SFWH Season Preview: Anaheim Angels

By Rich Funk

Continuing the tradition we started...yesterday, we here at SFWH are bringing you more hard hitting analysis of your favorite West Coast baseball teams. Today we bring you the Anaheim Angels, or as The Governor calls them from time to time, "Those rat bastards down the 5". Today's review is brought to you by our very own Brant Brown, and the letters "F" and "U".

2007: 94-68 (1st)

So Long: SS Orlando Cabrera, P Bartolo Colon, 3B Dallas McPherson

Welcome: P Jon Garland, OF Torii Hunter

1. Chone Figgins 3B
2. Gary Matthews RF
3. Vladimir Guerrero DH
4. Torii Hunter CF
5. Garret Anderson LF
6. Howie Kendrick 2B
7. Casey Kotchman 1B
8. Mike Napoli C
9. Erick Aybar SS

Starting Rotation - John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar, Jered Weaver, Jon Garland, Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana
Setup - Justin Speier, Scot Shields
Closer - Francisco Rodriguez

While the prospects for the season, particularly considering the state of the division, are good, there is mild discontent in Angel camp. Vlad, Hunter, Anderson, and Sarge, Jr. all want to play the field, but someone is going to have to DH. The likely pick will be Anderson for most games, as Matthews and Hunter have the defensive tools. If Vlad wants to play in the field, Scioscia will have to allow him, with the occasional spell for all involved. You have to make Vlad happy. Sure, Anderson has been with the club since the Donnie Moore incident, but he's a shell of the player who won the home run derby in 2003.

Bartolo Colon's bloated carcass is finally gone. If Hideki Irabu was the Japanese fat toad, Colon was the Mexican version. Or is he Dominican? Venezuelan? They all look the same. He's replaced by Jon Garland. Ugh, Jon Garland. Fortunately for all of the Angel fans that love whining ever so much, the club has retained Ervin Santana's services. Perhaps this year Scioscia will decide to only start Santana in home games. Seriously, look at his home and away splits. The Halos will also be throwing out the two-headed catching monster of Mike Napoli and Jeff Mathis. When is the last time a club that split catching duties made it to the World Series? Was it pre or post Great War? While Erick Aybar looks at a substantial chunk of playing time, it appears that perennial phenom Brandon Wood will once again wallow on the bench or in AAA, further deteriorating any trade value he has. At least Bill Stoneman is finally out the door as GM.

Mr. Sexy Time: OF Torii Hunter - He has a lot to live up to, but he's totally qualified. The Angels have needed an extra bat for years. He may not be the slugger everyone has envisioned, but he's as solid of a package as Angel fans could have hoped for. The stellar defense and baserunning will make up for a few less homers that a Jason Giambi would have given you.

The Elijah Price (Mr. Glass) Award: 2B Howie Kendrick - Howie Kendrick. For the love of all that is holy, let this kid play a season without a fluke injury. I swear he will hit if his fingers remain unbroken.

The John Wooden "Yep, I'm Still Alive" Award:
P Darren Oliver - Still gainfully employed, at 37 ripe years of age. He's just one of those guys that lingers, like a pedophile at a playground. He also probably belongs in the Reggie Cleveland Hall of Fame.

Halos Heaven
Big 'A' Baseball