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Angels finish 2nd twice, but look to add a number one

Posted By Bill Mahoney On Nov 15 2011 @ 7:53 pm In LA Angels Of Anaheim | No Comments

I can hear the chant now, “We’re number two, we’re number two”. MLB is handing out it’s awards, and a couple of Angels took second in the Rookie of the Year, and the Cy Young honors.

Mark Trumbo finished behind the Rays Jeremy Hellickson, and just ahead of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer in the R.O.Y. voting. Meanwhile, Jered Weaver finished a distant second to Justin Verlander in the Cy Young category. He did finish ahead of James Shields of the Rays though.

My thoughts? Sounds about right. Second things first. Verlander was the best pitcher in the AL, period. However, comparing Verlander’s and Weaver’s stats, tell you they were about equal. The only category that Verlander was truly better than Weaver was wins. Verlander finished with 24, while Weaver only got 18.

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It worked in Verlander’s favor that his Tigers wrapped up the Central division so early. As the Angels were battling for a playoff spot, Weaver was forced to pitch on 3 days rest twice. It also didn’t help that he got suspended (For an incident against the Tigers) either. When he came off his suspension, Weaver allowed 8 earned runs to a fading Toronto team. Weaver’s ERA went from 1.78 on August 5th, to 2.41 on September 23rd. In roughy the same period of time, Verlander’s ERA went from 2.30 to 2.40.

That being said, add on the the fact that the Tigers played in the postseason, I think the Cy went to the right guy.

Mark Trumbo could argue, a little. Jeremy Hellickson had a fine season, helping the Rays win the wildcard. Starting in June, Hellickson only twice allowed more than 3 earned runs. Batters hit a measly .210 against the guy, who only had 117 strikeouts in 189 IP.

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Trumbo, on the other hand, was an Angel savior. With Kendrys Morales having the worst broken ankle in MLB history, and Vernon Wells bringing next to nothing to the table, Trumbo’s season was nothing short of spectacular. From key defensive plays, to clutch hitting–who can forget Trumbo’s walk off shot against the Rangers in August denying Texas a 4 game sweep.–Trumbo was the main reason the Halos actually had a shot at the wildcard, as late as they did. His 29 home runs and 87 RBI were huge for this nearly powerless team. It wasn’t enough, in the eyes of the voters, to get the award. I may not be happy, but I can see why they went with Hellickson.

The guy who may have gotten jobbed was Eric Hosmer of the Royals. Hosmer had stats equal to, if not better than, Trumbo. In fewer games and at bats, Hosmer had more hits, a high average and on base %, less strikeouts, and more base on balls. He also had 2 more stolen bases than Trumbo.

If the Royals didn’t suck every year, Hosmer would have a case. They do, so he doesn’t. His stats would have to be gargantuan for him to have won the award. Not fair, but it’s what I think is true.

I do think that Trumbo, considering the overall different situations between the teams, would have beaten out Hosmer, if Hellickson wasn’t in the running. Remember, Trumbo played in a pennant race most of the year, while the Royals…well…played like the Royals.

In other Angels news. I like Jerry DiPoto so far. Seems honest, and aggressive. His pursuit of C.J. Wilson is smart, if the price is right. You may have to overpay a bit to get him, but Weaver, Wilson, Haren and Santana sounds pretty formidable to me. And stealing from the Rangers puts a smile on my face too. I still like Ryan Doumit as a catcher, but his injury history may scare off the Halos.

Naming Hal Morris scouting director was an interesting, if not gutsy, move. Morris was a fine player, and has scouted for the Pirates and Red Sox, but to be named the head guy in just 3 years. Nice to have friends in high places. He does have an MBA from Stanford, if that means anything to you.

Go Angels!

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