Every season we fans hope for nothing from the best from each player on their favorite team. Alas, we all know far too well that we often end up getting the worst of that player (cough, cough… Vernon Wells… cough). It really is a shame to see all that hope get smashed into pieces, so I thought it might be best to go ahead and lay out the best and worst case scenarios for each Angel player this season. That way you still have something to hope for, but also can begin preparing yourself for the worst now.
Albert Pujols Best Case: He takes the AL by storm, posting one of his best statistical seasons of all-time and earning minor deity status amongst Southern California baseball fans.
Albert Pujols Worst Case: He starts to show his age, plays dinged up most of the season and only registers All-Star-caliber numbers rather than MVP-caliber numbers.
Howie Kendrick Best Case: His 20-homer power proves to be here to stay only this time it brought with it that long promised batting title.
Howie Kendrick Worst Case: His power disappears like a fart in the wind and he regresses back into the inconsistent, frustrating Howie we thought was long gone. Plus, he “stars” in a whole new series of Howard’s Superstore commercials.
Erick Aybar Best Case: The year we have all been waiting for finally come true with Aybar becoming Jose Reyes Lite, leading the league in steals and garnering a fat new contract extension from the Halos.
Erick Aybar Worst Case: The year serves as a perfect example of why the Angels are going to let the wildly inconsistent Aybar walk, but not before they make him see a doctor about his seemingly incurable case of attention deficit disorder.
Alberto Callaspo Best Case: Alberto continues prove his worth as an nontraditional top of the order threat, upping his walk rate even more while he even adding a bit of a power stroke, all but forcing Scioscia to install him as the permanent third baseman and two-hole hitter.
Alberto Callaspo Worst Case: Alberto continues to devolve into an overexposed slap-hitter who sees his on-base skills and fielding prowess steadily crumble, all but forcing Scioscia to turn him into a bench player.
Chris Iannetta Best Case: Mike Napoli v2.0.
Chris Iannetta Worst Case: Jeff Mathis v2.0.
Vernon Wells Best Case: He makes good on his .300 BA, 30 HR, 100 RBI promise as baseball writers across the land eat an unprecedented amount of crow.
Vernon Wells Worst Case: He falls on his face again, gets released in May and ends up rooming with Scott Kazmir in their shared hometown of Houston.
Peter Bourjos Best Case: I get to write a Peter Bourjos: MVP Candidate post again, only the argument actually has legs this time.
Peter Bourjos Worst Case: I am forced to write a break-up letter to my not-so-secret man-crush as Bourjos regresses so much at the plate that even his stellar defense can’t keep him in the lineup.
Torii Hunter Best Case: He holds off old age, bounces back to All-Star level production thanks to no longer having to carry the lineup on his back.
Torii Hunter Worst Case: He falls victim to old age, never gets going offensively and respectfully cedes his starting position to Mike Trout. Even in failure, he is a class act.
Kendrys Morales Best Case: He picks up right where he left off before he snapped his ankle and begins laying waste to the league as the Robin to Albert’s Batman.
Kendrys Morales Worst Case: He picks up right where he left off after he snapped his ankle and winds up writhing in agony on the ground after he re-injures his ankle when he tries to run the bases next week.
Bobby Abreu Best Case: He gets his 400 plate appearances and then some after he finds the fountain of youth, boosting his average back up and finding some of his old pop resulting in a slash line of .285/.395/.455
Bobby Abreu Worst Case: He doesn’t get his 400 plate appearances because he is a tired old man resulting in a slash line of .220/.305/.330 and month after month of griping about his playing time and wanting to be traded.
Mark Trumbo Best Case: He takes to third base like a fish to water, develops his plate discipline and takes over the hot corner and the five-hole full-time on his way to a 40-homer season.
Mark Trumbo Worst Case: He takes to third base like fish to the Sahara desert, continues to swing at everything within four feet of the plate and ends up getting sent down to Triple-A to “work on some things.”
Maicer Izturis Best Case: He stays healthy, plays 140 games and unseats Alberto Callaspo as the top third baseman and bumps Aybar from the leadoff spot.
Maicer Izturis Worst Case: He doesn’t stay healthy… at all, plays in just 15 games and takes a seat on the 60-day DL.
Jered Weaver Best Case: He wins the AL Cy Young and gets to rub it Carlos Guillen’s now retired face.
Jered Weaver Worst Case: His never regains the velocity he lost at the end of last season and become more hittable, turning him into an overpaid third starter.
Dan Haren Best Case: He wins the AL Cy Young and gets to rub it Jered Weaver’s face.
Dan Haren Worst Case: He contracts another case of gopheritis like he had before he was traded by the D’Backs and fails to pitch 200+ innings for the first time in his career.
C.J. Wilson Best Case: He wins the AL Cy Young and gets to rub it Yu Darvish’s face.
C.J. Wilson Worst Case: He pitches like he did in the post-season and Ranger fans get to rub it in the Angels face.
Ervin Santana Best Case: He wins the AL Cy Young and gets to rub it in the faces of the entire Angel rotation.
Ervin Santana Worst Case: His balky elbow flares up again and he gets to add some real stitches and scars to match the tattoos on his arm.
Jerome Williams Best Case: Confident and efficient, Williams establishes himself as a groundball machine and sets himself up to cash in big in arbitration next year.
Jerome Williams Worst Case: Unhealthy and ineffective, Williams gets DFA’d and fades back into baseball oblivion.
Jordan Walden Best Case: With a healthy dose of mental fortitude and a more consistent slider, Walden quiets his doubter and joins the ranks of the elite closers.
Jordan Walden Worst Case: With mental scars from his late-season meltdowns, Walden confirms Angel fans greatest fears as the Halos are forced to find a more reliable closer on the trade market.
Scott Downs Best Case: He stays healthy and pitches exactly as well as he did last season.
Scott Downs Worst Case: He can’t stay healthy and pitches exactly as well as Fernando Rodney did last season.
LaTroy Hawkins Best Case: See his 2009 season.
LaTroy Hawkins Worst Case: See his 2010 season.
Hisanori Takahashi Best Case: He finally remembers that he is death on lefties but also continues to be effective against righties, making him one of Scioscia’s most trusted relievers.
Hisanori Takahashi Worst Case: He can’t remember how to get lefties out and then forgets how to get righties out too, making him nothing but a mop-up man.
Bobby Cassevah Best Case: He leads the American League in groundball rate.
Bobby Cassevah Worst Case: He leads the Pacific Coast League in groundball rate.
Rich Thompson Best Case: His power pitching wins Scioscia over at long last and he assumes the right-handed setup man role.
Rich Thompson Worst Case: His inconsistency finally wears out Scioscia’s patience and he gets DFA’d in June to make room for a youngster to get a shot.