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The Awful Angels

March 26th, 2017 · No Comments · Angels, Baseball

I’m not yet ready to explain why … but the Los Angeles Angels are horrible. Like, 72-90 horrible.

How do I know this?

From looking at their players, ahead of the fantasy draft.

I play in a 12-team league in which we draft two-deep at every position on offense. That means 24 of the 30 MLB starters at catcher, first base, shortstop … get into our league.

And I wonder if any Angels who carry leather will be drafted into our league, later this week. Aside from a guy named Mike Trout and perhaps another outfielder, Kole Calhoun.

Let’s look at the Angels’ depth chart, at

Catcher: Marty Maldonado. A career .217 hitter who is 30. Can’t even say he might figure out how to get on base as he matures.

First base: Luis Valbuena. A free-agent signing. Career .232 hitter with some power, also not likely to suddenly become a serious player because he is 31. Out 4-6 weeks with a hamstring.

Second base: Danny Espinosa. Obtained via trade with the Washington Nationals after he lost his job to Trea Turner. Another limp bat — a career .226 hitter. Some power, but he also has whiffed in about a third of his 2,644 at-bats. Great Old Testament beard, though.

Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons. Second year with the club. He has never hit anywhere. (Notice a trend here?) Career on-base percentage of .302, no power, doesn’t get around the bases. Other than that, he’s fine.

Third base: Yunel Escobar. At 34, near the end of an journeyman career spent mostly at shortstop. He leads off, perhaps because his .351 career OBP is crazy good, on this team. But doesn’t get around the bases well and doesn’t steal bases.

In the outfield, Cameron Maybin is the new man in left and he fits right in. He’s 29, so on the backside of his career, and at his best he has been a singles hitter who runs a little — which is not usually what you want from a corner OF.

Then there’s Trout in center field, doing what he does, surrounded mostly by mediocrity, and sometimes worse. And in right, the Angels have Calhoun, who is a competent major leaguer, but not a star.

With Valbuena sidelined, the Angels will pick between CJ Cron and Albert Pujols at first. Cron has some power but is struggling to be a daily player, and Pujols is 37 and a shadow of the player he was in St. Louis — and the Angels owe him for another five years on that disastrous 10-year contract they gave him when he was already 32.

The Angels’ best pitchers appears to be Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker, and neither brings to mind “ace”. And the bullpen is supposed to be led by Huston Street, but he has had arm problems for years and may be done.

This is an awful team. Which was not the Angels way for a stretch there (six playoffs appearances, one championship in an eight-year span through 2009), but only one postseason team in the six seasons since.

It was, however, the Angels’ way much of the time before that 2002 World Series championship, and the question now is when they will give the fans — and Trout — a decent team around the club’s all-everything outfielder.




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