Andrelton Simmons, Yunel Escobar, Geovany Soto
David Freese, Chris Iannetta, Erick Aybar
Trading for Simmons was a pretty underrated move this off-season. Simmons is a stud defender, and is a clear overall upgrade from Aybar. Escobar last year posted a 2.1 WAR compared to Freese who was a 2.2. It shouldn’t be much of a difference, and overall the off-season was not really a bad one.
Projected Playoff Lineup
- Yunel Escobar
- Andrelton Simmons
- Mike Trout
- Albert Pujols
- Kole Calhoun
- CJ Cron
- Daniel Nava
- Geovany Soto
- Johnny Giavotella
The presence of Trout obviously keeps them in the race. Between Trout and Pujols you are getting 80 home runs, and with Trout you are getting above average defense, speed and a .402 OBP. Calhoun behind the two should have a strong year after 25 home runs last year. He also was arguably the best defender on the team. With Simmons being added to the mix they now have three plus defenders with Calhoun, Trout, and Simmons. The question is what will they get out of the rest? Escobar and Cron are guys who can prove they can stay in the MLB with their bat, but neither has been a strong defensive option. Nava and Giavotella are really just guys, and neither bring much to the table, especially on defense. Overall you wonder if they have enough in their bottom of the order to survive.
Two players to watch that would need to make impacts this year is Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano. Both are starting te season on the DL, and both will probably start a few games in the minors, but with them you have a 24, and 25 year old respectively and two guys who have brightness to add to the rotation. Currently, it isn’t strong behind Richards. Heaney is a guy who proved in 105 innings last year that he can be a guy that is a 2 or 3 pitcher for you. He is also only 24 years old and is going through the transition the MLB. Weaver is a guy who is likely to lose his spot to one of these young guys as is Shoemaker. Santiago is most likely to stay just because he can eat innings. Weaver posted a .6 WAR last year, Santiago and Shoemaker posted a .7. If these three are in their rotation deep into the season they really cannot be looked at as contenders.
With Joe Smith and Huston Street the back end of the pen could certainly hold up. However, as a whole this is not a pen that will be keeping them in games. With the questions in the staff they may be seeing a good amount of innings as well. They should have depth because when healthy the Angels have about eight rotation options, but the fact that none are glamorous yet cannot be a good sign for the staff as a whole when looking at 2016.
The Angels just have too many questions without the answers. The depth and pitching are not here, and while they Mike Trout, he can only take a team so far. The bottom of their roster will need sorted out, and especially in the rotation it is best to see young names take a step forward. Until these guys are proving something worth buying into, it is hard to see the Angels hanging around this year.
4th in the AL West