Daily Links for the LA Angels including regression favors the Angels, the Halos might have to get creative at closer, looking for a landing spot for Vladimir Guerrero and much more…
The Story: Regression favors the Angels.
The Monkey Says: This is mildly good news if only because while the Angels aren’t going to get a whole lot better, it really speaks to how over their heads the Rangers performed last season (and I believe this doesn’t even take into account regression from their pitchers as well). I think we all know how much it can hurt when an offense gets a lot of career years and good luck (like the 2009 Angels) and then has everyone either regress or get unlucky the next season (a la the 2010 Angels).
The Monkey Says: I’ve been calling for a closer-by-committee since the Halos signed Scott Downs, so I am all in favor of this, although I don’t think Fernando Rodney should be prominently involved.
The Story: Where will Vladimir Guerrero find a job?
The Monkey Says: My vote is for NOT the Angels. In fact, I really don’t know where he is going to end up. Baltimore is really the only team to show prominent interest in him, so I guess that is as good a guess as any. Seattle might be a dark horse for his services or maybe a team like KC will take a shot at him if only so that they can flip him for prospects at the trade deadline.
The Monkey Says: For the Angels, they have four players: Jason Bulger, Rich Thompson, Bobby Wilson and Brandon Wood (though he was left off the list because the author thought his roster spot was safe). What is interesting about this is that all four players could end up being released depending on how Spring Training goes. The way I figure it, there is only one (maybe two) bullpen spot left since Downs, Rodney, Jepsen, Takahashi and Walden are all locks. If Michael Kohn or Francisco Rodriguez win the final spots, Bulger and Thompson are likely to be cut loose. And if Mike Scioscia falls in love with Hank Conger, it might be hard for him to justify keeping Bobby Wilson around for another year. As for Wood, he might just end up being too terrible to keep around, clogging up a roster spot on an already thin bench.
The Monkey Says: Personally, I think the Oakland rotation is overrated and their ranking is largely based on anticipation of their young arms progressing, Brett Anderson in particular. I know I am biased but I think the Angels should rank as the best, though I fully realize just how much Scott Kazmir’s wretched 2010 performance drags down the staff’s overall outlook.
The Monkey Says: Funny how Tim Brown, a West Coaster, cuts the Angels more slack than Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Brown never overtly explains his incomplete grade, but I think it is clear that he believes the Angels face a whole lot of unknowns and we should reserve judgment until we get some kind of indicator of how all those questions will be answered.