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Here Come the Blue Jays

The Blue Jays aren’t messing around. That much became clear when they signed free-agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year, $82.5 million contract Monday, outbidding notable heavyweights in the Cubs and Dodgers in the process. The signing comes with its fair share of risks (as does any big-money contract, no matter the player). A year […]

5/4: Fighting for .500

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim(16-14) @ Boston Red Sox (14-15) Ervin Santana(1-3, 4.89) @ Josh Beckett (2-1, 2.65 ) 7:10 PM EDT |Fenway Park (Boston, MA.) TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510 INJURY REPORT Anaheim: Kendrys Morales, broken ankle (Placed on the 15 day DL March 21st); Scott Kazmir, stiff lower back (Placed on […]

4/23: Live chat tonight!

Boston Red Sox (8-11) @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (12-8) Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-2, 6.43) vs. Ervin Santana (0-2, 5.26) 9:05PM EDT | Angel Stadium (Anaheim, California) TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, SBN 1510 INJURY REPORT Boston: Kevin Youkilis, bruised shin (day-to-day) Los Angeles: Scott Downs, stomach virus (placed on 15-day DL 4/22, retroactive to […]

Sizing Up the Angels, Part II: The Staff

Los Angeles Angels at Detroit Tigers.

With the last installation surrounding the Anaheim Angels’ hitters, its time to take a look at the other half of the California equation: the pitching staff.

The Angels come into the ALDS with one of the deeper rotations among the contenders, with five quality options manning four slots. Mike Scioscia has opted to go with John Lackey as his Game One starter, followed by Jered Weaver in Game Two, Scott Kazmir in Game Three, then Joe Saunders in Game Four. Fifth starter Ervin Santana has been sent to the bullpen, though there are still circles who believe him to be the better option of he and Saunders.

While the overall quality of the Angels’ rotation is comparable to that of the Red Sox, it is not as top-heavy as their Boston counterparts. Few, if any, rotations boast the one-two punch of Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. However, with the seasons that Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright have had, St. Louis could have the Sox beat. Still, that’s beside the point.

The Anaheim bullpen is also a quality outfit featuring some underrated arms and intriguing role players. However, when compared to the talent and depth present in the Sox ‘pen, this corps leaves much to be desired. As echoed by fellow FireBrand writer, Evan Brunell, “Bulger (if healthy), Palmer and Oliver are all good, but would all jockey with Manny Delcarmen for the final spot in Boston’s ‘pen,” this bullpen is already behind in the race.

Projecting the Angels’ Post-Season Roster

Shrowded in as much secrecy as a Cold War nuclear test or New England Patriots injury, the California Angels have yielded very few signals as to the makeup of their postseason roster. While the starting lineup is generally set, the rest of the team is in a state of flux.

There have been some indications, however, from sources close to the team of what their roster will look like in the ALDS. Most pundits agree on the following roster developments:

1) The team is confident in its first three starters: John Lackey, Jered Weaver, and Scott Kazmir.

2) The team will opt to go with either Joe Saunders or Ervin Santana in the fourth spot, though Saunders seems to be the frontrunner at the moment…

LAA 4, BOS 3: Halos enjoy resurrection over Red Sox

The Los Angeles Angels didn’t want to leave Fenway without at least one win for the trip home, as the AL West leaders beat the Red Sox, 4-3.

A wild pitch in the seventh tarnished an otherwise solid start for Josh Beckett. Jacoby Ellsbury and Jason Bay brought the lumber, but to no avail, as the Sox fall to the AL West leading Angels.

9/17: It’s Beckett Time

GAME NOTES: Josh Beckett looks like he’s coming out of that funk he was mired in for a couple weeks. He’ll do it against Ervin Santana, who has had a bad year after busting through last year. I’ll be at the game, so let’s hope we see a good one!

5/14: Matinee Performance

With Buchholz putting on the pressure, every Penny start is either an audition for the Red Sox or potential trade partners. Let’s lock down another series.

LAA 8, BOS 4: Taken away

Tim Wakefield had lost 5 straight road games to the Los Angeles Angels. He looked well on his way to breaking that streak with a four run lead heading into the bottom of the third.
Mike Napoli made sure Wakefield’s streak extended to six games with one swing of the bat.

American League West Preview…And the rest of the remaining divisions too.

The Angels do not get on base much, and they haven’t hit for all that much power of late. I am a stat-guy. So I believe that an offense needs to do these things to score enough runs. There is only so much that can happen as a result of “hit and runs” and taking the extra base. Now, taking the extra base is great, and often overlooked–as is baserunning in general. But a team must get on base enough, in order to score enough.

The Abreu acquisition was great. For that amount of money, the team put aside their philosophy of having only players who can play defense, and sacrificed “it” for a little offense. There is no risk in signing Abreu, and he should still hit for average, get on base, and flash enough power to make him a quality all-around player.

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