2012 Los Angeles Angels Season Preview
Three MVPs, nine all-star appearances, six silver sluggers, two gold gloves and 455 career home runs. The Angels were already good, and for the 2012 season they’ve added arguably the best right-handed hitter in baseball history. “El Hombre” signed a 10-year deal worth $254 million that made him the second highest paid player in the game and will hit in the middle of a lineup that sorely needed the help -- the Angels ranked 10th of 14 AL teams in runs scored in 2011. Pujols will bring an exciting offensive presence the Angels have been lacking since Kendrys Morales went down celebrating a walk-off grand slam in 2010. If Morales and Pujols are both effective, it could be the best one-two punch in the game. Angels ace Jared Weaver received some help at the top of the rotation as well when the team landed coveted hurler C.J. Wilson in free agency. Wilson, fresh off a sub-3 ERA with over 223 innings pitched, solidifies the staff as perhaps the AL’s best. Dan Haren and Ervin Santana have ace-quality talent and this will be a scary group of pitchers to face in October if the Angels clinch a spot in the postseason. Jordan Walden returns as Angels closer after racking up 32 saves for the Halos in 2011. Walden received Rookie of the Year consideration for his efforts, along with a trip to the All-Star Game. After a rough patch in early May, the big right-hander mowed through opponents and racked up 67 strikeouts in only 60 innings.
2011 Los Angeles Angels Season Preview
After years of dominating the AL West, the Los Angeles Angels failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. However, don't expect them to have a repeat performance in 2011. The Angels have the talent and depth to make another run at the division crown and will likely be in the postseason conversation come September. The Angels are still led by their manager Mike Scioscia, who brought the team to its first World Series in 2002, and they certainly have the offense to make up for last year's lack of production. The lineup is centered on veteran hitters Vernon Wells, Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter, all of whom have the potential to put up big years and generate runs. Los Angeles also has a number of role players as well such as Reggie Willits, Erick Aybar and first baseman Kendrys Morales, all of whom are reliable pieces of the puzzle. Though the Angles have plenty of solid hitters, their biggest strength comes in the form of their starting rotation. The one-two punch of Dan Haren and Jered Weaver is among the best in the American League. Weaver struck out 233 batters last year while keeping his ERA just above 3, and Haren also accumulated more than 200 strike outs. With a solid bullpen featuring Scott Downs and Trevor Bell, and other starters including Scott Kazmir and Ervin Santana (who won 17 games in 2010), pitching shouldn't be a problem for the Halos this year.
2010 Los Angeles Angels Season Preview
It seems like no matter what players are on the roster of the Los Angeles Angels, the team is always stirring up trouble in the postseason. Last year, even after losing their powerhouse first baseman and perennial MVP candidate Mark Teixeira and their dominating closer Francisco Rodriguez, the team found a way to compete deep into the playoffs. In fact, the squad fell just two games short of making it to the Fall Classic and battling for its first World Series title since 2002. This season is no different - the team has parted ways with two staples in their lineup, Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins, but has filled in the gaps to make a run at another promising year. The Halos will be looking for a solid season from first baseman Kendry Morales after the budding star mounted a breakout season in 2009. In addition, veteran outfielders Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui will be looking to pad their stats and claim a World Series ring as they enter the twilight of their illustrious careers. Fans who crowd into the stands this year can expect to see the same "small-ball" play from their team, making up for the their lack of power with high batting averages, dazzling speed on the basepaths, and potent defense, led by gold-glover Torii Hunter.
2009 Los Angeles Angels Season Preview
The roster of the 2009 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (formerly known as the Anaheim Angels) is stacked with difference makers. The L.A. Angels will count on strong pitching from Jered Weaver and solid hitting from Vlad Guerrero, Torii Hunter and Chone Figgins. If Anaheim Manager Mike Scioscia gets his team hot, they have the potential to win their AL West division again and head to the World Series.
2008 Los Angeles Angels Season Preview
Since their World Series win in 2002, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have established themselves as a top contender in the American League. With the outstanding hitting of Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero and pitching from John Lackey and Francisco Rodriguez, the Angels have a very real shot at regaining the AL Pennant and maybe another World Series title. The team's hopes in 2007 were dashed by the eventual World Champion Boston Red Sox. This season the Angels will seek to avenge that loss.