By Mike Holian @MikedUpHooligan on March 22, 2014
The Los Angeles Angels went all-in, the Dodgers called, and won the pot. Now the Halos, who were once perennial contenders, have taken a step back as a franchise. A big-spender mentality has backfired, but that dangerous game of hope still looms. Many new faces will suit up in an attempt to complement an already-elite core, however, the risk factor these pieces present is the elephant in the room.
Let's open the 2014 arsenal.
1. Mike Trout
2. Albert Pujols
3. Josh Hamilton
4. Kole Calhoun
5. David Freese
This organization pays the bills at the plate. The murderer's row of Trout, Pujols and Hamilton can take on all comers, but the others have yet to pull their own weight.
1. Jered Weaver
2. C.J. Wilson
3. Ernesto Frieri
4. Garrett Richards
5. Tyler Skaggs
When he's on, Weaver can stockpile gems as one of the game's top-flight arms, but injuries and decreased velocity are major red flags. Wilson has gone 30-17 over the last two seasons. However, his 1.34 WHIP represents a chink in his armor. The rest of the rotation represents a Gamblers Anonymous meeting on the hill.
1. David Freese
2. Kole Calhoun
3. Tyler Skaggs
4. Hector Santiago
5. Raul Ibanez
Not many squads have added this many pieces that are going to be relied on this heavily. Resetting the rotation at least lets the fans know an effort is taking place, regardless of the Diamondbacks' highway heist. Trumbo's replacement David Freese brings a championship pedigree.
1. Kole Calhoun
2. Tyler Skaggs
3. C.J. Cron
4. Jose Rondon
5. Taylor Lindsey
The once highly-regarded Angels farm system is seeing a resurgence with projected Opening Day leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun being the star of the show. The left fielder, who owns only 218 major league at-bats, is ready to prove that he's worthy of full-time gig.
Expect another year of frustration for the Angels before any notion of reclaiming the AL West throne materializes. With so much already invested elsewhere, the idea of Trout soon wearing Dodger Blue will rear its ugly head.
Overall Record: 85 - 77
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