30 Teams in 30 Days: Los Angeles Angels Preview


General Manager: Tony Reagins (since 2007)
Manager: Mike Scioscia (since 2000)

Gains: Hideki Matsui, Joel Pineiro, Fernando Rodney, Brian Stokes

Losses: Jose Arredondo, Kelvim Escobar, Chone Figgins, Vladimir Guerrero, John Lackey, Shane Loux, Gary Matthews Jr., Dustin Mosley, Darren Oliver

Minor League Deals: Cory Aldridge, Travis Chick, Bobby Korecky, Michael Ryan

Projected Starting Lineup
Erick Aybar – SS
Bobby Abreu – RF
Kendry Morales – 1B
Torii Hunter – CF
Hideki Matsui – DH
Juan Rivera – LF
Howie Kendrick – 2B
Mike Napoli – C
Brandon Wood – 3B

Projected Starting Rotation
Jered Weaver
Joe Saunders
Scott Kazmir
Ervin Santana
Joel Pineiro

Projected Bullpen
Brian Fuentes (Closer)
Fernando Rodney
Kevin Jepsen
Jason Bulger
Scot Shields
Brian Stokes
Matt Palmer

The Angels WILL make the playoffs if: 1B Kendry Morales continues to hit as if he were imbued with Mark Teixeira residue…SP Scott Kazmir makes 30 starts for the first time since 2007 and pitches like he did down the stretch for the Halos (we’ll just g’head and forget the postseason, m’kay, Scott?)…RP Fernando Rodney’s inevitable coup d’état of the closer’s role happens sooner, rather than later.

The Angels WON’T make the playoffs if: RF Bobby Abreu and DH Hideki Matsui can’t find the Lazarus Pit at 36…SP Scott Kazmir leads the team in 2010 starts…CF Torii Hunter spends more time playing sociologist than centerfield.

Over/Under (84): I lost a c-note last year betting against the Angels to hit the under on 87 wins. Lesson learned. Despite a rejuvenated squad in Seattle and a Rangers team that’s capable of making the jump into contention at any time, I’m not picking against the Angels until someone can knock ’em off. And, as a certified Halos Hater, it looks like I’ll have to wait until the playoffs for that to happen. Again.

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