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Do we have the deepest lineup in MLB?


QuinlansMinion

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Calhoun is one of the best leadoff hitters in the AL.  Trout is the MVP, leading the league in runs and RBI from the 2 spot.  Pujols 800+ OPS and should drive in over 100.  Then you have Aybar, Kendrick, and Ianetta who are solid for their position.  Freese who is streaky at best.  Hamilton or Cowgill in left field.  

 

Compared to other teams like Detroit and Baltimore, their lineups are mainly a 2 or 3 man attack at best.  

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The Angels have only one true star, but then a bunch of players who are having good to very good seasons. To put that into fWAR, they have one player at 6.9 and five players ranging from 2.9 to 3.6. And that doesn't include Freese, Cowgill, Hamilton and Cron - all of whom have contributed to varying degrees and in various ways. And then you have solid bench players in Cowgill, Conger, Green, Navarro, and Beckham.

 

So yeah, a deep lineup and bench. Deep bullpen too, but paper-thin rotation. But Weaver, Santiago and Shoemaker are all performing like solid #3 types, which with the other aspects of the team so strong might be enough to pull this off.

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If you call Trout, Calhoun and Pujols our three best hitters, the true strength of this team comes in the secondary offensive talent - which is seemingly never ending. Kendrick, Aybar, Iannetta and Hamilton are all above average hitters for their position, Cron, Green and Cowgill are all very useful then there's a handful of bench guys who are more than capable with the bat.

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The Angels have only one true star, but then a bunch of players who are having good to very good seasons. To put that into fWAR, they have one player at 6.9 and five players ranging from 2.9 to 3.6. And that doesn't include Freese, Cowgill, Hamilton and Cron - all of whom have contributed to varying degrees and in various ways. And then you have solid bench players in Cowgill, Conger, Green, Navarro, and Beckham.

 

So yeah, a deep lineup and bench. Deep bullpen too, but paper-thin rotation. But Weaver, Santiago and Shoemaker are all performing like solid #3 types, which with the other aspects of the team so strong might be enough to pull this off.

 

Summed it up perfectly.

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Here's where the Angels starting players rank in fWAR and wRC+ among all major leaguers with at least 300 PA:

 

Position (# of players with 300+ PA): Angels player - fWAR rank, wRC+ rank

C (28): Iannetta - 8th, 5th

1B (33): Pujols - 7th, 13th

2B (29): Kendrick - 9th, 8th

SS (29): Aybar - 3rd, 6th

3B (34): Freese - 23rd, 22nd

RF (38): Calhoun- 8th, 8th

CF (40): Trout - 1st, 1st

LF (40): Hamilton - 28th, 22nd

DH (25): Cron - 13th, 9th

 

(I had to decrease PA to 200 for DHs to get Cron in there)

 

As you can see, the Angels rank in the top third at every position except for 3B, LF, and DH. That's pretty good.

 

This list also illuminates just how poor, or mediocre if we want to be nice, Hamilton and Freese have been. It also shows us how good Aybar has been, and how Pujols is still solid but a far cry from what he was.

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This team is becoming more and more similar to the 2002 team. 

They got off to a slow start in April.

Bullpen emerged in a big way by mid-season.

A bunch of solid, not spectacular, hitters make up a deep lineup.   Salmon, GA, and Glaus all hit between 22 and 30 HRs, nothing spectacular for the juiced hitters era.  The rotation is made up of decent/solid guys who weren't spectacular. 

The bench contributed a lot.

Defense was solid.

 

The only current differences between 2002 and 2014: 

This pen is deeper.

Washburn in 2002 was statistically better than anyone in this current rotation.  GRich was of course better this season than Washburn was in 2002.

Trout is better statistically this season, than any Halos hitter was in 2002.

Edited by Angel Oracle
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I have this horrible fear they may bomb out in the ALDS. We really need them to at least do 6 IP 3 ER, hopefully better as they have shown over the last several weeks!

If I were Scioscia, I'd carry the thinnest bench possible in order to put as many relievers in the pen as possible. I'd probably carry only a back up catcher (Conger), middle infielder (McDonald or Beckham), and a guy who can play corner outfield and first base (like Navarro). And maybe Campana for his speed.

I'd also try to carry only three starting pitchers.

Doing both of those things would allow keeping 9 guys in the pen, which would allow for keeping a guy like Pestano or Bedrosian.

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The Angels have only one true star, but then a bunch of players who are having good to very good seasons. To put that into fWAR, they have one player at 6.9 and five players ranging from 2.9 to 3.6. And that doesn't include Freese, Cowgill, Hamilton and Cron - all of whom have contributed to varying degrees and in various ways. And then you have solid bench players in Cowgill, Conger, Green, Navarro, and Beckham.

So yeah, a deep lineup and bench. Deep bullpen too, but paper-thin rotation. But Weaver, Santiago and Shoemaker are all performing like solid #3 types, which with the other aspects of the team so strong might be enough to pull this off.

Yes the rotation is thin, but I think Dipoto is applying the principle found here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/play-in-game-strategy-skip-the-starter/

By rolling out a "starting pitcher" who only pitches 2-3 innings (Rasmus) and then using our aforementioned deep bullpen, as AJ noted, we can minimize the opposing team's platoon advantage and throw out pitchers (relievers) who can as Dave Cameron stated in the article above, "Air out 15-20 pitches each inning" at max effort.

So in a sense the rotation isn't quite as bad as it appears. Frankly I think if teams had enough roster space they'd have a reliever out there every inning. The September roster expansions have made this strategy possible and the Angels are well positioned with the callups and acquisitions of good relievers.

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This team is becoming more and more similar to the 2002 team. 

They got off to a slow start in April.

Bullpen emerged in a big way by mid-season.

A bunch of solid, not spectacular, hitters make up a deep lineup.   Salmon, GA, and Glaus all hit between 22 and 30 HRs, nothing spectacular for the juiced hitters era.  The rotation is made up of decent/solid guys who weren't spectacular. 

The bench contributed a lot.

Defense was solid.

 

The only current differences between 2002 and 2014: 

This pen is deeper.

Washburn in 2002 was statistically better than anyone in this current rotation.  GRich was of course better this season than Washburn was in 2002.

Trout is better statistically this season, than any Halos hitter was in 2002.

 

And Kole Calhoun is our version of David Eckstein, but with a lot more power.

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Trout - Erstad

Hamilton - GA

Pujols - Glaus

Aybar - Eckstein

HK - AK

Calhoun - Spiezio

Ianetta - Bengie

Freese - Salmon 

Weaver - Washburn

Shoemaker - Lackey 

Santiago - Sele?

Wilson - Ortiz?

Street - Percival

Morin - KRod

Smith - Shields

 

 

Yeah I tried.

Where does Jeppy fit in to all this?

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