This isn’t a huge surprise, but Bartolo Colon won’t be ready for opening day. The right hander is looking at a May return after his shoulder surgery last year. I’d rather have a better Colon for four months then what we got last year so it’s imperative that the Angels hold Colon back until he’s fully ready. With that said, a healthy and effective Colon wouuld be a huge boon down the stretch.
PECOTA isn’t looking for too much from Colon. His weighted mean average has him at an effective but unspectacular 97 innings over 14 starts. It’d be nice if we got somewhere between 23-28 starts from Colon but at this point, I think anything over 20 is gravy. It’s also no major surprise that Colon got a red light from Will Carroll.
With the logjam of players at shortstop, the Angels are giving top prospect Brandon Wood some time at third base this spring to see if he man the hot corner. This is one of the positions the Angels are weak at and if Wood can put together a ROY type season that he’s capable of, it would accomplish a couple of different things for the team.
It’s definitely better that they’re making this move early in the spring to give Wood some time to learn the position. It’s never an easy transition and the sooner he sees some solid time the better.
There’s no doubt expectations are pretty high for Jared Weaver in 2007. He had that great rookie season last year but this year is off to a slow start because Weaver hasn’t thrown off a mound in camp yet because of a bicep condition that he’s had since high school.
PECOTA looks for more of the same from Weaver in 2007. His weighted mean average line has him at a 1.21 WHIP and a 3.73 ERA over just less then 190 innings. I could live with that for sure although there is some concern because he has a 63% collapse rate which means his projections rely quite a bit on that great 2006 and he might fall short of that mark.
Both Kendry Morales and Casey Kotchman had solid winter ball seasons and both will get to show their stuff to see who the starting first baseman will be for the Angels. I’m a little partial to Kotchman because he had quite a pedigree coming up through the minors and I think if given the time, he’ll blossom.
Regardless, if the Angels want to make a run at the AL West, they’ll need some production from first base, which isn’t something that didn’t happen last year. Angels first basemen hit a mediocre .255/.297/.367 annd that .664 OPS was the worst amongst all of the positions the Angels fielded when it should have been one of the best.
The latest ESPN.com Hot Stove Heater speculates that with Gary Matthews, Jr., Garrett Anderson and Vlad Guerrero comprising the Angels outfield, that the Angels may have the best oufield heading into 2007. I guess I’m not quite as optimistic because I think Matthews is due for a decline and while Garrett Anderson is solid, he’s getting up there in age and I also expect him to drop off a big. Regardless, the Angels boast a nice combination of homegrown young talent with a few decent signings and that should keep the team in contention in 2007.
Miek Scarr at MLB.com recently profiled the Angels bullpen. One of the team’s strengths, there’s reason to believe that the Angels pen will be even better in 2007. With the additions of J.C. Romero and Justin Speier to go along with K-Rod and Scot Shields, the Angels definitely have some depth in the pen.
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