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  1. Lackey’s FIP last year seemed like an outlier. He had produced 3 straight seasons of low 3s FIP before last years injury cut his season shorter. He might be recovered from that ailment and back to at least mid to high 3s FIP, which is worth alot more than a 4.5

    Comment by Joel — May 12, 2009 @ 1:13 am

  2. I think the Angels would be insane not to try to add a bat in trade this summer.

    Meanwhile, the Rangers have posted much, much better defensive numbers this season, helping their pitching staff to be very good over the last 3 weeks — a rotation ERA of 4.00 in that span — and the rotation is pitching deep enough to keep the bullpen rested. I wouldn’t count any of the 4 teams out of it.

    Comment by t ball — May 12, 2009 @ 7:14 am

  3. They should probably try to acquire Vladimir Guerrero. That should give them a pretty good offense. Nothing wrong with an OF/DH combo of Vlad, Hunter, Abreu, and Juan Rivera. Morales is coming along well at first, Napoli is a monster behind the plate. Figgins is valuable in the leadoff spot where his high OBP and nonexistant SLG works. That leaves 2B and SS. Howie needs to improve his pitch recognition but I’d rather stick with him and hope he develops instead of a trade (not that good hitting 2B are that easy to get in trade anyway). And then SS, where the best option is probably Maicer Izturis, who is about middle of the pack in that position.

    I just don’t see a spot where it’s easy to add a bat right now.

    Comment by Rally — May 12, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  4. I don’t see Napoli hitting that well all year, though obviously that’s not a place you make a change. I agree there is no obvious, easy place to add a bat and I don’t really expect them to.

    Comment by t ball — May 12, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  5. “Now, nobody is going to argue that getting Anthony Ortega out of the rotation is going to be beneficial”

    I would definitely argue that getting Anthony Ortega out of the rotation is going to be beneficial. I think you meant isn’t going to be beneficial

    Comment by Trenchtown — May 12, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  6. Replace Juan Rivera who has played as replacement level player or worse the last three years

    Comment by Trenchtown — May 12, 2009 @ 11:25 am

  7. I don’t think that it was roundly held that the Angels were slight favorites or slight underdogs to the A’s. I think they were widely considered to be the favorites, period.

    Comment by WonkoTheSane — May 12, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  8. At least among the more saber-friendly sites I read, the Angels were considered slight favorites in a bad division. They just aren’t good enough to expect them to run away with it, even if all their pitchers were healthy.

    Comment by Teej — May 12, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  9. The part you are missing is that the angels have had a terrible bullpen. Presumably one if not both of the guys replaced end up there and THAT is where the team gains wins.

    Comment by Dave — May 12, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  10. Only by people who don’t know what regression and Pythag record are.

    Comment by Nick — May 12, 2009 @ 8:19 pm

  11. Only prob with that is that Pythag doesn’t take into account a good bullpen. The Angels have constantly outplaying their pythag for years.

    Comment by Nate — May 12, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

  12. And this year, their pen clearly wasn’t as good as it has been in previous seasons.

    Comment by Nick — May 12, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

  13. I don’t see Lackey or Santana working deep into games for a while after they come back so the Angels will be leaning on their bullpen more than ever. Even if their middle relief improves the fact remains that Shields is simply unreliable at this point and Fuentes has been very shaky.

    Comment by dbuff — May 13, 2009 @ 2:37 am

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