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First Base (still the elephant in the room)


Dtwncbad

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Not interested in bashing Pujols here.

I am just so acutely aware that the Angels really cannot COUNT ON Pujols for any specific number of games.

Will he be able to play 120 games or 20 games?

The pure reality is the team needs to be fully prepared for him not being able to play more than 20 games.

I don't really think this was nearly as obvious in previous years.  Common sense says the plan for this year needs to be different to not get caught with Pujols hurt and nobody decent ready to play everyday.

Is Daniel Murphy the solution? Do you trade for a Justin Smoak or Brandon Belt?

Is anyone else going to be bothered if we reach February and there is no other body on the roster you can envision playing first base for 140 games?

I understand the challenges of having a 1B only player fitting on the roster.  That creates other challenges.  But how does that compare to the challenge of Pujols going down with a fully predictable season-ending surgery on April 26th and having no backup plan?

Of course you need depth at every position but this is unique because it is so obvious that there is a huge risk that Pujols could be done for the season after 10 games.

It is reckless to not have a fully capable body ready from day one.

Fully capable.  Not "fill in for a bit" while somebody is on the 30 day DL.

They need to be fully capable of playing 140 games because it is so crystal clear that you cannot count on Pujols to be healthy for any number of games.

For all his imperfections (like OB%) that make him not ideal to sign him to play 3B, isn't Moustakas really a fairly savvy move considering he could just slide over to 1B if Pujols got hurt?

There must be a deliberate move made to cover the vulnerability.

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Just get an outfielder or infielder who can also play 1B and actually hit better than Pujols. It would be a waste of resources to get someone like Belt or Smoak, guys who are really only 1B, when there is zero chance if the Angels benching or cutting Pujols.

I agree that Moustakas makes sense here, despite his OBP. Put him at 3B, Cozart at 2B, with La Stella on the bench. When/if Pujols gets hurt, Moose can move to 1B, or if he’s ready, give Thaiss a shot. If Moose/Cozart gets hurt, you’ve got La Stella, Cozart, Ward, Fletcher, Rengifo ready to cover. 

Two years straight and Marte, Valbuena, Cowart, not JMF even were able to top Bert so that sort of tied our hands. Ideally, Thaiss starts showing he’s ready for a chance by midseason. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

Not interested in bashing Pujols here.

I am just so acutely aware that the Angels really cannot COUNT ON Pujols for any specific number of games.

Will he be able to play 120 games or 20 games?

The pure reality is the team needs to be fully prepared for him not being able to play more than 20 games.

I don't really think this was nearly as obvious in previous years.  Common sense says the plan for this year needs to be different to not get caught with Pujols hurt and nobody decent ready to play everyday.

Is Daniel Murphy the solution? Do you trade for a Justin Smoak or Brandon Belt?

Is anyone else going to be bothered if we reach February and there is no other body on the roster you can envision playing first base for 140 games?

I understand the challenges of having a 1B only player fitting on the roster.  That creates other challenges.  But how does that compare to the challenge of Pujols going down with a fully predictable season-ending surgery on April 26th and having no backup plan?

Of course you need depth at every position but this is unique because it is so obvious that there is a huge risk that Pujols could be done for the season after 10 games.

It is reckless to not have a fully capable body ready from day one.

Fully capable.  Not "fill in for a bit" while somebody is on the 30 day DL.

They need to be fully capable of playing 140 games because it is so crystal clear that you cannot count on Pujols to be healthy for any number of games.

For all his imperfections (like OB%) that make him not ideal to sign him to play 3B, isn't Moustakas really a fairly savvy move considering he could just slide over to 1B if Pujols got hurt?

There must be a deliberate move made to cover the vulnerability.

It depends on how many peanuts they give him

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Yeah the only real option here is to have some kind of plan B.    I dont think anyone thinks hes going to play moire than maybe 100 games at most as 1B.  
We need someone that can fill in the rest, preferably who can also play the OF in case Kole's tips return.  
 

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To expand the discussion, it would also be reckless to assume Kole will be fine for 150 games in right.

You can't trade Pujols but you can trade Kole.  I think Kole needs to be traded.

I just can't stomach these huge risk situations.

Imagine if Kole hits .161 for the first six weeks and Pujols needs foot surgery.

OMG the Angel's would have two huge black holes on the lineup in Mid May.

Is there some small amount of paranoia here?  Maybe.  But maybe not.  I can see this as not really far fetched at all.

This team needs to be prepared for that.

 

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It is hard to talk about first base and improving the team without bashing Pujols. Best-case scenario and he is a replacement level player. This means that 1B may be the position that could be most improved by simply bringing in an average player. In other words, the gap between Pujols and an average regular (2-3 WAR) is probably larger than at any other position, if the Angels fill everything from within - with the probable exception of catcher. But Cowart/Fletcher/Rengifo at 2B and 3B, and Calhoun in RF, should all be at least close to average.

That said, I don't think the Angels do anything drastic, but instead hope that Walsh or Thaiss can step in if Albert either gets a real or mystery injury, and provide at least replacement level production. But I'd like to think that they can do better than that, and at least push it to the average level.

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4 minutes ago, Dtwncbad said:

I just barfed in my mouth a little.

Here is your likely infield starters (sans C) opening day:

1B - Pujols 

2B - Fletcher

3B - Cozart

SS - Simmons

with Ward and La Stella on the bench with holes at Catcher, SP and BP left to fill.

Not saying I like it, just saying you probably aren't going to see much different than that unless a major shake-up happens.

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29 minutes ago, floplag said:

Yeah the only real option here is to have some kind of plan B.    I dont think anyone thinks hes going to play moire than maybe 100 games at most as 1B.  
We need someone that can fill in the rest, preferably who can also play the OF in case Kole's tips return.  
 

Plan B is probably Thaiss. To platoon with Pujols. To be honest, i think starting pitching  is the biggest problem.

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10 minutes ago, greginpsca said:

Plan B is probably Thaiss. To platoon with Pujols. To be honest, i think starting pitching  is the biggest problem.

I think an argument could be mode for a third of the lineup under producing being as large a problem, but its moot.  we need both. 

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depth chart?  

1b - Pujols, La Stella, Ward/Thaiss, Calhoun, Cozart, Thaiss
2b - Fletcher, Cozart, La Stella, Rengifo
3b - Cozart, Fletcher, La Stella
SS - Simmons, Cozart, Fletcher
RF - Calhoun, Bourjos, ?, Adell
C - Smith, Briceno, ?

Personally think this is what Eppler is seeing.  We need additional OF depth in the short term and at C.  

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1 hour ago, Dochalo said:

I know people aren't going to like this, but I think La Stella is going to be that guy.  

He's played 1 out of 1st base in the majors, in 2017.

I see Kole being that guy unless they sign Marwin Gonzalez or another inf/of guy.

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It's why I was advocating for a RF on a 1 year deal. So Kole could play 70-100 games at 1st if needed. Although they have Thaiss and Walsh in the minors ready to play 1st, I suppose. Walsh I think has played some OF.

But I still like a 1b/OF guy like Gonzalez, Unless they think Adell is going to pull a version of Trout's 2012 season. But I do think that's a year early. Guys like Juan Soto or Bryce Harper have done it at this age though. Soto was born in October, so he like Trout is after the cut-off. For those that get caught up in the "Age" Season, Adell is born in April, while Trout is in August and the cut off is in July 1.

This past year was Adell's 2nd in the minors, his third will be 2019. We saw Trout in his third in 2011, but he wasn't full time until his 4th, in 2012.

Thaiss and/or Walsh make the most sense to be called up if Pujols can't play 1st on an extended basis, but Adell could be called up midway through the season, and likely will, if Kole Or Upton has an injury or Kole or Bourjos underperforms.

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1 minute ago, Hubs said:

It's why I was advocating for a RF on a 1 year deal. So Kole could play 70-100 games at 1st if needed. Although they have Thaiss and Walsh in the minors ready to play 1st, I suppose. Walsh I think has played some OF.

But I still like a 1b/OF guy like Gonzalez, Unless they think Adell is going to pull a version of Trout's 2012 season. But I do think that's a year early. Guys like Juan Soto or Bryce Harper have done it at this age though. Soto was born in October, so he like Trout is after the cut-off. For those that get caught up in the "Age" Season, Adell is born in April, while Trout is in August and the cut off is in July 1.

This past year was Adell's 2nd in the minors, his third will be 2019. We saw Trout in his third in 2011, but he wasn't full time until his 4th, in 2012.

Thaiss and/or Walsh make the most sense to be called up if Pujols can't play 1st on an extended basis, but Adell could be called up midway through the season, and likely will, if Kole Or Upton has an injury or Kole or Bourjos underperforms.

This makes no sense.  If Kole is hitting well enough to be in the lineup every day, then utilize his excellent defense in right field.

And completely aside from that point, the "answer" to being paranoid about getting no offensibe production from 1B cannot be a guy that was literally the worst offensive player in baseball for half the season last year.

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9 minutes ago, Hubs said:

He's played 1 out of 1st base in the majors, in 2017.

I see Kole being that guy unless they sign Marwin Gonzalez or another inf/of guy.

and Cozart never played 3b in his entire career.  

they also tried Marte in the OF and he never played an out there even in the minors.  

fletcher played his first 8 games at 3b in AAA this year before coming up and playing 33 there at the big league level.  

Ward was a C his entire career and played 3b for the first time this year well enough to play at the major league level.  

1b is not a stretch for a guy who has played 3b.  

Who are we putting in RF if Kole plays 1b?  He's a gold glove defender out there.  

Eppler doesn't have an issue with moving guys around.  

oh, and there is almost no chance of us signing Gonzalez unless his price tanks and he's a hot stove leftover.  

 

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