As the L.A. Angels resume hostilities in the American League West with a four-game series versus Seattle, the team finds itself at a crossroads. There are many who are starting to believe that this year's Halo team cannot wrestle the Western Division lead away from the Texas Rangers (check recent articles by ESPN Los Angeles' Mark Saxon, the L.A. Times' Mike DiGiovanna, and LA Angels Insider's own Eric Denton ).
I do not agree.
For one, everything in the Rangers' history says they will take a step back in August and September. Their all-time post All-Star record is well under .500, and with their untested pitching rotation (outside Cliff Lee) and still young lineup (outside Vlad Guerrero), there is no reason to believe 2010 will be any different. On top of that, the Angels' deep starting rotation will keep them in this race for the duration; an improved second-half offense should help the Angels win the West again.
Improving the offense, however, is a challenging proposition. The name that Angels fans have been hearing over and over again is Adam Dunn. Dunn, the mashing first baseman/outfielder of the Washington Nationals, would certainly give the Angels a big run producer.
Other trade targets that have been floated around include Ty Wigginton, Adam LaRoche, Lance Berkman, Mike Lowell, and Jose Bautista. Free agent possibilities include recently released corner infielders Garrett Atkins and Hank Blalock, as well as veterans Jermaine Dye and Carlos Delgado.
The Angels are an organization that has shown it is committed to fielding a championship-caliber ball club year in and year out—this has been the hallmark of the Mike Scioscia era. Bearing that long-term commitment to winning in mind, here is my list of five things that the Los Angeles Angels must do in order to win in 2010... and beyond.
Ryan VanderYacht is a feature columnist for LA Angels Insider.com