When the Los Angels Angels opened the MLB season in 2010, hopes were high in Anaheim. Even though they had lost John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins to free agency, the Angels management team honestly thought they had done enough to put a quality product on the field, and expected once again to contend for the American League West title.
The addition of RHP Joel Pineiro, to replace Lackey in the starting rotation, coupled with a full season with LHP Scott Kazmir, gave the Angels a strong feeling that their deep, experienced staff would be one of the better rotations in the American League.
The addition of DH/LF Hideki Matsui, the emergence of young SS/3B Brandon Wood, and the continued development/maturation of 1B Kendry Morales also gave the Angels a high level of expectation regarding their position players.
Finally, their bench and bullpen were also considered strengths, giving them the depth needed to push through a long 162 game schedule.
So, what happened? The wheels simply fell off the wagon. Kazmir lost his velocity and his location, Morales celebrated a walk-off homer all the way to the DL and beyond, and the bullpen stopped leaks about as effectively as a band-aid on a sliced carotid artery.
As the Angels played themselves out of contention in the AL West, management was left to ponder, and to look ahead to next season in early September, something they have not been used to doing.
Here is a breakdown of the Angels' roster: How they contributed to the demise of the 2010 season, what to look forward to next year, and we'll include a possible list of candidates available for the Angels in 2011.