It was a great ride, but the ride finally came to an end on Monday. The Angels were eliminated from postseason contention, falling 4-3 to the Texas Rangers.
You knew that things were gonna be tough after the Angels announced that Mark Trumbo would miss the final 3 games with a stress fracture in his foot. That’s 29 home runs, and 87 RBI taken off a team that has no other legitimate power hitters. Sorry folks, Russell Branyan doesn’t count as legitimate.
I am happy that this scrappy group made it as competitive as they did, but things should have been different.
10 blown saves by Jordan Walden is unacceptable. Why he can’t throw strikes consistently is a mystery to me. He also seems to need about 7 days off between appearances to be successful. Yeah, he blew the season by choking on Sunday, but a few other missed opportunities did the Angels in as well. The back to back blown saves against Toronto and the Orioles in August. Or how about the one against the Dodgers in June. Guys aren’t gonna be perfect, I know, but he was as inconsistent as a closer could get.
How about that 2-9 stretch from the end of May through almost mid June. 7 of those losses came at home, including one to one Vin Mazzaro, who came with an ERA of about 18.00. Mazzaro is so bad, that after the game where he pitched 7 shut out innings, his ERA was still near 11.00.
Vernon Wells: If this is what 26 million buys, than I would have to file bankruptcy. Wells average, after opening day, never got above .225. And in Monday’s game, with their playoff hopes on the line, Wells took an ofer. Yes, he had a couple stretches where he hit the ball hard, but those stretches were few and far between. With that kind of change, I would expect him to at least be close to 35 bombs, and 100 RBI. He did hit 25 home runs, but he barely had more RBI than Erick Aybar or Howard Kendrick.
The 4th and 5th starters. Tyler Chatwood is a young guy, so it’s hard to judge him, but he did pitch some good games in the 1st half. Joel Pineiro pitched great his first 4 games, but after that, you could guarantee he would give up 4 runs every game. At one point he was banished to the bullpen. Nuff said. Jerome Williams looks like a keeper, but what’s that old saying, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut some time”. The Angels were throwing anyone who had an arm to the mound. They appear to have found some success with this reclamation project.
Catcher: The Jeff Mathis experiment has to end. He may be a fine defensive catcher, but he is as big of offensively liability as there is in baseball. A .176 average is embarrassing for a starting catcher in the big leagues. The jury is still out on Bobby Wilson and Hank Conger. Wilson looks like a great bullpen catcher though.
The bullpen. Read my recent takes on Fernando Rodney and Rich Thompson, and you will know how I feel about them. I will puke if I hear the Angels touting Michael Kohn or Kevin Jepsen again. I better get my bucket ready, because come February, they will.
3rd base: Alberto Callaspo is a fine utility player, not a starting 3rd baseman. The Angels need/have to find someone to fill that gaping hole at the hot corner. Does Trumbo know how to play 3rd?
I know I am giving my state of the Angels now, but I am angry that the season is over. Once the season officially ends, I’ll go over what I think they should do, and some of the positives.
The bench: Who, besides Branyan, is even on the Angels bench? I don’t count Mike Trout because he is the Angels future and still learning. Your bench should be full of capable guys, who on some clubs may be starting. Branyan is neither. His time has passed. See you in the broadcast booth, you’ve earned it–haha.
I would hope the Angels play Trout and Conger these next two games. I not also against throwing Garrett Richards, or Chatwood, instead of Weaver or Santana. Those guys have nothing left to prove, and the Halos will need them next year.
It was a great and unexpected run this year. Let’s hope the young guys learned, and the old guys are phased out. The future looks bright in Anaheim.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.