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The Plan and the Reality


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Jered Weaver was not supposed to break his arm and miss two months.

 

There was no way to know that Tommy Hanson would miss a good part of the first two months on bereavement.

 

C.J. Wilson was supposed to bounce back from his disappointing 2012 season and be an excellent #2 starter, not have slightly worse numbers than last year.

 

Joe Blanton was not supposed to be this bad.

 

Ryan Madson was supposed to be pitching by now, not shut down for probably several more months at least.

 

Sean Burnett was not supposed to be a china doll.

 

Josh Hamilton was supposed to rake, not strike out nearly 30% of the time and have an OPS 200 points lower than his career average.

 

Peter Bourjos was supposed to be an everyday outfielder, not pull a hamstring in the first month and be lost for an extended time.

 

 

 

 

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Jered Weaver was not supposed to break his arm and miss two months.

 

There was no way to know that Tommy Hanson would miss a good part of the first two months on bereavement.

 

C.J. Wilson was supposed to bounce back from his disappointing 2012 season and be an excellent #2 starter, not have slightly worse numbers than last year.

 

Joe Blanton was not supposed to be this bad.

 

Ryan Madson was supposed to be pitching by now, not shut down for probably several more months at least.

 

Sean Burnett was not supposed to be a china doll.

 

Josh Hamilton was supposed to rake, not strike out nearly 30% of the time and have an OPS 200 points lower than his career average.

 

Peter Bourjos was supposed to be an everyday outfielder, not pull a hamstring in the first month and be lost for an extended time.

 

JW - agreed

Hanson - and there was no guarantee he wasn't going to be anything more than a thinner version of Joe Blanton

CJ - Wishful thinking

Blanton - And if my uncle had tits he'd be my aunt. In a staff full of #5 starters, adding him was pouring salt on the wound

Madson - If he was depth...that's a fine risk to take. In a bullpen as shaky as the Angels, counting on him as a key part was a poor risk o take

Burnett - Wasn't he coming off injury as well?

Hamilton - agreed

Bourjos - He was doing better than I thought

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Other teams have just as bad, and worse, injury problems to top players, and just as many

under-preforming "stars"...and still manage to win ballgames and remain competitive.

Texas and NYY come to mind.

So why are the Angels struggling just to get to .500?

What's the difference?

IMHO it is all about the organization. Not only depth of "talent", but coaching throughout the organization,

top to bottom. Scouting should not be ignored either.

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Some managers can adjust between expectations and reality. Some managers have the nads to bench

high paid "stars" who are striking out and laughing. Some managers will sit a high paid star who cant run,

until they can play.

Some managers can get amazing results from no-name bullpens.

Some managers can control their stubborn ways, in order to make effective changes

Some can't.

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The plan was that Blanton would be able to utilize his pitch to contact skills(whatever that means) to induce a lot of pop flies that our elite defensive outfielders could get to. The opposite has basically happened.

 

His line drive percentage has barely dropped off from an all time high last year but his strikeout rate completely fell off so we're seeing way more hard hit balls put in play. 

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Jered Weaver was not supposed to break his arm and miss two months.

 

There was no way to know that Tommy Hanson would miss a good part of the first two months on bereavement.

 

C.J. Wilson was supposed to bounce back from his disappointing 2012 season and be an excellent #2 starter, not have slightly worse numbers than last year.

 

Joe Blanton was not supposed to be this bad.

 

Ryan Madson was supposed to be pitching by now, not shut down for probably several more months at least.

 

Sean Burnett was not supposed to be a china doll.

 

Josh Hamilton was supposed to rake, not strike out nearly 30% of the time and have an OPS 200 points lower than his career average.

 

Peter Bourjos was supposed to be an everyday outfielder, not pull a hamstring in the first month and be lost for an extended time.

 

Weaver agree.  That was a fluke injury.

Hanson agree.  Feel bad for the guy.  

CJ disagree.  Look at CJ's WHIP throughout his career.  His contract year was a huge blip in the radar.  

Blanton disagree.  We knew he would be bad.

Madson disagree.  Deep down, our med staff doesn't have the greatest track record.  Knew this might happen.

Burnett agree.  He's had at least 69 gp in the last 4 years.

Hamilton agree.  I expected a drop due to Arlington vs Angels Stadium, but not as bad as he is doing.  

Bourjos agree.  He was surpasing his 2011 numbers, much to the shagrin of many of the haters.

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Jerome Williams was not supposed to the best "starter" or have the lowest ERA

 

Jason Vargas was not supposed to make it seem like Dipoto fleeced the Mariners

 

Robert Coello was not supposed to be a solid member of the bullpen

 

Mark Trumbo was supposed to be traded for pitching help if it were up to people on this board

 

Chris Iannetta was not supposed to be ranked 4th in OPS despite batting only .220

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Other teams have just as bad, and worse, injury problems to top players, and just as many

under-preforming "stars"...and still manage to win ballgames and remain competitive.

Texas and NYY come to mind.

So why are the Angels struggling just to get to .500?

What's the difference?

IMHO it is all about the organization. Not only depth of "talent", but coaching throughout the organization,

top to bottom. Scouting should not be ignored either.

you gave us your opinion.  In my opinion its lack of depth.  Yes, Texas can over come injuries because their farm depth is one of the best in the majors.  I do not know enough about the Yanks to say the same thing. 

 

The Angels, we knew had poor depth so for the Angels to compete they had to stay healthy.

 

Teams with deeper farms can absorb injuries, teams with weak farms can't.

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Some managers can adjust between expectations and reality. Some managers have the nads to bench

high paid "stars" who are striking out and laughing. Some managers will sit a high paid star who cant run,

until they can play.

Some managers can get amazing results from no-name bullpens.

Some managers can control their stubborn ways, in order to make effective changes

Some can't.

which managers have benched their high priced stars?  

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There were a few key components that were necessary to this team's success.

 

1.  The SP lacks talent and depth.  So the starting five needed to be consistent, keep the team in the games and pitch a bunch of innings.

 

Reality:  nope.  Two of your five starters out, on of which was your #1 and by far your best pitcher.  Depth painfully exposed.  With everyone back now, my guess is that even if Williams is move out of the rotation, Blanton will have a pretty short leash.

 

2.  The offense was supposed to carry the team. Led by Pujols, Hamilton and Trout

 

Reality:  nope.  Pujols and Hamilton have been between not very good to god awful.  At least Trout is Trout and Trumbo is becoming more reliable. 

 

3.  The bullpen was supposed to lock down games where we had a lead and keep us in ones we didn't

 

Reality:  nope.  Burnett, Madsen and Jep injuries hurt.  Again, a lack of depth exposed. 

 

4.  The team as a whole, needed to play good fundamental aggressive baseball. 

 

Reality:  nope.  defense has been better but still hasn't been great and the baserunning has been awful. 

 

It has all gone wrong. 

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which managers have benched their high priced stars?  

Most managers are able to convince injured and hobbled players to rest, at least now and then,

until they can be a valuable part of the team on the field.

Albert Pujols tells Scioscia when and where he will play.

Then again, he is Arte's "partner", so that makes sense, right?

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my replies inline in bold:

 

Jered Weaver was not supposed to break his arm and miss two months.

 

I didn't expect the broken arm but I did expect Weaver, who had back isuses last year, to put up a sub-par season similar to what happened with Dan Haren when he was with the Angels

 

There was no way to know that Tommy Hanson would miss a good part of the first two months on bereavement.

 

Hanson was suspiciously cheap (straight up for walden). I expected similar results as with Weaver

 

C.J. Wilson was supposed to bounce back from his disappointing 2012 season and be an excellent #2 starter, not have slightly worse numbers than last year.

 

I expected something in between his first half and second half last year

 

Joe Blanton was not supposed to be this bad.

 

The Blanton deal looked so bad on paper when it happened, I actually assumed he'd pitch fairly well for us. I believe there must have been some hidden angle or inside information to that effect to convinve Dipoto to pay Blanton $15M 

 

Ryan Madson was supposed to be pitching by now, not shut down for probably several more months at least.

 

I expected this to happen, getting any productive play from Madson would be an unexpected suprise 

 

Sean Burnett was not supposed to be a china doll.

 

A bit surprised by this

 

Josh Hamilton was supposed to rake, not strike out nearly 30% of the time and have an OPS 200 points lower than his career average.

 

I'm surprised at how bad Hamilton has been.  He single handedly killed many rallies and cost the Angels a lot of wins early in the season. 

 

Peter Bourjos was supposed to be an everyday outfielder, not pull a hamstring in the first month and be lost for an extended time.

 

Thsi has been bigger than many realize. Had Bourjos or Trout been in LF instead of Shuck, several balls that fell in for doubles would have been outs. 

 

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you gave us your opinion.  In my opinion its lack of depth.  Yes, Texas can over come injuries because their farm depth is one of the best in the majors.  I do not know enough about the Yanks to say the same thing. 

 

The Angels, we knew had poor depth so for the Angels to compete they had to stay healthy.

 

Teams with deeper farms can absorb injuries, teams with weak farms can't.

Texas can deal with injuries...and they've had quite a few...because they have serious organizational depth.

 

The Yankees, despite all their resources, are shrewd. They sign the right kind of players to fit their scheme and ballpark. Cashman is a smart guy.

 

The Cardinals, see Rangers. Their starting rotation has been decimated, and yet, they keep bringing up these guys like Shelby Miller, who get to the Show and make it look like they've been there for years. They have great organizational depth, as well. Could that be why they could afford to let Pujols go? Maybe.

 

Most in the know think that the Rangers and Cards have, if not the best two farm systems in baseball, at least two of the top five.

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I think the team is in a pretty favorable position all things considered. Let's see where we stand at the all-star break. If we're still below .500 when we're close to healthy then I will be worried. I still have a ton of hope for this season.

I would like to see them sit Pujols for a couple of weeks. The guy can barely jog at this point. It's painful to watch, his numbers are deteriorating, and he's not helping the team very much.

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Weaver being back is huge.  I think the team is .500 if he doesn't get hurt. 

 

They need a pen arm.  no doubt.  But I'd wait to see where they are in about a month before pulling the trigger.

 

Also, Blanton needs to come out of the rotation.  He's just not very good.  Otherwise, the rotation is better than last years. 

 

Getting something out of pujols and hamilton is also needed, but as long as the pen and SP performs solidly, they will continue to gain ground. 

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