton and Pujols, C.J. Wilson and Weaver do their thing.

Of course, Trout will do his part.

Will Dane De La Rosa, Ernesto Frieri and Michael Kohn do the same?

Will Sean Burnett?

If they do, then the predicting just got a whole lot easier.


Note: All stats provided were courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

For more thoughts and opinions from Rick Suter, follow him on Twitter@rick_suter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Jered Weaver Injury: Angels Ace Will Miss 4 to 6 Weeks After Fracturing Elbow

Jered Weaver‘s injury was an odd one.

The Los Angeles Angels ace was quick enough to get out of the way of a shot right back at him, but fell on his non-pitching arm in doing so. It was an awkward fall, as you’d expect with a quick twisting move on a sloping surface, which resulted in what looked like a hyperextended elbow.

The team removed Weaver from the game, but he was near his pitch limit anyway, so we really weren’t sure whether he could have continued. The Angels initially only worried about whether he’d make his next start, but images on Tuesday morning showed a fracture near the elbow (via Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal), putting him out of action for an extended period of time. 

Though an injury to his pitching arm would obviously have been worse, the non-throwing arm (or glove-side arm) is important for balance and consistency, so changes there could cause some problems, especially for a pitcher with such a long delivery.

The Angels’ time frame for his recovery is at least four weeks, although CBSSports’ Scott Miller is reporting it will be closer to four to six weeks.

That is a reasonable timetable given the actual injury, though there are no similar injuries in my database to compare this with. A fracture should heal normally, and while we do not know the exact location, there’s no reason to think that there should be any complications. 

Since it is the non-pitching arm, the more aggressive timeline is possible without risking damage. While this doesn’t look to be a long-term issue, the Angels will have to handle Weaver carefully until the elbow is back to normal. My guess is they will be as conservative as their record allows them to be.

While Weaver will be able to do some work to keep his pitching arm in condition, he won’t be able to do normal deliveries or exercises such as long toss. He’ll need at least some time in the minors once he’s able to make sure his stamina and his mechanics are in line.

Swingman Garrett Richards is the likely fill-in, though the Angels have used him as a key reliever through the first week of the season with success. Starter-turned-reliever Jerome Williams is another possibility.

Adding any uncertainty to Weaver’s delivery isn’t something that a pitching coach on the hot seat like Mike Butcher wants on his watch. Weaver is an ace on a big-money, long-term contract, and is key to the Angels getting back to the playoffs.

Balancing a full recovery with their need for him at the front end of their rotation will be a very tough task for the team’s medical staff.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Angels Are Blowing a Chance to Be a Legit Pennant Contender

One can not help but feel badly for Los Angeles Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto. He assembled a team that by all appearances looked like the squad that would win owner Arte Moreno’s first-ever pennant and bring the World Series back to Orange County.

Jered Weaver, locked up to a long-term deal, was having a Cy Young-caliber season. He brought in Albert Pujols who is heating up. C.J. Wilson made the All-Star team. Mike Trout has already sewn up the Rookie of the Year and has his sights set on the MVP. Torii Hunter’s bat was heating up.

He brought in Zack Greinke to slide into the rotation with Weaver, Wilson and Dan Haren. Reliever Ernesto Frieri was a steal from San Diego.

After the Greinke deal, the Angels looked poised and ready to run off with, at the very least, a wild-card spot and possibly zoom past the Rangers and claim the division.

That was 20 games ago. They’ve won only seven games since.

They are losing in every way possible. The bullpen has blown games and have an ERA over eight since the beginning of August. According to The Los Angeles Times, Scott Downs and Jordan Walden will be back soon. But will they be enough?

The starters have not helped matters. Greinke has been a bust in his first four starts, posting a staggering 5.54 ERA over 26 innings in Southern California. Dan Haren hasn’t been much better with a 5.04 ERA in the second half capped off by his miserable five runs in 3.2 innings drubbing by the Rays on Thursday night.

The Angels hit what they hope is rock bottom Friday night in Angel Stadium. Jered Weaver needed to give the team a quality outing especially on the heels of Haren’s poor start.

Instead, he suffered the worst loss of his career. Lasting only three innings, worse than Haren, he let up an eye-popping nine runs and saw his ERA jump 0.52 points in one night.

From the moment DiPoto looked like he put together the team of everyone’s dreams, they have become a prolonged nightmare. The third-best team in the American League the day Zack Greinke arrived is now fifth in the wild-card race.

If they make the playoffs, they would have to be considered a formidable foe. Weaver twice in a short series? Wilson going in Game 2? Trout and Pujols hitting in the big series? This team looks designed to win a short series.

Perhaps they are. But first they need to get into the postseason. Without the Angels in the playoffs, the Rangers would be the team to beat depending on the health of CC Sabathia for the Yankees.

The entire complexion of October could be different if the Angels make it. But if they keep pitching like this, they will be spending the fall on the golf course and leaving DiPoto scratching his head, wondering what else he could have done.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

AL Cy Young Award Rankings: Is Jered Weaver Catching Up to Justin Verlander?

Los Angeles Angels ace Jered Weaver is 15-2, and he leads the American League in ERA, WHIP, opponents’ batting average and various other categories.

In the minds of many, this makes him the automatic favorite to win the AL Cy Young award this season.

Those who have been keeping up with my weekly AL Cy Young rankings will know that I disagree.

Weaver’s been good, but assorted advanced stats suggest that Justin Verlander has been better. His Cy Young candidacy is further bolstered by the fact that he’s been a bigger workhorse than any pitcher in either league.

But the gap between Weaver and Verlander has never been huge. Truth be told, there are five leading candidates for the Cy Young at this moment in time, and any one of them could claim the top spot in the rankings in a given week.

To see where Weaver, Verlander and all the rest rank this week, just keep on reading.

Note: All stats are as of the start of play on Tuesday, August 14, and they come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Begin Slideshow

AL Cy Young Award Rankings: Justin Verlander Reclaims No. 1 Spot over Deep Field

Last season, there was little question that Justin Verlander was going to win the AL Cy Young Award. He won the AL pitching Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Pitchers who do that tend to walk away with the hardware.

Verlander is once again in the middle of a tremendous season, but the AL Cy Young race isn’t nearly as cut-and-dry as it was last year; Verlander has some serious competition.

Jered Weaver is right in the thick of things. He leads the AL in wins with 15, and he also has the league’s top ERA and top WHIP. The no-hitter he pitched in May looms large on his Cy Young resume.

Felix Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young winner, is also right in the thick of things. He’s among the league leaders in virtually every pitching category, and he’s only getting better and better as the season moves along.

Also in the thick of the race are Chris Sale and David Price, two of the best lefties in baseball.

Make no mistake about it, the chase for the AL Cy Young Award features a crowded field. Figuring out who’s leading the chase on a week to week basis is an exercise in frustration.

Nonetheless, it must be done. For your reading pleasure, here are this week’s AL Cy Young rankings.

Note: All stats come from Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Begin Slideshow

Fantasy Baseball: Breakdown of AccuScore’s Rest-of-Year Estimates for Strikeouts

With the fantasy-trade deadlines coming up this week or next (I have four red-letter dates this Friday), it’s time for owners to make one last pitch for baseball’s elite categorical contributors.

AccuScore, a company that specializes in thorough game simulations, has made a few on-the-fly revisions to its seasonal projections.

These 50 starting pitchers, based on AccuScore projections (not mine), will register at least 55 strikeouts from this point forward (Aug. 7-Sept. 30):


Part I

1. CC Sabathia, Yankees—77
2. Justin Verlander, Tigers—75
3. Yu Darvish, Rangers—75
4. Cole Hamels, Phillies—72
5. Gio Gonzalez, Nationals—68
6. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals—68
7. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers—68
8. Lance Lynn, Cardinals—67
9. Roy Halladay, Phillies—67
10. James Shields, Rays—67
11. Felix Hernandez, Mariners—67
12. Cliff Lee, Phillies—67
13. Marco Estrada, Brewers—67
14. Yovani Gallardo, Brewers—67
15. Francisco Liriano, White Sox—66
16. Madison Bumgarner, Giants—65
17. Zack Greinke, Angels—65
18. Tim Lincecum, Giants—65
19. Matt Cain, Giants—65
20. Mat Latos, Reds—64
21. Jered Weaver, Angels—64
22. Jeff Samardzija, Cubs—63
23. David Price, Rays—63
24. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals—63
25. Erik Bedard, Pirates—63


Part II

26. Felix Doubront, Red Sox—63
27. Ian Kennedy, Diamondbacks—61
28. Max Scherzer, Tigers—61
29. Anibal Sanchez, Tigers—61
30. R.A. Dickey, Mets—60
31. Ryan Dempster, Rangers—60
32. Jake Peavy, White Sox—60
33. Josh Johnson, Marlins—60
34. Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians—60
35. Jon Lester, Red Sox—59
36. C.J. Wilson, Angels—59
37. Chris Capuano, Dodgers—58
38. Bud Norris, Astros—58
39. Matt Harvey, Mets—58
40. Michael Fiers, Brewers—58
41. Josh Beckett, Red Sox—58
42. J.A. Happ, Blue Jays—57
43. Chris Sale, White Sox—57
44. James McDonald, Pirates—57
45. Drew Pomeranz, Rockies—57
46. Ryan Vogelsong, Giants—56
47. Jon Niese, Mets—56
48. Matt Moore, Rays—56
49. Edwin Jackson, Nationals—55
50. Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees—55



  • I’ll buy the “under” for CC Sabathia and 77 strikeouts. Since May 26, Sabathia (11-3, 3.53 ERA, 1.20 ERA, 133/34 K-BB) has averaged 6.8 strikeouts over 10 starts. So, if he should squeeze in another 10 outings before Sept. 30, he’ll have to improve upon his current pace of the last 13 weeks. On the positive side, Sabathia has four double-digit strikeout efforts for the season.
  • Clayton Kershaw has 69 strikeouts since June 15, with six or more K’s in nine of the last 10 outings. And compared to Justin Verlander (who bedazzled the Yankees for 14 strikeouts on Monday night), Kershaw will likely enjoy one more start than the Tigers ace from this point forward. Bottom line: I’ll buy the “over” on Kershaw and 68 strikeouts.
  • Stephen Strasburg (11.31), Max Scherzer (11.28), Yu Darvish (10.34) and Gio Gonzalez (10.02) are the only regular MLB starters to post K/9 ratios above 10 this season, and from a 30-day perspective, Scherzer, Strasburg, Darvish, Francisco Liriano, James Shields, Madison Bumgarner and David Price boast that honor. So naturally, they’re all good candidates for 60-plus strikeouts.
  • Roy Halladay has posted respectable results in his last four games with Philly—1-1, a 4.13 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 21/3 K-BB ratio. But the punch-outs aren’t necessarily coming at an accelerated rate, likely a consequence of his recent shoulder woes and subsequent absence from the Phillies rotation for June and half of July.
  • Noticeably absent from this list: A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren, Wandy Rodriguez, Vance Worley, Andrew Cashner, Johnny Cueto, Wei-Yin Chen, Jordan Zimmermann, Aaron Harang, Miguel Gonzalez, Zach McAllister, Chad Billingsley, Corey Kluber and Ricky Romero.
  • For what it’s worth, AccuScore projects Reds closer Aroldis Chapman for 48 more strikeouts in just 27.4 innings. For July, Chapman had a 0.00 ERA and 0.56 WHIP. He was also a perfect 13-for-13 in save opportunities. Chapman’s K/9 ratio for July was a mind-blowing 19.5, easily his best effort of the season.


Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Source: LA Angels of Anaheim to Place Jered Weaver on DL Due to Back Injury?

The task of catching the Texas Rangers has just become more difficult for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as they were forced to place Jered Weaver on the 15-day disabled list.

The move happens less than 24 hours after Weaver was forced to leave the game against the New York Yankees.


Paul Severino of MLB Network tweeted the news on Tuesday, 


The Angels have called up Garrett Richards from Triple-A Salt Lake in the corresponding move and he will likely start in place of Weaver.

Initially many felt the injury was to his leg, but after the game trainers hinted that it involved his back. Now we know he has suffered a strain and is experiencing spasms in his lower back.

Anaheim will have a difficult time filling the void left by Weaver, especially considering that Roy Oswalt agreed to terms with the Rangers earlier on Tuesday, according to Ken Rosenthal.

The Angels were just beginning to make waves in the AL West as they are winners of seven straight games. It will be interesting to see if they are able to continue their hot streak as they try to keep things close with the division leading Rangers.

Weaver brought a 6-1 record and a 2.61 ERA into Monday’s game before his departure.

There is no timetable on his return at this moment.


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Why a Long-Term Jered Weaver Injury Would Destroy Angels’ Playoff Resurgence

The baseball gods are really testing the Los Angeles Angels‘ collective resolve this season.

First, the Angels had to deal with Albert Pujols’ prolonged slump, which sucked the life out of their offense and was painful to watch from beginning to end. It also may or may not have cost hitting coach Mickey Hatcher his job.

The Pujols slump is over, but the Angels may be about to begin an entirely new nightmare. Ace pitcher Jered Weaver had to leave his start against the New York Yankees on Monday after throwing just 12 pitches, and the vibes concerning his status are not positive.

Officially, the Angels are calling Weaver’s injury a mere “lower-back injury,” according to a report from ESPNLosAngeles.com. They won’t know more until they get the results back from some tests on Tuesday, as Weaver was scheduled to undergo an X-ray and an MRI.


UPDATE: Word started circulating on Tuesday evening that the Angels had placed Weaver on the 15-day DL with a lower-back strain and spasms, but Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has reported that the move isn’t official yet. There has to be some sort of formality holding the transaction up.

UPDATE 2: The Angels made it official later on Tuesday night. Weaver is on the 15-day DL. They are unsure how long he’ll be out.


Weaver looked like he was in serious pain after he tried to throw a warm-up pitch in the bottom of the first inning, and he apparently was in “considerable pain” several hours after leaving the game.

“I’ve never felt anything like that before. It felt like somebody stabbed me in the back,” said Weaver.

The Angels should brace for the worst. We tend to think of arm and shoulder injuries being the worst-case scenarios for pitchers, but lower-back issues are no joke. Case in point, Boston Red Sox hurler Clay Buchholz missed a big chunk of the 2011 season with a lower-back injury, and he hasn’t looked right at all so far in 2012.

Given the circumstances, it’s worth asking a very simple question: What happens to the Angels if Weaver has to be put on the shelf for a long time?

Answer: Bad things.

Losing Weaver for a prolonged amount of time would be even worse than the Pujols slump. That was bad, but it didn’t cripple the Angels for the long haul. They knew his slump wouldn’t last forever, and sure enough, they started winning once he started hitting.

If the Angels lose Weaver, they won’t be able to just sit back and be patient. They’ll have to figure out how to account for his absence, which will be much easier said than done.

It’s true that Weaver only pitches every fifth day, but just think about what the Angels are getting when he takes the mound. There are only so many true No. 1 pitchers in Major League Baseball, and Weaver is one of them. Par for the course for him is seven innings of work and two runs or less. This season, he’s only had one really bad start. The rest have been very good.

Weaver has taken the mound 11 times this season, and the Angels have won eight of those games. When he pitches, the Angels basically know that they’re going to win that day.

That sense of comfort will disappear if Weaver has to be put on the shelf for a while. The Angels have a solid rotation, but they don’t have any other No. 1s beside Weaver.

C.J. Wilson has been good, but he’s not an ace pitcher. Dan Haren used to be an ace pitcher, but he’s been highly unpredictable this season. Ervin Santana has been a complete mystery. Jerome Williams is a great No. 5, but certainly not a No. 1.

The numbers do a pretty good job of shedding light on the reality of the situation. With Weaver and his 2.61 ERA, the Angels’ rotation has a highly respectable 3.36 ERA. Take him out of the equation, and their rotation ERA jumps to 3.77. That puts them on the same level as the Houston Astros. Still good, but not elite.

It’s not just the rotation that would miss Weaver. The Angels’ bullpen can be an adventure, and it would have to pick up a lot of extra innings if Weaver was taken out of the picture. That’s not ideal for anyone.

Would the Angels hit the skids completely without Weaver? Would they find themselves back in the cellar in the American League West?

I doubt it. They’d still have enough pitching to stay afloat, and their offense has really come around in the last couple of weeks.

The problem is that they’d have a hard time stringing wins together without Weaver, and that’s something this team is going to need to do if it hopes to catch up to the Texas Rangers (who just signed Roy Oswalt, by the way). Heck, it’s taken a seven-game winning streak for them just to get back to the .500 mark.

True, there is the second wild card, which the Angels can use as a Plan B if the Rangers open up a big lead in the division. But even a wild-card berth will be hard to secure this season. The AL East has five legitimate postseason contenders, and it’s looking like the AL Central is going to have three legit postseason contenders this year. 

That means the Angels are going to be contending with potentially six other teams in the wild-card chase. And thanks in large part to their slow start, the Angels already have some ground to make up.

In all likelihood, it’s going to take at least 90 wins to clinch a wild-card spot in the American League this year. From where the Angels are now, they’ll have to play .580 baseball the rest of the way to get to 90 wins.

The Angels won’t be playing .580 baseball if they lose Weaver for a significant amount of time. They’d need a lot of luck on their side, perhaps even a few miracles.

And based on what we’ve seen, the baseball gods are in no hurry to do the Angels any favors.


If you want to talk baseball and/or classic baseball books, hit me up on Twitter.

Follow zachrymer on Twitter

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Look to Have Two 20-Game Winners in 2012

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have been deemed by most to be the big winners of the 2012 offseason free agent market. They beefed up their lineup and their pitching staff in an attempt to reclaim the AL West from the back-to-back World Series entrants, the Texas Rangers. These offseason acquisitions and a few other factors have suddenly put the Angels, a team with no 20-game winners in 2011, as the lead candidates to have two 20-game winners in 2012.

The Candidates

The Angels starting pitching rotation boasts an absolutely formidable front four—Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson and Ervin Santana. It’s saying something about the strength of the rotation when Santana, who put up a 3.38 ERA and struck out 178 in 2011, is the weakest link.

Winning 20 games may prove to be no problem for Weaver, Haren or Wilson. Although none of them have ever hit the 20-win mark, the 2011 season was certainly a predecessor to it. Haren went 16-10; Wilson put up a 16-7 record; and Jered Weaver, perhaps the best pitcher in the AL in 2011 not named Justin Verlander, was 18-8. With all three coming off seasons just shy of 20 wins, it’s hard to believe the forces under Mike Scioscia will not come up with 20 victories under their belts.

Albert Pujols

What more can be said about three-time MVP and arguably the best hitter in the game, Albert Pujols? The Angels acquired the crown jewel of the 2011 free agent bonanza when they signed Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million deal. As the No. 3 hitter, Pujols breathes some much needed life into the previously average Angels lineup. This bodes extremely well for the pitching staff.

With Kendrys Morales sidelined for 2011, rookie Mark Trumbo took over the reins at first base for the Angels last season. While Trumbo had a sensational rookie season (losing out to Jeremy Hellickson for the AL Rookie of the Year award), there is no denying that he is no Albert Pujols.  In his inaugural year, Trumbo’s Wins Above Replacement was a respectable 2.1. Over his 11 Major League seasons, Pujols has averaged a little over 8 WAR. Those six extra wins could be the bridge to 20 wins for guys like Haren or Weaver, who fell just short of it last year.

Kendrys Morales

With the return of Kendrys Morales and the addition of Pujols, the Angels found themselves with two highly capable hitters who they did not have in 2011 to sit in the heart of the lineup. Teams can rarely add both a No. 3 and No. 4 hitter to the lineup in the same offseason. Adding that kind of quality to a lineup that already ranked sixth in 2011 in runs scored can mean some huge run support for the team’s hurlers.

In 2011, three of Haren’s losses were by a margin of a single run, and he had five no-decisions that resulted in a team loss where he gave up one earned run or fewer. Weaver’s 2011 record hadtwo losses by a single run and three no-decisions that resulted in a team loss by one run as well. The extra support to make up those few runs could easily push either of them to their 20th win.

The AL West

The road to the AL West pennant is not going to be a simple one for the Angels. Despite snatching free agent C.J. Wilson from division rival Texas, the Rangers squad is not looking any less intense than the team who has taken the journey to the World Series two years in a row. A tough Texas lineup awaits the Angels’ starters every time they square off against the Rangers.

The rest of the division, however, presents far less of a challenge. Thirty-eight of the Angels games in 2012 will come against the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners—two teams ranked on the bottoms rungs of any power ranking list that you might come across. Having a slightly easier schedule may only enhance the chance for the team to come up with their two 20-game victors.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress