29 January 2010

confidence in Kaz

For a while, I've been mulling over writing a post on Scott Kazmir to explain an earlier statement:
"If Lackey leaves, I am confident that one of the young guys will step up. Last season Weaver blossomed when the rotation was devoid of veterans. Who's to say that another won't step up his game? My bet is on Kaz."
I figured that it could wait till closer to spring training and then I could do a whole post on what I predict from the Angels this coming season.

Well, it turns out I'm not the only one high on Kaz.

Perhaps my reluctance to write that post was based in my method for arriving at my expectation. I'm not a stat-junkie, so my prediction is based on this gut feeling acquired by observations and fringe-y information. Not scientific at all.. and as an engineer, that doesn't really fly. But I'll can at least try to explain my good feeling about Kaz.

25 January 2010

thoughts: angels arbitration cases, FO this offseason

Just some tidbits:


Long overdue, but the Angels are down to three arbitration cases. Weaver, Howie, Napoli and Reggie all signed for 1-year deals before last Tuesday's deadline to exchange arbitration figures. I was pleasantly surprised that they avoided arbitration with Weaver, but I was still hoping for a multi-year deal. Saunders, Aybar, Mathis are still unsigned, while Izzy got a 3year/$10M deal today. The most worrisome case to me is the nearly $1M difference in Aybar's case.


I definitely like the deal for Izzy. He's one of the best backup infielders and he's good enough to be a starter. The price might seem high for a bench player, but Izzy is a premium bench/platoon player which I think makes the deal a great bargain. In fact, I think the deal might be too good. No doubt that Izzy could get a better deal on the FA market next year, and he probably could get a starting job. So I hope the reason he signed has more to do with him liking the organization rather than the FO promising potential playing time. Izzy is great and dependable, but I (and a good deal of the fans) don't want him blocking BWood. Furthermore, I'm still a believer in Howie's upside despite his close to crash-and-burn status last season. So what's gonna be Izzy's role? My hope is that Izzy is for insurance and his usual backup infielder versatility.


22 January 2010

adding Pineiro, subracting GMJ

Wow, Tony Reagins had a busy week.

After the Rodney signing, things were veeeerry quiet for the Angels and suddenly Reagins drops two bombs. Well at least for me. Both of these transactions were quite shocking to me, even though they really shouldn't have been.

Despite the "reports" that the Angels were interested in Pineiro back in December, and the more recent rumors that the Angels were pursuing him and some funny speculation the Angels were negotiating with him, I never really believed that the Angels were interested. I mean, it seems that the talking heads seem to insert the Angels into any big-name FA (see Holliday, Bay), which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It shows that the Angels have reached big-time status, but also shows their ignorance of the Angels's FO. And I definitely thought the persistant Pineiro rumors were another stupid made-up "there's possibly a match" story from the national media. I thought Pineiro would be too expensive with too thin of a resume to warrant the cost-conscious Reagins to bite. I was thinking along the lines of MSTI that, like the Dodgers, whoever the Angels fill out the rotation with isn't going to matter much - it's gonna be the young guys that will dictate the fate of the rotation - and so why fill it with an expensive question mark? I actually expected Reagins to bring Garland back.

14 January 2010

the halo bridge

Since Dec. 14th, the news of the offseason for the Halos has be relatively ho-hum. I've mostly been trying to get my fill of Angels news by scanning blogs, comments and message boards in the halosphere and I've been left with the feeling that Halo fans are primarily split into two groups.

On one side, are those that lament the loses of Lackey, Figgy, Vlad and Oliver, rail against Tony Reagin's inaction, and blame Arte for his failure to pony up the money. And they believe that the Angels won't make the playoffs, let alone win the west. They argue that the Angels are a big-market team (the LA name having made it so), so they should spend on free agents accordingly. That the Angels are an elite team and so they should do what it takes to make a splash in the offseason - free agents or trades, whatever. The Angels are weaker coming into next season and they didn't even make the World Series! And that since all of our rivals poached our top free agents (and the Mariners are the darlings of this offseason) while the Angels basically stood pat, that well, is completely unexceptable.

I'm not in that camp.

I'm with those that say that the Angels are the AL West favorites until they are de-throned. That it sucks to lose those players but some were necessary, and others were overpaid. None of the Halo signings were inspiring and frankly, it sucks to see our rivals improve so drastically. But we trust that Arte will pay when its worth it and that Reagins was right in passing on the players he did. And well, we're excited to see what the team can do.

05 January 2010

thoughts: Rory, Kotch, Bay/Holliday, Chapman

Just some tidbits:


I was utterly shocked when I learned of Rory Markus's death.

I only started listening to the radio broadcasts last season, so I wasn't yet able to discern Rory from Gubi and Terry, but the resonding majority of halo fans liked him the best. I especially liked the "Just another halo victory" call, which I discovered today was Rory's call. A lot of fans were looking forward to having him call every tv game next season. A horrible loss for his family, the Angels, and Halo fans everywhere.