Results tagged ‘ Gold Glove ’

The Gold Coin We Call Baseball

The off-season is upon us, in the game of baseball the winter can be just as exciting as the regular season. There are many exciting aspects about the off-season, the hot stove, where free agents and franchises look to come together mutually to fill vacancies; and the winter meetings, where franchises seek to make a noteworthy splash in the market. Am I disappointed? Yes, but I can’t say that I’m upset over the Angels’ performance this past season, every team’s goal is to make it to the World Series however, in the end, as always one team stands and 29 others go home.

 

The Angels made a valiant effort at a playoff run; they fell out of contention after game 158 on September 27, 2017. As I have mentioned before I rather see this team fall out of contention late in the season and not well before the All-Star break.

 

If this team is healthy with a few additions the Halos can not only compete for a postseason spot but they can also contend. If things go well, they can possibly even make it to the World Series; First and foremost they have the best player in all of Major League Baseball today, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols, when healthy, can still strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. Justin Upton recently signed a contract extension, which gives the Angels a solid bat behind Trout and a permanent left fielder. When one adds the two Gold Gloves at shortstop and catcher for 2017 one has a pretty solid foundation.

 

With a strong foundation already established, the Angels could use a few upgrades on the roster, so far the speculation points to third baseman Mike Moustakas as the prime candidate to fulfill this need for the Angels. The former Kansas City Royal has power, and he might be just what the Angels need to get over the hump. However, for now this is pure speculation and all this of course is contingent on the Angels starting rotation and for that matter the pitching staff as a whole , staying healthy. As the Angels entire pitching staff was decimated and the starting rotation in particular was crippled this past season.

 

The off-season brings a lot of big hopes and dreams to every fan no matter which team one chooses to root for. It’s a reset button that every team looks forward to pressing, even the successful teams in the previous season. The off-season can be a two-sided coin it can bring joy and/or pain. It all depends how the coin we call the off-season lands.

 

-ICE

Brooms Sweep the White Sox into the Heavenly Hamper

The hunt for red October continues, the Angels swept the Chicago White Sox with a 4-2 victory. Jared Weaver was a masterful, winning his American league-leading 19th game of the season, on his way hopefully to a 2012 Cy Young Award.

The Angels potentially can collect their fair share of hardware, Jared Weaver in my opinion is the leading candidate for this Cy Young Award, and Mike Trout is a surefire American League Rookie of the Year. His numbers are so astronomical the season, that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the American League claiming that award and depending on how the Angels finish and if they make the playoffs, Mike Trout may be in the running for the American League Most Viable Player Award. He may be able to add an American League Gold Glove based on his spectacular play in Center Field this year.

It’s late September, and as I mentioned before it will be an uphill battle for the Angels to be able to punch your ticket into the postseason party. With nine games left play, the Angels find themselves 3 1/2 games back of the first Wild Card position and 2 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card position. With only one game separating the Oakland A’s and the Baltimore Orioles.

The A’s start a four-game series with the Texas Rangers tomorrow while the Angels have their last off day of the season. Strangely enough the rivalry that I’ve been craving for all year, the Angels versus the A’s is indirectly happening. I reluctantly find myself rooting for the Texas Rangers to defeat the A’s to knock them out at wild-card contention and allow the Angels to replace the A’s or the Orioles in one of two Wild Card spots. See the Angels in the playoffs is sweet but to deny the A’s a playoff berth would be even sweeter.

I’m also reluctantly willing to concede the AL West to the Texas Rangers if that allows the Angels to punch their ticket into the postseason. After all, the only thing needed to be eligible to win a World Series is to be invited to the party.

However the Angels are treading in dangerous waters, let us suppose a Texas Rangers clinch too early, they may decide to rest their players for the postseason, since even if the A’s are somehow able to surpass the Rangers and when the American League West. The Rangers are already guaranteed at least a Wild Card berth since at this point they would virtually have to lose all the games on the remaining schedule to be left out.

Another interesting scenario arises in my mind, let us suppose although unlikely, that the Orioles somehow have a monumental collapse and somehow drop out of contention for the American League Wild Card. One would be left with three teams from the American League West fighting for an invitation to the playoffs.

All this predicated of course on the Angels winning the vast majority of their remaining games. Although this is very difficult I have faith that they can do it. I truly believe that they can somehow punched their ticket, and once invited, I sincerely believe that they have the talent and the firepower to win their second World Series in franchise history. It’ll be exciting to see if the postseason includes a Halo.

-ICE

The Keys to Creating a Winning Recipe for the Angels

The Angels continued to impress, Shortstop Erick Aybar has won his first Gold Glove of his career, joining Torii Hunter, Ken Berry, Rick Miller, Gary Pettis, Devon White, Jim Edmonds, and Darin Erstad.

The Angels potentially have a very bright future, in addition to Erick Aybar’s Gold Glove season; the Angels also have the American League Rookie of the Year Mark Trumbo; in addition 3/5 of their rotation Jared Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana can go toe to toe with any starting rotation in Major League Baseball. Let us not forget young upstart Mike Trout, if the Halos were to add one or two decent arms to the starting rotation and maybe an above-average bat, quite possibly they may have the ingredients for a championship soup.

 As I stated before, the Angels need a a lot of reinforcements in different areas. In my previous entries I touched upon their need to address the bullpen. I also addressed how the Angels need to part ways with Jeff Mathis who is a sub .200 hitter for his career. Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder are maybe out of the question financially, but the Angels could possibly court Yadier Molina, who is a career .400 hitter that demonstrated in the 2011 World Series that he has a cannon for an arm that can throw runners out at any base. If the Angels are able to acquire the youngest Molina it would solve two issues at once, it would put a pretty good bat in the lineup while the same time address the need for a defensive catcher, the type that Mike Scioscia seems to covet so much.

Again congratulations to Erick Aybar for his Gold Glove and Mark Trumbo for being the American League Rookie of the Year. They are both very deserving of their individual awards respectively. It is my belief that the Angels have the right ingredients for a championship soup. However, it has yet to be seen if the new Angels’ General Manager can add the right spices to make the soup devastate and endear the taste buds of Angels’ fans simultaneously.

-ICE

Will the Angels’ Bullpen be a “Royal” Pain This Season?

Opening day, the crack of the bat, the smell of the grass, and the pop of a baseball snapping against a leather glove. Three games into the season, and the Angels are already 1-2. It is still extremely early. So to say that doomsday is coming is a little rash. However, for those that remember 2010 the Angels’ collapse began with the bullpen, granted I realize that the Angels have started the season with four players on the disabled list which two of them are pitchers; Joel Piñeiro  a starter, and Scott Downs a reliever. Regardless of who is on the disabled list, the Angels bullpen should be able to hold a lead given to them by stellar performances by the starting pitchers. In the opening game, Jared Weaver was spectacular and the bullpen was able to do its job on that particular day, since then it’s been the Angels’ bullpen who have blown relatively easy mathematical victories the last two games. First, a walk off home run given up by Michael Kohn yesterday, and then today the run given up by Kevin Jepsen which gave the Kansas City Royals the victory five runs to four.

It is becoming apparent that the Angels are faced with uncertainty in the bullpen this season. Will the bullpen be able to hold leads that a much improved Angel offense provides? Will the bullpen be able to help the starting rotation’s record accurately reflect how good the starting rotation will be this season? Who will be the Angels’ closer? Fernando Rodney? Who has looked pretty shaky so far this season, Michael Kohn? Jordan Walden? Rich Thompson? Hisanori Takahashi? Jason Bulger? I realize it’s still very early in the season, in Mike Scioscia is still trying to put the team together, however, with the exception of Walden and Takashi I haven’t seen anybody in the Angels bullpen that can reassure me that the game is ours.

The question thus becomes can the bullpen get it together before our stellar rotation or our hot bats and our Gold glove outfield defense cools off? Torii Hunter has recovered his power, much of that has to do with the acquisition of Vernon Wells both guys have me excited mutually on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. I feel that if we can get our bullpen to work right we should be able to contend for an American League West title this year if not more.

I look forward to writing more about wins this year and what went right, instead of what went wrong. Only time will tell. Go Angels!

-ICE

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