Cause For Panic in Los Angeles of Anaheim?

The outlook for the Angels 2012 season was overly positive coming into Opening Day, but since the season has started the team has yet to find their “swagger,” for lack of a better term. With the off season additions of both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, the Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels  were looking ahead to the 2012 playoffs and hopefully their first World Series since the rally monkey season of 2002. They may have been looking too far ahead, forgetting that in order to get to the playoffs they need to post a substantial regular season record. They currently sit at the bottom of the American League West with a record of 4 and 8. Those numbers are not a complete cause for panic in a season that boasts 162 games over 6 months, but this certainly isn’t the start Mike Scioscia had in mind for his Angels.

One of the problems seems to be their starting rotation. While C.J. Wilson is holding down his spot with a 1.38 ERA in just 2 starts, his rotation brethren are not holding up their part of the deal. Dan Haren posted a 4.67 ERA in 3 starts and has given up over 25 hits in 17 innings. Their losing record cannot be solely set on Haren’s shoulders because Ervin Santana has put up some less than awesome numbers including a 6.75 ERA in 3 starts, but besides his earned runs he has given up a whopping 6 homers in only 3 outings; the most of any Angels pitcher so far (Haren came in at a close second with 4). Jered Weaver seems to have started the season with his head screwed on straight. He has already recorded 2 wins in this young season while striking out 23 in 20 innings; he is a force to be reckoned with in the AL West. Look for him to have a great season, but we’ve come to expect nothing less from the younger Weaver brother ever since he graced the MVP 2007 NCAA Baseball cover in his Long Beach State apparel.

Another issue the Angels need to correct is their offensive production. When they signed 1st baseman Albert Pujols over the offseason the Angels probably figured that their production prayers had been answered, but 12 games into the season and Albert has yet to go deep. He has a .265 batting average at the moment which isn’t that bad, but it might continue to drop since he decided to switch over to a pitcher’s league. The pitching in the American League is significantly better than in the National League where Pujols spent the first part of his career. Pitchers are more prone to try and outsmart him at the plate instead of the National League approach of simply walking him. Bobby Abreu’s presence is almost nonexistent with only 17 AB’s and an average of .176. At this point in his career he may not be an everyday player, but he still needs to contribute on the days he is in the lineup. Only 2 players have put the ball over the fence in 2 weeks of play and that stat is going to have to increase if they want to play “free baseball” which is a nick name for the post season.

There is some offensive production in the form of Chris Ianetta who leads the team in RBI’s with 8. He spent the last few years in the thin air of Colorado but he, just like Pujols, decided to take his talents to the American League. His transition is going a little easier, but then again he isn’t as feared at the plate as “The Machine” (Pujols) is. Torii Hunter has the highest batting average on the team of any player with a legitimate amount of AB’s (.279), but he also has the most strikeouts. The Angels will be alright if they can pull their rotation together and stop giving up so many earned runs.


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