I couldn’t have written better script myself. Jordan Walden blows another game while Mike Napoli’s 4th home run in 2 days wins the game for the Rangers. Texas sweeps the Angels right out of Anaheim, winning the season finale 3-1. They won the first two games by scores of 4-3, and 10-3.
The season is over, so what should the Angels do next:
Manager: Mike Scioscia may be the best in baseball. He took a team of rookies and utility players and almost got them in the playoffs. He is the MVP of the Halos. If I was the new owner/s of the Dodgers (If that ever happens) I would call the Angels and say, “Pick any two guys off in my organization not named Kershaw or Kemp and we get Scioscia”. Scioscia is a icon to Angels fan, but he is a Dodger at his core, and the chance to go rebuild a team that did so much for him would be irresistible.
Catcher: Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson are not quality MLB starters. Defense or not, they catchers have to do something, anything, with the bat. Hank Conger should spend a full year in triple A. Ramon Hernandez, Rod Barajas, and Ryan Doumit would be better a better fit for the Halos. Age and injuries have hindered Hernandez and Doumit, but healthy, that are head and shoulders better than Mathis or Wilson. Also, Mathis can go back to arbitration after this year, no doubt expecting to get more than the 1.7 million the Halos paid him 2011. He is already overpaid, seeya. Wilson should be the backup to whoever the Halos bring in.
1st base: Mark Trumbo. Kendrys Morales will have to prove he is healthy to if he plans to knock the possible ROY to the outfield. If he is healthy, this lineup now has 2 legitimate power guys.
2nd base: Howard Kendrick. He is a solid 2nd sacked, who has developed in to quite a hitter. Not the batting champ everyone expected, but not bad nonetheless.
Shortstop: Erick Aybar. The Angels could sign Jose Reyes, but they won’t.
3rd base: Black hole. One option is to sign Aramis Ramirez. I also read a rumor recently that indicated the Mets may make David Wright available. The Angels were one of the teams rumored to be interested–duh! They have to fill that hole, while throwing darts at 3rd baseman of the future, Brandon Woods’, picture.
Left field: Mike Trout or Mark Trumbo. Trout is gonna be a stud, but there may not be a position for him right now. If Morales comes back healthy, Trumbo may have to fill this spot. He has played the outfield before, so the transition shouldn’t be difficult.
Center field: Peter Bourjos. He is a budding superstar. He is the Angels Jacoby Ellsbury.
Right field: Torii Hunter. The guy may win his 10th Gold Glove. He is still pretty clutch with the bat, although he does bounce in to too many double plays. He could also switch off with…
DH: Vernon Wells. Wells played decent in left, but he was pretty much horrible with the bat. His 25 home runs and 66 RBI were pretty soft. He had a couple good stretches, but all in all he was mostly horrible with the stick. The Angels need to find out if is he is out of shape, or on the back end of his career. Either way, he is untradeable as his salary is a robust 21 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Starting pitching: Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana are as good as it gets. The 4th and 5th spots are not. Jerome Williams should be given a shot to win one of the spots. I would dip my toes in the CJ Wilson sweepstakes. He is a Newport Beach guy, so maybe he’ll wanna come home. I would also check out Bruce Chen, Mark Buehrle, and CC Sabathia, if he opts out of his Yankee contract. How about bringing back Scott Kazmir?hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Garrett Richards and Tyler Chatwood would be fine as the number 5 starter, if they can find some consistency.
Bullpen: I would sign either Jonathan Papelbon (sacrilegious, I know) or Heath Bell. Wednesday night excluded, Papelbon has been a clutch closer for many years in Boston. Bell is not only a solid closer, but he is a great clubhouse guy. Jordan Walden, you ask? He should be the set up guy to whoever closes. He is not ready to handle the rigors of closing at this point of his career. Remember, Troy Percival and K-rod did an apprenticeship as set up men before they closed games with regularity. Walden should do the same. Downs, Takahashi and Cassevah are set as well. The Halos will need one more righty in the pen not named Thompson, Rodney, Kahn or Jepsen.
Extra innings: Rodney Thompson and Joel Pineiro are done as Angels. If they are brought back it’ll tell you the Angels don’t have the finances to compete. Bobby Abreu has an option to come back. if he accepts his bench role, bring him back. He is a team guy, he’ll accept it. Goodbye Russell Branyan, but thank’s for homering against the Dodgers and Yankees. Alberto Callaspo and Maicer Izturis should be super-utility guys.
This was an incredible season for the Halos. Did you really see them matching up with any of the division, or wild card winners? Yeah, didn’t think so. This was Scioscia’s best year as a manager, 2002 included. The future look solid for the Angels. Can’t wait for 2012 to start.
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.