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Dave Cameron spells it out pretty clearly here. I'm not sure if you need Insider Access or not. Good Read.
I've been saying this the whole time.
I agree, and further, the Rangers are the strongest in the division.
Looked on another forum and found that these were the main points:
(1) Hamilton isn't a huge upgrade of Hunter's 2012 performance.(2) LAA led the AL in luck in 2012 - their BABIP was 20 points higher than the league average. It will come down and most specifically, Trout's will come down.(3) Their regulars lost very little time in 2012 - have to beat the odds to stay that healthy and they are unlikely to be that healthy in 2013(4) They are replacing Morales in the lineup with Bourjos which is a huge downgrade.
However the article doesn't seem to address the Angels' pitching situation. They definitely improved their bullpen, and right now I'd say it's better than ours. The question is, does it cover up for the downgrade in the rotation (Haren, Greinke, and Santana to Hanson, Blanton, and Richards/Williams)?
Oops, forgot Jason Vargas. Scratch Richards/Williams.
Personally I think Trout's babip was so good due to his insane speed, but we will find out.-Personally I don't really think the Angels are worse, I just don't think that they are better.
The Angels are a year older, which is bad for the Angels. The Rangers are a year older, which is good for the Rangers.
Of course the Angels could be better in 2013. Of course the Rangers could have their worst season of all time. The Royals could win the central. The Yankees could continue to defy age. Who cares about could. Speculation like that is absolutely ridiculous. It's a stupid way to create conversation, and sell ad space. You know the majority of the time writers come up with crap like this they don't even believe it themselves, but they know it creates conversation on their article, which then sells ad space, which drives them up in the organization. This is why I got out of sports writing. I felt morally bankrupt even though I never did the sensationalized story, but I couldn't stand being associated with those that did. Don't belive or buy into everything, or anything, you read because the writer has an agenda, and in baseball stats can always be skewed to support it.
:The Angels are a year older, which is bad for the Angels. The Rangers are a year older, which is good for the Rangers.:
January 6, 2013 at 2:18 PM | Goodasgoldyesmaam
This can go both ways. Ian is a year older and so are Nellie, Colby, Nathan, Beltre, Murphy, AJ, and Berkman, etcHowie Kendrick is a year older and so are Eric Aybar, Bourjous, Trout, Trumbo, etcMy point is the age game goes both ways.
"Speculation like that is absolutely ridiculous. It's a stupid way to create conversation, and sell ad space."
I like the way Snrub thinks.
Even if you accept the premise that the Angels are unimproved, they are still the team to beat in the West. A strong case exists that they underperformed with 89 wins in 2012. They had 93 third order wins and aside from April (when Trout was in AAA and Pujols was struggling with the transition to LA), they played at a 95 win pace. I think April 2012 was anomolous for them. They got off to a tough start and things snowballed. I wouldn't count on that happening again. I could easily see the 2013 Angels winning 93-95 games.
That said, they aren't as deep as the Rangers. If they suffer key injuries, especially to pitchers, they could have some trouble.
I've never bought into the Angels getting older argument, I assume this argument is pointed to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, but this is baseball and you can do it big until your 40 years old especially when we are talking about the best hitter since Barry Bonds in Pujols, and possibly the greatest pure talent in the game in Hamilton. Josh Hamilton will be solid, but then again he may not be he, I wish he was a Ranger, but he could quite possibly be the most unfocused superstar baseball has. The Angels pitching staff is a wild card, I doubt Weaver can duplicate his first half numbers from last season, but then again I highly doubt Wilson will have a lackluster 2nd half performance like last year either. The Angels will rely on their hitting greatly, but with a lineup like they have it's not a scary time to be an Angel fan at all. Their lineup rivals the 2001-2002 Ranger lineups, but their pitching staff is worlds above those Ranger staffs and if they can just play near their talent levels they will be definite pennant contenders.
But.... As much as I loved Hamilton we ALL know what it is like to have to count on him.
Looking at their lineup they have 3 ELITE hitters, and a bunch of solid players. But does Howie Kendrick really scare you, how about Eric Aybar or Peter Borjous. Do you say "Oh Shit' everytime Chris lannetta hits. Does Vernon Wells strike fear into you. Look don't get me wrong a lineup that has Trout, Pujols, Hamilton, and Trumbo and a bunch of solid guys is really, really good. But we can navigate that lineup. We have no room for error, we must get the solid hitters out and force the great hitters to hit in situations where they can drive in 1 run. Look the Angels will win a lot of games, but like all teams they are beatable.
Weaver, Wilson, Hanson, Blanton, Williams simply isn't that good of a rotation. As much as Angel fans try to convince you that it is, it simply isn't. Weaver is the only rock, and even he lives off of an insane BABIP. Wilson is a wildcard at this point, and there may not be a more meh 3-4-5 than the Angels 3-4-5.
"but this is baseball and you can do it big until your 40 years old "
Not really unless you are juiced. You recently saw guys playing at a high level into their 40s (Bonds, Clemens) because of Roids. When I was younger in the 70s & 80s, guys were washed up by 35-37. It is happening again. Of course, there are exceptions. Hope that doesn't apply to Berkman.
"Weaver, Wilson, Hanson, Blanton, Williams simply isn't that good of a rotation. As much as Angel fans try to convince you that it is, it simply isn't. Weaver is the only rock, and even he lives off of an insane BABIP. "
They had a bad rotation last season. They had 3 starters with a 4.2+ ERA in a pitchers park. Their offense is so good that they don't need a great rotation.
As for Weaver, recent BABIP research suggests that pitchers who have a high percentage of infield fly balls (and Weaver does) will have a lower BABIP. Weaver has a career BABIP of .272. I calculated his expected BABIP using the most recent formula and it was .271. So for his career, Weaver hasn't experienced BABIP luck. His style of pitching leads to a lower BABIP.
That said, Weaver did have an unsustainable BABIP last season. He's definitely due for some regression.
The Angels may have the best offense in the American League, but I still have my doubts that they are a shoe-in to win the West in 2013. It all comes back to pitching, and they really don't have a lot of it.
Behind Jered Weaver, they have an extremely shaky #2 in CJ Wilson, who will be coming off injury. Tommy Hanson should be motivated coming back to his old stomping grounds in Southern California, but it doesn't change his mechanical flaws. He could legitimately throw his arm out on any given pitch on any given start in 2013. Behind him, you're looking at a replacement-level Blanton, and a replacement-level Jerome Williams. Even if they sign Kyle Lohse for 3/45, or whatever, it's not a substantial enough add-on.
Sure, they added Madsen (coming off injury) and Burnett, and are teaming them up with Downs and Frieri in the 'pen, but you can pitch those guys every day when Weaver and Wilson aren't pitching. It's looking to me like they'll either (a) need strong production from their last 3 rotation slots, or (b) that they will have an exceptionally taxed bullpen by the time the middle of the summer rolls around.
* can't pitch those guys every day
I agree that the Angels aren't a shoe in to win the West. I think they're the favorites and barring significant injuries, I do see them winning 90+ games.
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