Call them the new Evil Empire, call them scumbags, call them stupid, call them whatever you want—but, just do not call them losers.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are tired of being pushed out of the AL West. It is their division, and they are tired of sharing. So, what did they do? They put together one of the best baseball teams in history. First, let us look at the diamond.
C: Chris Ianetta
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Eric Aybar
3B: Mark Trumbo
LF: Peter Bourjos
CF: Mike Trout
RF: Vernon Wells
DH: Torii Hunter
Pretty ridiculous, right? And that is just my prediction—who knows what they will really look like. They can still deal Mark Trumbo or Kendry Morales, and that can open up even more doors for the boys in Anaheim.
The lineup has a lot of speed, which is perfect for that Mike Scioscia run and gun style. At the same time, the middle of the order packs a huge punch. It will be hard for any pitcher to get through these guys with a chance to breath.
Then we get to the real prize. I am surprised more people are not talking about this. The Angels have the best rotation in baseball, seriously. Philadelphia eat your heart out. Here are the Angels' new front four, and their 2011 stats:
1. Jered Weaver: 18-8, 2.41 ERA, 235.2 IP, 7.6 K/9
2. Dan Haren: 16-10, 3.17 ERA, 238.1 IP, 7.3 K/9
3. C.J. Wilson: 16-7, 2.94 ERA, 223.1 IP, 8.3 K/9
4. Ervin Santana: 11-12, 3.38 ERA, 228.2 IP, 7.0 K/9
One of the biggest issues plaguing the Angels in 2011 was lack of bullpen depth. Well, when you have four pitchers eating over 220 innings a piece, how often do you need to use the 'pen?
The bottom line is this is an Angels team ready to win in 2012. Granted, everyone said the same thing about the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, and the Boston Red Sox in 2011.Their teams were nothing like this. Neither team had the starting pitching that this team had, or the awesome offensive clout.
The Los Angeles Angels are officially in a league of their own.