We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2012 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2012 Angels Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Sam Miller from The OC Register.
1) The addition of Pujols creates a logjam, which sounds very odd. But it’s true. I went over my thoughts when he landed in Bobby Grichville. What do you think? Specifically, does Mark Trumbo play and where?
First Trumbo has to get healthy. He’s got a weird foot thing, which is weird because the guy he replaced had a weird foot thing, and the guy who is writing this answer has a weird foot thing. I just like the shape of them. Can I see your foot? The left one.
But the problem with even a healthy Trumbo is that it’s not like there are four guys for three positions and he just happens to be the fourth. There are basically seven guys for four positions and he’s sixth or seventh. He’s not going to play over Pujols. He’s not going to play over Hunter. He’s not going to play over Wells, at least early. He’s not going to play over Abreu/Morales against righties. And he might not play over Morales against lefties, either. Also, (I read ahead,) do we see Mike Trout this year? So it’s not great. Third base was a longshot to begin with, but weird foot thing + not trading Callaspo/Izturis makes that look not only unlikely but unhelpful. I wouldn’t bet on more than 250 plate appearances.
There are two reasons to own Trumbo anyway. One is that he could still stumble into 3B eligibility, along with 1B, RF, maybe LF, which is a useful combo. Two is that the Angels could trade him to someone who puts him near the middle of the order. Three is that he’s the world’s greatest hitter, which is why there are only two reasons.
2) This is sort of a part B on the first question. Do we see Mike Trout this year? If so, how many at-bats will he get?
I think he was going to start in Salt Lake even before Pujols signed. Scioscia was telegraphing that plan pretty clearly, if still leaving his options open. And Pujols pushes all the playing-time crunch onto the corner outfield spots, so now it’s even less likely he’ll start in Anaheim. Just a guess, but maybe he’s up in June or July and plays every day for whoever is injured or sucking. A lot of these playing time decisions will depend on whether Vernon Wells bounces back.
>>Glances down. Sees Question No. 4.<<
These questions are all out of order, Grey.
3) Okay, this is kinda part C on the first question. Man, you’re getting off easy! Does Kendrys Morales bounce back to what we saw before his limp-off home run or does he just bounce back and forth off the DL?
There’s a pretty long history of position players missing a year or more and coming back more or less good at baseball as they ever were. More or less. Ron Gant did it and Chipper Jones and Robin Ventura and even Rocco Baldelli before a bunch of new and unrelated injuries ruined him. Those injuries are all different than Morales’, so I’m not saying they work as perfect comps, or even imperfect comps for his health, but long stretches of inactivity don’t seem to erode skills. There’s obviously a limit to this theory, though, according to the motion picture Mr. 3000.
He truly is ahead of where he was at this point last year, so I’m a bit more sanguine, which is a word I love to use in my writing because I don’t know how to pronounce it. I think he’ll be healthy enough to play this year, and I think his pre-injury line in 2010 (.290/.346/.487) is a fine projection, perhaps adjusted down a tick to reflect a lower overall offensive environment.
4) This is not question 1D, but you can think of it like that if you like. I see Vernon Wells as a bounce back candidate. Do you agree or think I’m crazy like everyone else who reads that post I just linked to?
Wells is still strong and runs pretty well in the outfield and his isolated power numbers were reasonable.He just forgot how to hit, at all, and not just in a BABIP way — his line drive rate was the worst in the league, and he went from June 10 to July 16 without a walk. Still, I’d always bet on the guy who forgets how to hit before I’d bet on a guy who gets old and fat and broken down. Vernon Wells is not fat and he’s not physically broken down and he’s not all that old.
He’s also rebuilt his swing “from scratch.” Those offseason working-on-my-swing stories always seem encouraging, and it seemed encouraging to me when he said it. (He’s working with the Cubs’ Rudy Jaramillo, a guy smart people say nice things about.) But on the other hand, the tinkering phase is sometimes like the third or fourth step toward madness. So I don’t know if that’s good or bad, actually. It’s either good or bad. But every fantasy sleeper is going to be either good or bad. That’s why they’re fantasy sleepers instead of fantasy studs.
5) What would be the ultimate proof that the Angels supplanted the Dodgers as the favored SoCal team?
A) Rihanna and Alyssa Milano hanging around the clubhouse.
B) Arte’s wife files for divorce.
C) Fans show up in the 4th inning and leave in the 6th.
D) Tommy Lasorda opens up a pasta stand at Angels Stadium.
E) They change their name once again but this time to the On-Hels.
F) The Dodgers rename themselves the Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles.
G) Vin Scully starts calling their games.