TMS MLB Preview 2009: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

10:44 PM | Comments (0) | by White Chili

All through March, Thunder Matt's Saloon will be previewing each Major League team. We'll give you the ins and outs of the upcoming 2009 season, how each team will do, and some other useless crap you'll wish you had never read.

CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM

2008: 100-62 (1st)

SO LONG: OF Garret Anderson, P Jon Garland, P Francisco Rodriguez, 1B Mark Teixeria

WELCOME: P Brian Fuentes, OF Bobby Abreu

PROJECTED LINEUP
1. Chone Figgins 3B
2. Bobby Abreu RF
3. Vladimir Guerrero DH
4. Torii Hunter CF
5. Kendry Morales 1B
6. Juan Rivera LF
7. Howie Kendrick 2B
8. Mike Napoli C
9. Erick Aybar SS


Starting Rotation: John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, Dustin Moseley
Setup: Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo
Closer: Brian Fuentes

The Angels were going to be in great shape this year as long as they could re-sign Tex, find a closer to replace K Rod, and lock up Sabathia with a huge contract. Ok, so first Teixeria signed with the Yankees. That was pretty bad, but not devastating. Then CC signed with...the Yankees. Ouch. But at least they landed...Brian Fuentes and his wacky delivery! I'm not going to lie to you, the Angels had some setbacks this year but as long as they play in the AL West, they'll have some breathing room. Abreu was a relatively cheap addition of some plate experience and it might be possible to shop Chone (pronounced Chone) around mid-season to try and acquire another arm. They're going to need someone besides Lackey and Santana if they want to compete in a five game series.

PRESEASON AWARDS
Mr. Sexy Time: John Lackey - Lackey started off last season strong which earned him a spot as an All Star. His second half wasn't quite as impressive but if he stays healthy and gains a little discipline with his pitch selection, he could put up some impressive numbers this year. He's also entering a contract year so expect the ace of the staff to chalk up at least 16 victories.

Perennial Fantasy Cancer: Howie Kendrick - I was one of many fantasy owners chomping at the bit for the Angels to call Kendrick up after watching him mash AAA pitching into the cheap seats day in and day out. However, with Adam Kennedy on the roster, they never had a spot for him. Once he finally made it to the bigs, it seemed like he could never stay there for more than a few days at a time. If he didn't break a finger, he broke a thumb. Once his hands were fine, he had a hamstring that was more sensitive than Jesse Jackson (You all thought I was going the sexist route but in these uncertain times I decided to play it safe and went with the race card instead). And I just know I'm going to draft him again this year too. I can't quit you Howie.

Ancient Turnstile: Bobby Abreu - Bob clocks in at 35 years old. He'll be replacing the venerable Garret Anderson in the outfield and likely batting 2nd in the order in between Chone and Vlad. The guy isn't going to put up the same power numbers that he did in his prime but he still has a respectable OBP and it certainly won't hurt to set the table for Vlad.

FOR MORE READING
Halos Heaven
Angels Win

Check back tomorrow when Wolter will preview the Oakland Athletics.

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