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Answer these questions (this will take some time)

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I think if nothing else, 2020 is going to answer a lot of questions for us. Let's see how you guys think it will play out. 

1. Can Ohtani actually pitch and hit AND stay healthy a full season? The last time he did that successfully as a professional was four years ago, when he was 21.

2. Can Griffin Canning pitch a full season and remain healthy? There's tons of upside, but looking at his history, last year he was shut down with elbow issues, the year before the Angels handled him with kiddy gloves limiting both his innings and pitches per appearance, and the year before that, the Angels got him in the second round because his medical reports weren't clean.

3. Who is the real Jaime Barria? Is it the 21 year old rookie that took the ball every fifth day and posted an ERA under 3.50 or is it the 22 year old that got slapped around for an ERA over 6.00?

4. Is Pat Sandoval someone we can bank on developing into part of the rotation moving forward? His stuff took a big leap forward last year and plays up at the major league level. Now can he apply what he learned and be consistent?

5. Is Andrew Heaney chronically injured? He's had one season where he remained healthy AND effective, for the most part. It seems as if both aren't an option. 

6. How much effect will Joe Maddon and Mickey Calloway have on this team? How much effect does any manager have on their team's performance. I'm not sure we'll solve this, but we should have a better idea being able to differentiate between what Maddon brings vs. what Ausmus brought vs. Scioscia. 

7. Will Upton's lower half keep him healthy and on the field in 2020? He clearly wasn't himself even when he was on the field in 2019. Might want to hold onto both Marsh and Adell until this question can be answered.

8. Shortstops don't have the best performance or healthy record after the age of 30. We are hoping Simmons is a special case, like previous defensive wizards like Ozzie and Omar.

9. How much will Albert Pujols play? How much should he play? If the answer to both of those questions is less, how will he handle the demotion to the bench? Who is it that gets the playing time in his absence? La Stella, Thaiss, Walsh, Ward? Someone else perhaps? Like Zobrist? 

10. Can the bullpen hold it together? Robles was elite last year. The shelf life for elite relievers isn't longer than maybe 3-4 years typically. Buttrey just wore down last year. No better way to put it. He was the best reliever until sometime in June, then after that, it didn't matter. He was getting hit. Bedrosian actually had a good year, even with the dominated velocity. The underlying numbers aren't particularly optimistic he can maintain that though. Same question for Now Ramirez. Is Key Middleton ready to step back into a back end role? 

11. Can the younger guys develop and sieze an everyday role on this ball club? Walsh tore AAA pitching apart and was effective in small doses on the mound. Has he topped out as a AAAA player or can he be successful in the big leagues? Matt Thaiss finally developed the power we as fans had hoped for since he was drafted. Will his bat take another step forward and make him into a starting 1B/3B, or is he done developing? Taylor Ward posted some impressive exit velocities in AAA and there are some in and around the game that still believe he can hit at the major league level. Luis Rengifo was young last year, but showed glimpses of him developing into something special. Someone that gets on, steals bases and plays solid defense. Can those minor league abilities become major league assets? Marsh and Adell are clearly elite athletes and have the most potential to turn into stars at the top level. AAA doesn't figure to challenge either of them for a full year. Maybe not even half a year. Can they play up and will they get a chance to, if not traded?

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8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

I think if nothing else, 2020 is going to answer a lot of questions for us. Let's see how you guys think it will play out. 

1. Can Ohtani actually pitch and hit AND stay healthy a full season? The last time he did that successfully as a professional was four years ago, when he was 21.

Yes

 

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

2. Can Griffin Canning pitch a full season and remain healthy? There's tons of upside, but looking at his history, last year he was shut down with elbow issues, the year before the Angels handled him with kiddy gloves limiting both his innings and pitches per appearance, and the year before that, the Angels got him in the second round because his medical reports weren't clean.

He will be a solid 4/5 type SP

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

3. Who is the real Jaime Barria? Is it the 21 year old rookie that took the ball every fifth day and posted an ERA under 3.50 or is it the 22 year old that got slapped around for an ERA over 6.00?

He's will not break into the rotation

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

4. Is Pat Sandoval someone we can bank on developing into part of the rotation moving forward? His stuff took a big leap forward last year and plays up at the major league level. Now can he apply what he learned and be consistent?

He develops into a solid 3 type SP

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

5. Is Andrew Heaney chronically injured? He's had one season where he remained healthy AND effective, for the most part. It seems as if both aren't an option.  6. How much effect will Joe Maddon and Mickey Calloway have on this team? How much effect does any manager have on their team's performance. I'm not sure we'll solve this, but we should have a better idea being able to differentiate between what Maddon brings vs. what Ausmus brought vs. Scioscia. 

Heaney will never have a full healthy year. New management improves the clubhouse vibe which is hard to tangibly evaluate. Credit them with 2-3 wins. 

 

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

7. Will Upton's lower half keep him healthy and on the field in 2020? He clearly wasn't himself even when he was on the field in 2019. Might want to hold onto both Marsh and Adell until this question can be answered.

He'll play and hit decent. Absolute butcher in LF. Begins to DH

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

8. Shortstops don't have the best performance or healthy record after the age of 30. We are hoping Simmons is a special case, like previous defensive wizards like Ozzie and Omar.

SImmons is great with declining power. 

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

9. How much will Albert Pujols play? How much should he play? If the answer to both of those questions is less, how will he handle the demotion to the bench? Who is it that gets the playing time in his absence? La Stella, Thaiss, Walsh, Ward? Someone else perhaps? Like Zobrist? 

1b against leftys and dh when Ohtani is not. 

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

10. Can the bullpen hold it together? Robles was elite last year. The shelf life for elite relievers isn't longer than maybe 3-4 years typically. Buttrey just wore down last year. No better way to put it. He was the best reliever until sometime in June, then after that, it didn't matter. He was getting hit. Bedrosian actually had a good year, even with the dominated velocity. The underlying numbers aren't particularly optimistic he can maintain that though. Same question for Now Ramirez. Is Key Middleton ready to step back into a back end role? 

With more innings from rotation bullpen slightly improves. 

8 minutes ago, Second Base said:

11. Can the younger guys develop and sieze an everyday role on this ball club? Walsh tore AAA pitching apart and was effective in small doses on the mound. Has he topped out as a AAAA player or can he be successful in the big leagues? Matt Thaiss finally developed the power we as fans had hoped for since he was drafted. Will his bat take another step forward and make him into a starting 1B/3B, or is he done developing? Taylor Ward posted some impressive exit velocities in AAA and there are some in and around the game that still believe he can hit at the major league level. Luis Rengifo was young last year, but showed glimpses of him developing into something special. Someone that gets on, steals bases and plays solid defense. Can those minor league abilities become major league assets? Marsh and Adell are clearly elite athletes and have the most potential to turn into stars at the top level. AAA doesn't figure to challenge either of them for a full year. Maybe not even half a year. Can they play up and will they get a chance to, if not traded?

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Posted (edited)

OK, I'll bite.

1. I'm dubious. I don't want to be, but I am. Ohtani's value is optimized by starting 24-28 games a year with 4-500 PA. If he does that and optimizes his potential, then he could become the best player in the game. But that might be a tall order. I think 2020 we're going to see around 20 starts with 100-120 IP, and 400 PA. 

2. Yes, I think so. But  I'm guessing something in the 130-150 IP range in 2020. I still see a good #3 starter in him.

3. I think Barria's problem is that he pitched really well and was rewarded with a spot in AAA. I still don't get why the Angels demoted him after being one of their best starters in 2018. I don't expect a 3.41 ERA, but maybe 4.00 or slightly better as he matures. But I could see him being trade fodder, whether this year or next.

4. Yes. I see Sandoval's upside being like Heaney in 2018. Not great, but a very good #4 or solid #3. And I think he'll come into his own quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if he's  better in 2020 than Canning.

5. I expect Heaney to bounce back and not only pitch like 2018, but  maybe  slightly better: an ERA in the 3.50-4.00 range. Whether  he can match 2018's 180  IP is another matter. We'll see.

6. Who knows, but probably. 

7. I could see a bit of a dead-cat bounce from Upton, but think he's seen his best days.  Maybe he hits .250 with 25 HR, but Marsh is going to hit in Salt Lake and force the Angels to figure out how to get his bat into the lineup  as soon as midseason.

8. Isn't Simmons built more like Ripken? Anyhow, I feel like too much has been made of  his off year. He was injured and never found his groove. A year ago we were all thinking he might continue to develop offensively, now he's being written off. At the least he's a much better bounce-back candidate than Upton.

9. He's been pretty consistent the last few years: consistently mediocre with the bat. I don't expect further decline for the next year or two, but  someone has to earn their way into starts at 1B. I suspect that Thaiss and/or maybe Walsh will. Thaiss is going to be a solid player in the  Mitch Moreland mold, maybe even Brandon Belt; Walsh, I think,  is going to be better than expected. By mid-season it will be clear that Pujols is hurting the team more than helping, so he'll be benched more and more. Next year he'll be the "veteran clubhouse presence off the bench."

10. The bullpen is going to surprise some and be very  good. A healthier and better rotation--even though we didn't get the ace we wanted--is  going to help out.

11. Adell and Marsh are going to be stars, Adell possibly a superstar. Rengifo is going to surprise and be a 3-4 WAR player, as good as Fletcher. Thaiss and Walsh will both be solid. Ward I'm more bearish on. I think it was a mistake entirely taking the catcher's mitt out of his hand; he's be far more useful in that repertoire. Anyhow, I think he'll end up elsewhere: he's the type of player that needs a solid chance to break into the majors, so maybe the Angels need to ship him to someone like the Orioles or Tigers.

Edited by Angelsjunky

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My predictions:

1. Yes, Ohtani can, but not in 2020.

2. No, Canning's elbow injury will linger and he will have have to undergo TJ surgery.

3. Barria will have a 4.50-4.75 ERA while being shuttled back and forth throughout the season.

4. Yes, and the adjustments Sandoval made on the rubber toward the end of the year will continue to be beneficial to him.

5. Heaney will start the season injured, have a decent stretch, a good stretch, a bad stretch, and finish with around 120 innings pitched.

6. Maddon will have a positive impact, but it won't be super noticeable. Callaway will help guys like Barria and Suarez who did not seem comfortable last season.

7. Upton will stay healthy, but his playing time will be cut into by the Fletcher, Adell, and Marsh.

8. Simmons will stay healthy, but he won't be as good as he was in 2017 and 2018.

9. Pujols will play around 110 games, but he should play around 65 games. Thaiss and Walsh mainly get the remaining reps at 1B.

11. The bullpen will hold together, as long as their usage is significantly reduced from the level it was used at in 2019. Robles and Buttrey will perform similarly to 2019, Bedrosian and Ramirez will be slightly worse, Middleton will be similar to the 2017 Middleton, and guys like Anderson, Bard, and Cole will show improvement.

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I love these questions man. For me, these are the questions I keep wondering for the players that I think will largely determine the Angels’ fate...if there are more yesses than no’s, we may well see Angels games in October:

Can they stay heathy? Ohtani, Heaney, Canning, Upton, Middleton

Can they be a reliable supporting cast? Bundy, Teheran, Bedrosian, Ramirez 

Can they keep it up? LaStella, Fletcher, Goodwin, Robles, Buttrey

Will they take next step? Adell, Rengifo, Sandoval, Barria, Thaiss, Ward

Will they meet high expectations? Trout, Rendon, Simmons, Stassi (Fangraphs projects 3 defense fueled WAR)

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51 minutes ago, Angelsjunky said:

OK, I'll bite.

1. I'm dubious. I don't want to be, but I am. Ohtani's value is optimized by starting 24-28 games a year with 4-500 PA. If he does that and optimizes his potential, then he could become the best player in the game. But that might be a tall order. I think 2020 we're going to see around 20 starts with 100-120 IP, and 400 PA. 

2. Yes, I think so. But  I'm guessing something in the 130-150 IP range in 2020. I still see a good #3 starter in him.

3. I think Barria's problem is that he pitched really well and was rewarded with a spot in AAA. I still don't get why the Angels demoted him after being one of their best starters in 2018. I don't expect a 3.41 ERA, but maybe 4.00 or slightly better as he matures. But I could see him being trade fodder, whether this year or next.

4. Yes. I see Sandoval's upside being like Heaney in 2018. Not great, but a very good #4 or solid #3. And I think he'll come into his own quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if he's  better in 2020 than Canning.

5. I expect Heaney to bounce back and not only pitch like 2018, but  maybe  slightly better: an ERA in the 3.50-4.00 range. Whether  he can match 2018's 180  IP is another matter. We'll see.

6. Who knows, but probably. 

7. I could see a bit of a dead-cat bounce from Upton, but think he's seen his best days.  Maybe he hits .250 with 25 HR, but Marsh is going to hit in Salt Lake and force the Angels to figure out how to get his bat into the lineup  as soon as midseason.

8. Isn't Simmons built more like Ripken? Anyhow, I feel like too much has been made of  his off year. He was injured and never found his groove. A year ago we were all thinking he might continue to develop offensively, now he's being written off. At the least he's a much better bounce-back candidate than Upton.

9. He's been pretty consistent the last few years: consistently mediocre with the bat. I don't expect further decline for the next year or two, but  someone has to earn their way into starts at 1B. I suspect that Thaiss and/or maybe Walsh will. Thaiss is going to be a solid player in the  Mitch Moreland mold, maybe even Brandon Belt; Walsh, I think,  is going to be better than expected. By mid-season it will be clear that Pujols is hurting the team more than helping, so he'll be benched more and more. Next year he'll be the "veteran clubhouse presence off the bench."

10. The bullpen is going to surprise some and be very  good. A healthier and better rotation--even though we didn't get the ace we wanted--is  going to help out.

11. Adell and Marsh are going to be stars, Adell possibly a superstar. Rengifo is going to surprise and be a 3-4 WAR player, as good as Fletcher. Thaiss and Walsh will both be solid. Ward I'm more bearish on. I think it was a mistake entirely taking the catcher's mitt out of his hand; he's be far more useful in that repertoire. Anyhow, I think he'll end up elsewhere: he's the type of player that needs a solid chance to break into the majors, so maybe the Angels need to ship him to someone like the Orioles or Tigers.

I'm amazed that Simmons is close to Ripken and Troy Tulowitski in size. Simmons is 6'-2" /195, Ripken 6'-4" /210 and Tulo 6'-3" /205.

Agree re Simmons. He came back too soon from a severe ankle injury and was never totally healthy. Looking for him to have a good year offensively and defensively. Rendon at 3B is going to make Simmons even better at SS and push him down the order where he should be.

 

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4 hours ago, Second Base said:

1. Can Ohtani actually pitch and hit AND stay healthy a full season? The last time he did that successfully as a professional was four years ago, when he was 21.

I speculated two years ago that it would be difficult for him to maintain full time hitting and pitching long term. Either he would have to choose one or part time both. It's definitely a legitimate question how he'll hold up if he tries to continue with both. Despite what some people here seem to think, that's really tough on your body the older you get. I'm fairly certain he won't be doing both full time by age 30. 

Long answer to say, I think he might be able to for a few more years, but I'm skeptical about it long term. I also don't think this is the year we find out, unless he can't stay healthy. 2021 will help clarify it for us if 2020 goes well.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

2. Can Griffin Canning pitch a full season and remain healthy? There's tons of upside, but looking at his history, last year he was shut down with elbow issues, the year before the Angels handled him with kiddy gloves limiting both his innings and pitches per appearance, and the year before that, the Angels got him in the second round because his medical reports weren't clean.

Hopefully? I don't think he'll ever be an 180 innings a season guy, much less a 200 ip. I think if he puts up 150 innings a season regularly, that's a win. The talent is enough that he should be at least a solid mid rotation guy, I would think. Just my ignorant opinion.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

3. Who is the real Jaime Barria? Is it the 21 year old rookie that took the ball every fifth day and posted an ERA under 3.50 or is it the 22 year old that got slapped around for an ERA over 6.00?

Projections so far split the difference on the two at a 4.80ish ERA. But they only give him 35ish innings. I think I'll take the over on that, but I'm not bullish on it. I'd speculate he's not as good as 2018 suggested he could be, but I don't think he's nearly as bad as 2019. Rumors suggested him and White weren't entirely on the same page. If given enough innings and a chance to settle in, I'd handicap him around a 4.50 ERA. 

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

4. Is Pat Sandoval someone we can bank on developing into part of the rotation moving forward? His stuff took a big leap forward last year and plays up at the major league level. Now can he apply what he learned and be consistent?

Steamer likes him to a 4.50 ERA in about 70 innings projection. I think that's fair, possibly conservative. Wouldn't shock me to see him better than that, but it might take time.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

5. Is Andrew Heaney chronically injured? He's had one season where he remained healthy AND effective, for the most part. It seems as if both aren't an option. 

I think that's how we got him so cheap. I hope he can stay healthy, but I'm not banking on it. If he is, I think he'll be very solid.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

6. How much effect will Joe Maddon and Mickey Calloway have on this team? How much effect does any manager have on their team's performance. I'm not sure we'll solve this, but we should have a better idea being able to differentiate between what Maddon brings vs. what Ausmus brought vs. Scioscia. 

I think it should help with keeping guys at their best. I don't think it'll make huge differences in turning guys into all stars, but I feel like Maddon is the kind of guy that makes guys want to do well and have fun doing it. That's huge. I don't think Ausmus is a bad guy, he just maybe doesn't have quite that kind of demeanor. Callaway's experience should help keep him from making some of the mistakes White did, hopefully. His past success makes me believe he knows how to get the most out of his guys. 

What will be harder to project is how much of a difference Maddon's "Angel Way" will change things for the team. I'd hesitantly project their combined influence at +2-3 wins, but if the playing style works, it could be as much as 4-5, I suppose. Obviously I'm just throwing out numbers - I really have no idea. I think it could make a substantial difference, but that might be just my optimism.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

7. Will Upton's lower half keep him healthy and on the field in 2020? He clearly wasn't himself even when he was on the field in 2019. Might want to hold onto both Marsh and Adell until this question can be answered.

I read somewhere that's Upton's 2019 season is pretty much in line for how much missing Spring Training and a significant portion of a season affects production. I think he puts up a solid 3 WAR in 2020. I don't think the injury has long term effects. 2021, he should still be a solid 2-2.5 WAR. Not exceptional, not terrible. He'll need to move to DH as much as possible by 2022, though, imo.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

8. Shortstops don't have the best performance or healthy record after the age of 30. We are hoping Simmons is a special case, like previous defensive wizards like Ozzie and Omar.

I'm not especially worried about his defense. It won't be otherworldly in 3 years, if it even still is, but it should still be above average. I'd be more concerned about his offense. He's really only had one season above league average. Still, if he puts up 2-2.5 WAR a season for the next 3-5 years, I'd be for giving him an extension. I feel like he's the kind of teammate and leader you want on your team.

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4 hours ago, Second Base said:

9. How much will Albert Pujols play? How much should he play? If the answer to both of those questions is less, how will he handle the demotion to the bench? Who is it that gets the playing time in his absence? La Stella, Thaiss, Walsh, Ward? Someone else perhaps? Like Zobrist?

I suspect the plan was to transition him to that point before now, we just haven't had better options. I think that was unquestionably the plan for 2019 - Ausmus basically said Pujols wasn't guaranteed at bats based on status or contract, he had to perform, which means that the front office feels that way - but then Bour sucked, Thaiss and Walsh just didn't outplay him.

That being the case, I think AJ's projection is probably accurate.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

10. Can the bullpen hold it together? Robles was elite last year. The shelf life for elite relievers isn't longer than maybe 3-4 years typically. Buttrey just wore down last year. No better way to put it. He was the best reliever until sometime in June, then after that, it didn't matter. He was getting hit. Bedrosian actually had a good year, even with the dominated velocity. The underlying numbers aren't particularly optimistic he can maintain that though. Same question for Now Ramirez. Is Key Middleton ready to step back into a back end role? 

Yes. I'm not concerned about the bullpen. It won't be Yankees level good. It will be in the upper half of the AL, possibly as good as 3-5 in the AL.

4 hours ago, Second Base said:

11. Can the younger guys develop and sieze an everyday role on this ball club? Walsh tore AAA pitching apart and was effective in small doses on the mound. Has he topped out as a AAAA player or can he be successful in the big leagues? Matt Thaiss finally developed the power we as fans had hoped for since he was drafted. Will his bat take another step forward and make him into a starting 1B/3B, or is he done developing? Taylor Ward posted some impressive exit velocities in AAA and there are some in and around the game that still believe he can hit at the major league level. Luis Rengifo was young last year, but showed glimpses of him developing into something special. Someone that gets on, steals bases and plays solid defense. Can those minor league abilities become major league assets? Marsh and Adell are clearly elite athletes and have the most potential to turn into stars at the top level. AAA doesn't figure to challenge either of them for a full year. Maybe not even half a year. Can they play up and will they get a chance to, if not traded?

No idea. 

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5 hours ago, Second Base said:

I think if nothing else, 2020 is going to answer a lot of questions for us. Let's see how you guys think it will play out. 

1. Can Ohtani actually pitch and hit AND stay healthy a full season? The last time he did that successfully as a professional was four years ago, when he was 21.

2. Can Griffin Canning pitch a full season and remain healthy? There's tons of upside, but looking at his history, last year he was shut down with elbow issues, the year before the Angels handled him with kiddy gloves limiting both his innings and pitches per appearance, and the year before that, the Angels got him in the second round because his medical reports weren't clean.

3. Who is the real Jaime Barria? Is it the 21 year old rookie that took the ball every fifth day and posted an ERA under 3.50 or is it the 22 year old that got slapped around for an ERA over 6.00?

4. Is Pat Sandoval someone we can bank on developing into part of the rotation moving forward? His stuff took a big leap forward last year and plays up at the major league level. Now can he apply what he learned and be consistent?

5. Is Andrew Heaney chronically injured? He's had one season where he remained healthy AND effective, for the most part. It seems as if both aren't an option. 

6. How much effect will Joe Maddon and Mickey Calloway have on this team? How much effect does any manager have on their team's performance. I'm not sure we'll solve this, but we should have a better idea being able to differentiate between what Maddon brings vs. what Ausmus brought vs. Scioscia. 

7. Will Upton's lower half keep him healthy and on the field in 2020? He clearly wasn't himself even when he was on the field in 2019. Might want to hold onto both Marsh and Adell until this question can be answered.

8. Shortstops don't have the best performance or healthy record after the age of 30. We are hoping Simmons is a special case, like previous defensive wizards like Ozzie and Omar.

9. How much will Albert Pujols play? How much should he play? If the answer to both of those questions is less, how will he handle the demotion to the bench? Who is it that gets the playing time in his absence? La Stella, Thaiss, Walsh, Ward? Someone else perhaps? Like Zobrist? 

10. Can the bullpen hold it together? Robles was elite last year. The shelf life for elite relievers isn't longer than maybe 3-4 years typically. Buttrey just wore down last year. No better way to put it. He was the best reliever until sometime in June, then after that, it didn't matter. He was getting hit. Bedrosian actually had a good year, even with the dominated velocity. The underlying numbers aren't particularly optimistic he can maintain that though. Same question for Now Ramirez. Is Key Middleton ready to step back into a back end role? 

11. Can the younger guys develop and sieze an everyday role on this ball club? Walsh tore AAA pitching apart and was effective in small doses on the mound. Has he topped out as a AAAA player or can he be successful in the big leagues? Matt Thaiss finally developed the power we as fans had hoped for since he was drafted. Will his bat take another step forward and make him into a starting 1B/3B, or is he done developing? Taylor Ward posted some impressive exit velocities in AAA and there are some in and around the game that still believe he can hit at the major league level. Luis Rengifo was young last year, but showed glimpses of him developing into something special. Someone that gets on, steals bases and plays solid defense. Can those minor league abilities become major league assets? Marsh and Adell are clearly elite athletes and have the most potential to turn into stars at the top level. AAA doesn't figure to challenge either of them for a full year. Maybe not even half a year. Can they play up and will they get a chance to, if not traded?

 

 

1. There is no reason to think that he can’t start 24-26 games and have 450 plate appearances. Obviously he was on his way to doing this in his first year here, but was sidelined with elbow issues. Had he had TJ right away, he still likely would’ve missed the entirety of 2019, as did JC Ramirez. He can be the guy they think he can. He’s only 24.

2. Can’t worry about injuries. Canning is a young pitcher and has ace potential. Kershaw had a mid 4 ERA in his first year too. I know that’s a stretch, but my point is that you can’t judge a young pitcher based on one year.

3. Same as above. Barria could break into the rotation this year with a great spring. I think White and Ausmus screwed with something but I think he also was a bit lucky in 2018. But he could end up pitching to a low 4’s ERA.

4. Again, can’t judge a young guy too early. Good or bad.

5. 30 starts. High 3’s ERA.

6. It will be a huge difference from Ausmus and White. Year two even more so.

7. Overemphasize a bad injury year. He hasn’t had chronic problems, we don’t know what his injuries look like. 

8. Again, Simmons had an Bad injury, then another. Mostly in his career, he actually misses about two weeks. I look for that to return in 2020.

9. Zobrist is a definite possibility, especially if they trade an infielder or two for pitching and/or catching help. LaStella and Thaiss likely compete for time at first with Pujols. Though I bet Pujols gets 60-70 starts at 1st and 50 as the DH.

10. I have faith in Robles, Middleton, Buttrey, and some in Bedrosian. There will be surprises, as there usually is. 

11. Some will step forward, some won’t. Some will eventually, some won’t. My picks for expanded roles are Adell and Thaiss. Rengifo is likely to be traded. Fletcher I think plays a little bit everywhere and does better in his third year in the majors.Who knows how Walsh Or Ward will be. I don’t think Hermosillio is much beyond a type AAAA guy but maybe. Don’t think La Stella can do what he did last year again. Rojas could be a new fan fav, or could go the way of other AAA guys who never performed or got an opportunity.. Sandoval and Canning looked great at times, the other young starters didn’t impress me. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Angelsjunky said:

OK, I'll bite.

1. I'm dubious. I don't want to be, but I am. Ohtani's value is optimized by starting 24-28 games a year with 4-500 PA. If he does that and optimizes his potential, then he could become the best player in the game. But that might be a tall order. I think 2020 we're going to see around 20 starts with 100-120 IP, and 400 PA. 

2. Yes, I think so. But  I'm guessing something in the 130-150 IP range in 2020. I still see a good #3 starter in him.

3. I think Barria's problem is that he pitched really well and was rewarded with a spot in AAA. I still don't get why the Angels demoted him after being one of their best starters in 2018. I don't expect a 3.41 ERA, but maybe 4.00 or slightly better as he matures. But I could see him being trade fodder, whether this year or next.

4. Yes. I see Sandoval's upside being like Heaney in 2018. Not great, but a very good #4 or solid #3. And I think he'll come into his own quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if he's  better in 2020 than Canning.

5. I expect Heaney to bounce back and not only pitch like 2018, but  maybe  slightly better: an ERA in the 3.50-4.00 range. Whether  he can match 2018's 180  IP is another matter. We'll see.

6. Who knows, but probably. 

7. I could see a bit of a dead-cat bounce from Upton, but think he's seen his best days.  Maybe he hits .250 with 25 HR, but Marsh is going to hit in Salt Lake and force the Angels to figure out how to get his bat into the lineup  as soon as midseason.

8. Isn't Simmons built more like Ripken? Anyhow, I feel like too much has been made of  his off year. He was injured and never found his groove. A year ago we were all thinking he might continue to develop offensively, now he's being written off. At the least he's a much better bounce-back candidate than Upton.

9. He's been pretty consistent the last few years: consistently mediocre with the bat. I don't expect further decline for the next year or two, but  someone has to earn their way into starts at 1B. I suspect that Thaiss and/or maybe Walsh will. Thaiss is going to be a solid player in the  Mitch Moreland mold, maybe even Brandon Belt; Walsh, I think,  is going to be better than expected. By mid-season it will be clear that Pujols is hurting the team more than helping, so he'll be benched more and more. Next year he'll be the "veteran clubhouse presence off the bench."

10. The bullpen is going to surprise some and be very  good. A healthier and better rotation--even though we didn't get the ace we wanted--is  going to help out.

11. Adell and Marsh are going to be stars, Adell possibly a superstar. Rengifo is going to surprise and be a 3-4 WAR player, as good as Fletcher. Thaiss and Walsh will both be solid. Ward I'm more bearish on. I think it was a mistake entirely taking the catcher's mitt out of his hand; he's be far more useful in that repertoire. Anyhow, I think he'll end up elsewhere: he's the type of player that needs a solid chance to break into the majors, so maybe the Angels need to ship him to someone like the Orioles or Tigers.

Thanks for biting. I never offered my answers but here is as good of a spot as any.

1. Ohtani was as famous as he was in Japan because he was a two-way player. Had he been just a pitcher, they would've liked him like Darvish. Had he hit, they would've loved him like Matsui. But his following dwarfed both of theirs, despite Ohtani doing everything in his power to avoid the limelight. In 2018, we saw that he has the potential to be special. I think he has to put it all together at some point. That'll be 2021, but for 2020, I share your view. He'll miss a start here and there but still be an effective member of the rotation. And at DH, he'll continue to get better.

2. Scouts dislike guys like Canning because despite the stuff, they always say they lack the size or frame to stay healthy. When asked about the smaller stature pitchers that have succeeded long term you get the same answer, those are the exceptions, not the rule. Personally, I disagree. I don't think injury is directly related to overuse as much as it's genetic. Either your ligaments can handle the strain or they can't. If they can, this doesn't mean throw them out there for 300 innings. But I just don't agree with the 90-100 pitch limit as much as I agree with the two times through the order. In the age of specialization, starters shouldn't see a batter three times unless they're unhittable that day. If it takes 80 pitches to get through the order twice, then great. If it takes 120 pitches, that's fine too.

3. It seems like it's all mental with Barria. And I understand why he was upset this year. At age 22, it's hard to not take ownership over these roles you carve out and to have it taken away without justification sucks. Someone older might have coped better, I don't know. But either way, I think he has to come to terms with it, because he won't have a shot in the rotation this year either unless he outperforms Canning and Sandoval. As for his ability, I love his delivery and moxie. When he spots his pitches and mixes it up, he's a borderline mid rotation starter. I figure at some point he'll dial it all in. He just needs to get over that mental obstacle first.

4. Sandoval is so much better than when I saw him in Advanced A Ball and AA, it's not even funny. Not the same pitcher. That guy was dominant, but you knew it wouldn't translate at the higher levels. This guy, that change up is absolutely lethal now, and his fastball has so much more zip. His command is eluding him more now. So either he unlocks a way to spot his pitches at this velocity, or he chooses to dial it back to do what he needs to do. We'll see. My personal opinion is that he will have to dial it back and we'll see him as more of an Andrew Heaney type, just healthier, rather than a Cole Hamels type of ace.

5. Heaney's delivery is so effortless, I can't believe he hits that velocity, nor can I believe that it hurts his elbow. But whatever. The med reports indicated chronic ligament deterioration. I'm guessing at this point, the damage is done. Either he can pitch with it, or the ligaments will give out and he'll need surgery. But I don't think he'll ever be the same pitcher he was coming up. I do think he's going to give you quality, like 3.50-4.00 ERA, but I don't think he's going to be going more than 120 innings a year any more.

6. Because of where this team is at right now I get the feeling Mickey Callaway is probably going to be the more impactful coach. I think he's going to help Canning develop into that mid rotation starter, and help Barria get his mind right, because Callaway was there too. Long term, Maddon will have the greatest effect though, because this "Angel Way" style of play he's talking about is something that has to be indoctrinated from Rookie Ball on up. Maddon is going to absolutely love Trout, Fletcher, Jahmai Jones, Jo Adell, Rengifo and Marsh I can tell you that.

7. I think Upton is about done. The defensive metrics haven't caught up to the eye test yet, but they will. He's a statue out there in LF at this point in his career. And not going under the knife for his knee, not sure if it was the right decision long term. He's still young, and taking the time off the repair his body would've extended his career as a middle of the order hitter. Every single hitter with lower body issues, underperforms. Ohtani's power disappeared. Trout wasn't as aggressive on the bases. Pujols' entire game went South. Simmons exit velocities went down. So unless Upton is healthy, I don't think he will hit, and if he isn't hitting, I don't think he'll be able to hold off Marsh past this year, assuming Marsh isn't traded. But if Upton is indeed healthy, he'll hit. I just don't think the will be all year. Maybe some of it. 

8. Ankles, as I understand it, depending on the specifics, aren't more of a cumulative thing like other joints. You don't overuse them as much. I was told by a PT in high school that once you break it even sprain an ankle, it becomes MUCH more likely to happen in the future, and he was absolutely right. But the severity of these injuries actually decreases. Simmons, I think it's going to be perfectly fine. Will he twist or sprain his ankle again? Probably, but I think he'll still be the same player he was for the most part.

9. I think how much Pujols plays will be dependent upon 3 factors. The first is how he performs. There second is where the team is at in the standings. The third, is how willing he is to adjust to new realities. Example, if Pujols continues to get worse, but the Angels are completely out of it, they'll play him to keep him happy. But if Pujols sucks, and the Angels are in a dogfight, and he's unwilling to work in a more diminished, or specialized role, like platoon bat or power bat off the bench, then I think Pujols will be benched entirely. But if the scenario arises where the Angels are in the thick of it, he's not performing and is open to shifting into a more specialized role, he'll still play, just not as much. The way I see this playing out, he'll get his at playing time at the beginning of the year and do fine, but once the calendar turns to June, his production will slip, the Angels will be fighting for the division, he'll need more days off and the other guys playing 1B will do better. Pujols will take on a more diminished role but you can bet he won't be happy about it. Then when he does get playing time, I think he's going to destroy the ball, because I've seen the way he plays when he's mad, and I LOVE it. I think he'll grow to love that role too, and I think Angels will love seeing his at bats next year. 

10. The bullpen, your guess, or any guess is as good as mine, probably better. I think Robles, Buttrey, Mejia, Anderson, Middleton, Jewell and Bard will be good. I think Bedrosian and Ramirez, won't be. There were a ton of complaints about Maddon's bullpen usage in Chicago. The best way to protect a manager from making the wrong choice in relief pitchers is to simply remove all the wrong choices. Hopefully Eppler can do that.

11. I think Adell breaks into the majors in May and breaks out as a star in July or August. I think Marsh breaks into the majors in June and has less since a learning curve and breaks out as a star simultaneously with Adell in August. That'll be fun. I think Thaiss will be solid in AAA, and claim regular at bats at 1B in July or August. I like both Rengifo and Ward, but I just don't think there will be room for them. I think both will be traded.

Edited by Second Base

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17 hours ago, Trendon said:

9. Pujols will play around 110 games, but he should play around 65 games. Thaiss and Walsh mainly get the remaining reps at 1B.

Gotta get him to that 700 home-run mark!

He does have a shot of passing Ruth for 2nd place on the RBI list, if he plays two years and averages 70 RBI. Aaron is probably out of reach.

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