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Make Angels Great Again - GotBeer is Crazy 2017


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For those that don't know, yes GB is insane.  GB also is not a big advanced stats guy.  GB also likes run differential.  So I will go ahead and make my Make the Angels Great (ok, maybe not great, but not embarrassing?) Again, going the Trump route and making shit up as I go.

Simply put.  Every year, teams with a positive run differential is most often making the playoffs.  Angels have a crap farm system, and don't seem to like to spend a lot of money with big splashes anymore.  So going on the can't trade and no big money guys route. 


Angels are 10th in the AL in Runs scored at 640 runs.  Difference between 10th and 5th (Mariners) is 60 runs.  So looking at it position by position.

RF and CF.  We are in the tops here so it ain't broke, don't touch.  1B/DH.  Pujols is anchoring one of those positions.  And Cron with his 45 Runs and 63 RBI's, I give a pass, and think he will improve by at least 10-15 Runs next season.  3B Escobar.  Glove isn't that great, but still 60 runs is about right for his position.  Next season, hoping a bit higher, but at least he fits the leadoff roll. 

C and SS.  Defense first.  SS is just a bonus.  C is same thing.  So platoonstones and take what we can get.

That leaves LF and 2B.  This music sounds familiar. 

LF, we are ranked 28th in the league with 56 runs from that position.  3 people might be available this offseason that would fit the bill.  2 were given QO's last offseason, and not sure if they will be given QO's this offseason (1 has to opt out).  First up, Ian Desmond.  Career .745 OPS, .316 OBP, will be about a 2-3 WAR.  104 runs this season, but it's probably a fluke/Texas.  He's more of a mid 60-70 in the runs department.  Texas may give him a QO, but again, he's on the fringe.  He's probably a $12-14 million a season player.  Next up, Dexter Fowler.  He'd have to opt out first.  Career .786 OPS, .365 OBP, hovers around a 2 war.  74 runs this year, which is right around his average.  If he opts out, i'd say he's about a $12-14 million a season player.  And the final player.  Angel Pagan.  (As @Angel Oracle screams, noooo no old guys)  This is a stretch band aid, 1 year deal.  Career .738/.330 with about a 1 WAR.  64 runs this year, in the high 50's.  Not much of a improvement, so probably more of a peanut move and not worth considering. 

2B.  Again, ranked 28th, with 58 runs from that position.  Only one person comes up in this one.  And AO may drop dead with this guy.  The only FA I could come up with is 37 year old Chase Utley.  Yeah, that's how bad the market will be.  But he's still a semi productive guy.  .712 OPS, .320 OBP, 1.6 WAR and 74 runs.  With his age, you can do a one year deal and get him on the cheap. 

Cheap options, that might get us close to the 5th spot in the AL, with nothing lost on the farm.

Starting Pitching

Man, this season was rough, and it will roll off into next season.  Really, I am only seeing one starter for next season.  Whichever of Richards or Skaggs arm doesn't fall off.  I'm not even counting on Shoemaker anymore, because he has more important things to worry about.  Starting pitching, we were ranked 24th in the MLB in ER.  To jump to 10th in the entire MLB we'd just have to shave 29 ER off.  Say 400 ER/5.  80- ER's a season pitchers is what we need.  To put it in perspective, Weaver is at 96, and Shoemaker -2 starts was at 69. 

So only two people in the FA class really fit this bill.  One might be too expensive, and the other may be a collective nooooo.  Ivan Nova.  Career 4.27 ERA, 1.36 WHIP.  This guy will be a chance.  But after his injury in 2014.  he seems to be improving.  He was also traded this year, so no fear of QO.  He could be a at best 3 but probably more of a 4-5 position starter, and hopefully is paid like one.  Just think of him as a bridge till 2018-19 when we might have some people healthy. 

Now the pitchfork and torch player.  RA Dickey.  41 years old.  4.46 ERA, 1.37 WHIP.  84 ER.  The market is that bad.  But a one year, cheap deal.  Consider this.  Knuckleball, indoors.  Doesn't quite fit.  His away splits this season, 3.57 ERA, 32 ER.  We need semi-capable bodies. 

After these two, I'm really at a loss.  Maybe some Asian pitchers?  We really need more bodies that are semi capable. 

Relief Pitching

This is where I draw a complete blank.  But we need to improve here quite a bit.  Surprisingly, we were only ranked 20th in this category this year.  27 ER seperate us from 10th. 


Yeah, we are still screwed.  Might not improve our team much at all.  Hiiting side we need 60 more runs.  And pitching side, we need to prevent 56 runs.  Oddly, if we did that, we would be at 700 RS and 631 RA for a differential of +69 which would put us on top of the division at least.  Man, this game is easy.  :P

But the sad reality is, we have $100 million already committed to 2017.  You have Richards, Cahoun, and Shoemaker in arbitration, and 2 of them might not contribute much next season.  That puts us at $115 million.  $164 million this season, so the difference should be about $49 million to spend.  Sounds like a lot.  But even going the above cheap route:

  • Fowler/Desmond $12-14 million
  • Kinsler $3-4 million (he got paid $7 million this season)
  • Nova $10-14 million
  • Dickey $3-4 million (he got paid $12 million this season)

So cheapest is $28 million.  Which would leave $21 million for another starter and some relievers.  That's how bad the situation is right now. 

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I'm really not interested in Desmond. The guy didn't sign until February, he's playing in Texas, and I'm just not buying his success, at least for the payday he will receive. And he will cost a draft pick. No way the Rangers don't offer him one. He may get the second biggest contract this offseason.

Fowler will probably get a QO - doesn't necessarily deter me, but doesn't bump him to the topping less. Agree with Pagan being a quiet, unexciting option, but he may come cheap we don't need much to drastically improve LF. Jon Jay, Rajai Davis, and Saunders fit here too.

Love Nova. Nova, Prado, and Jay shouldn't break the bank and would offer up a lot improvements.

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Thanks GB.  Good to create some talking points about next years team.  I am not sure, however, why you chose to evaluate offense with runs score by an individual player.  If you took our LFer and put him at the top of the lineup, he'd probably score 90 runs regardless of his ability.  To get a better baseline of our true LF production, we can look at weighted runs created (wRC) or wRC+. 

We created 34 runs from the left field position which was worst in the league and 10 less than the next closest. Or wRC+ is 54.  Still dead last.   Ian Desmond has created 87 runs this year and has a wRC+ of 109.  So when you factor in his home park, he's about 10% above average.  A nice player, but not worth 100mil.  His career wRC+ is 101.  An average player overall having a solid season.   

The LF position is oddly weak across baseball.  Only 11 teams produced at or above league average offensively.  There are actually quite a few LF platoons.  The mariners got avg production from a combo of Seth Smith and Nori Aoki.  The Giants with Angel Pagan and a random assortment of others.  Jay is a nice choice with a career wRC+ of 107.  But he'll be entering his 32 yo season and has injury issues.  A 1-2yr deal would be great, but not sure that's feasible.  

From 2b, we created 47 runs with an wRC+ of 73.  Third worst in baseball.  There are a lot of top quality 2bmen around the league right now.  I like Prado, but he's been primarily a 3bman for the last 4 years and hasn't really seen much time at 2b since 2010.  He's entering his 33yo season so I am not sure there would be an intent to move him back to 2b at this point in his career, but it's worth a look on a shorter term deal.  

Frankly, the above two positions are pretty easy fixes.  A decent player at each provides tremendous improvement.  Pitching is where it gets really tricky.  

If you take a look at our current roster of guys not on the DL, our best starting pitcher is probably Nolasco.  Skaggs and Meyer have potential, but we've seen some pretty significant highs and lows from them on top of injury issues.  Not to mention the questionable return of Richards and how Shoe is going to be going forward.  Skaggs and Nolasco are the only two players currently on the roster and not on the DL who have been above replacement and not by a large margin.  (less than one win each actually).  The FA market blows and we have almost nothing in terms of prospects that will truly help us next year.   I am not sure I would commit more than a year to any FA starter.  I like Nova, but is it really worth it?  There is a very good chance that our rotation next year could be Skaggs, Meyer, Nolasco, and then a whole mess of others like Wright, Oberholtzer, Chacin etc.  I am not sure adding Nova to that moves the needle anywhere close to positive.  

It's pretty much the same story with the pen.  I presume Street will be back, but he may be ineffective once again.  Valdez, Ramirez, Morin, Guerra, Achter, Bailey, and Ege just aren't very good.  Alvarez is probably ok if he only faced lefties, but that's not how he gets used.  I still have some hope for Rasmus but he's made of glass, and now our only effective pen arm is coming off significant surgery.  If you got rid of every player in the pen sans Bedrock and replaced them with random scrap heap minor league free agents, you'd probably get similar production to what we got this year.  Again, one arm isn't going to move the needle.  

I think 2017 becomes a massive tryout.  Bring in as many cast off failed prospects as possible and see how many you can get to stick for 2018 when we will get back at least some of our injured starters.  The FA market will also have more options at that point.  It's gonna suck, but we have to be realistic.  



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I would just like to go through an entire season where three or four of our starters don't have their arms fall off.

What is the problem with pitchers today (or the training staffs) that their elbow ligaments blow out at the least bit of stress? Correct that problem, or at least try to address it, and I'll be a happy camper.

All the other stuff is gravy. We need a starting rotation sans Wright, Oberholtzer, Chacin, and the like. 



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@Dochalo Naw, I agree that other stats are probably better.  I'm pretty simple though when it comes to stats.  I like the old stuff.  Just easier for me to take a look at. 

Desmond.  Got to remember, he was offered a QO last year, and nobody bit till late when they got a discount.  I don't think he will come close to $100 million.  I think he's more of a $12-14 million, and for 4-5 years, if we can get either Fowler or Desmond, I think it improves our bats considerably.  I'm almost at a point that if we have to lose a second rounder and only spend that $12-14 for 4-5 years, it would be worth it.  It would be better not losing any pick.  But I think if those two are given QO, then there is value to be had, because as last year showed, teams won't want to lose their first.  Especially not for a non-superstar.

As for starting pitching.  I really think we have to look at Nova.  He had the injury in 2014.  But this year he seems to be over it.  He won't be an ace or even a #2.  If we get him for $10-14 for 4 or 5 years, (he might get more due to how bad the market it)  that would fit in well with 2018 when hopefully everyone's arm is sewn back on.  And I think it goes without saying that everyone's arm isn't going to be sewn on well. 

I'm actually just hoping that we are at least competitive for the wild card next year.  But not hurting our future chances by making a big splash, or trading what little farm we have.  2018 is where I think we will have a shot at the division. 

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49 minutes ago, fan_since79 said:

I would just like to go through an entire season where three or four of our starters don't have their arms fall off.

What is the problem with pitchers today (or the training staffs) that their elbow ligaments blow out at the least bit of stress? Correct that problem, or at least try to address it, and I'll be a happy camper.

I might be completely wrong, but it seems like Angels pitchers have suffered more injuries arm wise than any other organization, for at least the past decade.

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Looking at Japan, nothing much right now.  I would think closer to posting time, more articles will come out.  Two articles I found though.




Naoki Miyanishi, LHP, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
Ht/Wt: 5’11”/165       B/T: L/L          Age: 31

... Although the sidewinding lefty struggled a bit in his first season out of the Fighters’ bullpen (4.76 ERA and only 25 Ks in 45.1 IP), he has hasn’t posted an ERA above 2.89 since then, or appeared in less than 50 games in a season. .....

Miyanishi is off to a great start in 2016 with a 1.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 13 holds in 20 appearances (13.2 IP). ....he features a fastball that tops out at 87-to-88 mph that he pairs with a sweeping slider and a curveball.

 -Mike Shubin


Takayuki Kishi, RHP, Saitama Seibu Lions (Pacific League, NPB)
Ht/Wt: 5’11”/170          B/T: R/R          Age: 31


Kishi has been no stranger to the DL in recent years –an arm injury limited him to only 16 starts in 2015, and he spent almost two months on the shelf this season with a calf injury. Once healthy, he turned in two subpar outings in mid-June before reeling off three straight starts of at least seven innings of one run ball. His strikeout numbers this year are slightly below his career norm (81 Ks in 106.2 IP) and his walks are a bit up (2.7 BB/9 after 4 consecutive seasons with a BB/9 of 2.0 or lower), but his season’s ERA and WHIP are 2.79 and 1.28, .....

Kishi’s fastball sits around 89-to-91 mph and maxes out at 93-to-94 mph, and he can command it to both sides of the plate against both lefties and righties. He also throws a slow 12-to-6 curveball, a slider that he can vary the break on, and a changeup that may be his best pitch. While he doesn’t have the same mid-to-upper 90s fastball that Matsuzaka featured during his NPB career (or the infamous gyroball), his mechanics and pitching style are very reminiscent of the Lions’ former ace.

........Given his injury history, an incentive-laden deal similar to the one that Maeda signed with the Dodgers (with fewer years) is certainly a possibility. He’s not on the level of Yu Darvish (RHP, Rangers) or Masahiro Tanaka (RHP, Yankees), but Kishi could be an attractive back-end of the rotation starter for a number of teams. – Mike Shubin


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1 hour ago, CaliAngel said:

I might be completely wrong, but it seems like Angels pitchers have suffered more injuries arm wise than any other organization, for at least the past decade.

Off the top of my head, the Dodgers, Braves, Athletics, Rangers, and possibly Yankees, Mets, Royals, Diamondbacks, and Padres probably could say the same thing.

We just had the (un)fortunate luck of it all happening over an 18 month stretch or so, 24 months if you go back to Skaggs' initial TJ. 

It's devastated the staff for a couple seasons, but I could see it being preferable to a constant stream of injuries over multiple seasons. 

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1 hour ago, CaliAngel said:

I might be completely wrong, but it seems like Angels pitchers have suffered more injuries arm wise than any other organization, for at least the past decade.

Your first guess was spot on...

07 -- 4 guys made at least 26 starts, two others made 18 (Colon and Saunders)

08 -- 4 guys made at least 30 starts, the 5th starter made 24 (Lackey)

09 -- 3 guys made at least 27 starts, the 4th made 24.   The 5th starter had been a revolving door all season until they traded for a 5th..  Scott Kazmir

10 -- 4 guys made at least 30 starts, the 4th made 20 (Piniero).   Saunders was traded for Haren among the first four.   

11 -- 3 guys made at least 33 starts, the other two no less than 24 (Chatwood and Piniero)

12 -- 4 guys made at least 30 starts, the final spot was split between Richards and Williams until they acquired Grienke

13 -- 4 guys made at least 24 starts, the issue wasn't arm injuries, it was a lack of performance (Blanton, Hanson)  Weaver got hit by a batted ball.

14 -- 4 guys made at least 24 starts, Skaggs made 18, Shoemaker made 20.

15 -- 4 guys made at least 24 starts, Heaney made 18. CJ Wilson 21.

So, prior to this season the big arm injuries were Skaggs in 14, and CJ Wilson's chronic bone chips.


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