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Buster Olney: Angels have 2nd-best lineup in the majors


jsnpritchett

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http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/buster-olney/post/_/id/9159?ex_cid=InsiderTwitter_olney_redsoxleadrankstop10lineups

 

Red Sox are first.  Here's the blurb on the Angels:

 

"2. Los Angeles Angels

The trade of Howie Kendrick will hurt the lineup, because amid the volatility of other parts of the lineup -- the inherent injury and age questions for Albert Pujols and the puzzle that Josh Hamilton has become -- Kendrick was a steady presence. In his nine-year career, his OPS ranged between .721 at the low end and .802 at the high end; he was solid, season after season. He is gone, and it'll be a challenge for the Angels to replace that consistency. The Angels' offense begins, of course, with the majors' best player, Mike Trout, who had 84 extra-base hits, 83 walks, 115 runs and 111 RBIs in 2014. Pujols had a really good bounce-back year, with 66 extra-base hits among 172 hits; he turns 35 this week."

 

On Monday and Tuesday, he ranked starting rotations and bullpens.  The Angels were outside the top 10 in each category, but received "Honorable Mentions" in both.

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I think all 3 aspects of our team could be top 5 in the majors personally. Our rotation (assuming Richards is healthy) and bullpen are as good as anyone's.

 

Sorry but this is simply not true. Off the top of my head, the Dodgers' rotation is significantly better.

 

Richards, Weaver, Shoemaker, Wilson, Heaney

 

Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson

Edited by Angelsjunky
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Sorry but this is simply not true. Off the top of my head, the Dodgers' rotation is significantly better.

Yeah, I think our rotation has a lot of potential, but also a lot of question marks. As much as I like both Richards and Shoemaker, anyone expecting them to repeat their seasons has unfairly high expectations. Wilson was terrible in the second half, and Tropeano and Heaney are unknowns.

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Red Sox were in dead last place in their division and 4th worst record in the AL in 2014, ranking 22nd in OPS and 18th in runs scored. I find it hard to believe they made enough acquisitions this off season to completely right that ship. I think Olney is taking their fluke worst to first from a couple years ago and assuming they can catch lightning in a bottle again.  

Edited by notti
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Sorry but this is simply not true. Off the top of my head, the Dodgers' rotation is significantly better.

 

Richards, Weaver, Shoemaker, Wilson, Heaney

 

Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson

 

 

Obviously the Dodgers is better, but I do believe ours can be around top 5. If Richards is healthy, Shoemaker repeats, Weaver continues to do what he does, Wilson improves even slightly or gets replaced, and Santiago/Heaney/Tropeano give an ERA under 4.00 that's pretty damn good no?

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Sorry but this is simply not true. Off the top of my head, the Dodgers' rotation is significantly better.

 

Richards, Weaver, Shoemaker, Wilson, Heaney

 

Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson

Agreed. Also, no guarantee Shoe keeps its up. Wilson is always a question mark. Weaver will regress a little more. Richards really is the only lock and even he is still questionable with one epic season on his resume. Lots of potential there but a lot of things have to go right for it to work.

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Our starting rotation has the ability to be a top 5 rotation if the following occurs:  Richards returns and steps right back to the production he showed last year, Shoemaker continues from 2014 production, Weaver keeps being Weaver, Wilson gets back on track, Heaney develops into a potential #2 (which scouts believe he can), Tropeano provides back end depth and valuable innings, and Santiago is more 2nd half than 1st half. 

 

If these things occur, or most of them, which is completely plausible, this rotation will be top 5. 

 

Our bullpen is great, but people tend to overlook it a little bit b/c we don't feature a ton of fireballers.  Our 8/9 inning guys are more finesse and control over power like the Royals. 

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How many posters on other boards are saying the same things about their lineup/rotation/bullpen right now?

So and so is going to have a bounce back year (he was injured last year but played through it obviously), the young kid will improve a little (not even take the next step), the old guy can hang on for another year, and everyone else just plays to their averages like they did last year and we're a top 5 lineup/rotation/bullpen!

Edited by eaterfan
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Yeah, I think our rotation has a lot of potential, but also a lot of question marks. As much as I like both Richards and Shoemaker, anyone expecting them to repeat their seasons has unfairly high expectations. Wilson was terrible in the second half, and Tropeano and Heaney are unknowns.

 

Obviously RIchards is the key..... beyond Richards health the defense will factor into things greatly IMO.  Last year the Angels pitching staff ranked 4th in MLB in OPS allowed, 7th in WHIP, 9th in FIP.   What they lack in individual talent they seemed to make up for with their defense and possibly they matched up vs the opposition.  There is potential there, there is also the possibility for regression but every team in baseball deals with that to some extent.

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if they perform like they did last year, they will be toward the upper part of the second tier.  both for the pen and SP.  

 

Don't expect Smith and Street to put up sub 2 eras again.  

The pen is solid at the top but a couple of guys in the middle need to step up.  Right now it's Rasmus, Santiago, Morin, Salas, Pestano, Mcbryde, Ramos, and Bedrosian.  Guys like Gott,and Deloach on the depth chart as well.  There is definitely talent and depth there, but a decent amount of unknown and potential variability.  

 

I have a hard time calling our rotation top 5.  If they end up there as the season progresses, it would not totally surprise me, but I wouldn't put them there to start.  Somewhere in the 10-15 range.  

 

I've got no problem with someone ranking Boston's offense #1.  

 

I wish Josh could give us just one really dominant season.  That would make us the best offense in baseball far and away.  But as they say, wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first.   

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I can't ****ing stand buster olney. I would've been happier if he didn't put the angels in the top 10.

 

Albert Pujols went from a 116 OPS+ to a 125 OPS+ last year.  He was also shit in the 2nd half.

Hardly a "really good bounce back season"

 

The only ESPN guy I can tolerate is Kieth law.

Edited by Poozy
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I have more faith in Pujols than Hackilton, but also convinced that Pujols will never again put up over an .850 OPS for a season.   

And it is true that 2014 was only a little bit better than 2013 for Pujols.

The OPS was only .023 better.   The overall stats look better because he played all of 2014 vs just 2/3 of 2013. 

The only much better thing was his being healthy in 2014.

Edited by Angel Oracle
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I honestly expect breakout seasons from Pujols and Hamilton. As far as rotation, Olney is right because of the question marks, however, our bullpen should be top 10.

 

Breakout seasons from a 35 and 33 year old? Dream on

 

If we get .800 OPS production out of both we should all be stoked. It's sad but true at this point

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