On a typically beautiful night in Anaheim on May 2nd, 2013, Jered Weaver faced down Alexi Casilla of the Twins. On most nights, this would be an average matchup, perhaps even below average due to Casilla's general lack of hitting ability. On that night however, the pressure was on Weaver. The thoughts running through his head, the history he was so close to making, all coming down to hopefully one more hitter. He would eventually get Casilla to pop up to Torii Hunter in right field and it was over, the Long Beach Dirtbag had done it, he threw a no hitter. Weaver put his hands on his head as his teammates rushed him in one of the most euphoric (if not the most, it's likely) moment of the 2012 season for the Angels. Speaking with ESPN, Weaver said "It was an easy ride."
Unfortunately for Weaver and our much loved Halos, the season didn't end with a postseason birth. Weaver took the no hitter he pitched and went on to have a magnificent season but one man can only do so much and the team was left out of the playoffs, looking at the Oakland Athletics who made a miraculous leap frog jump over the Texas Rangers. Weaver was in consideration for the best pitcher in the American League in 2012, posting a 20-5 record which tied with Tampa Bay's David Price for the most in the AL (all the more special due to the bullpen's lack of well, everything and Price's eventual Cy Young win), a 2.81 ERA and a WAR of 3.0. It was a great season for 'Dreamweaver' and there's no reason to expect that he'll regress or perform in any other way than outstanding in 2013.
The Angels have changed their rotation in a huge way, losing Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana and gaining Tommy Hanson, Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas. Although the team isn't licking its wounds over losing Santana and Haren, the loss of Greinke was an expected yet still painful departure. Weaver is in a class of his own in the rotation and should be followed the next day by CJ Wilson. With the additions that the team has made (specifically Blanton and most likely, Hanson), Weaver is going to be depended on to be a workhorse, to eat up as many innings as he can so the bullpen isn't overly taxed on the days where Blanton and Hanson pitch. Hanson & Blanton may do very well in Anaheim but it's not generally expected at this point.
Something that may help Weaver is that speedy young outfielder Peter Bourjos is expected to become a full time player in the outfield and he will run down a lot of hit baseballs that should easily go for doubles, triples and even home runs. Josh Hamilton's bat should easily help his win total and keep Weaver in games, adding runs of insurance and a usually dependable glove in the outfield, if you forget a certain game against Oakland last season.
In all, Angels fans should expect a great season from Weaver, we really haven't seen an average or below average season from the young star except for 2008, where he had an ERA of 4.33. An injury might be probable due to the amount of innings he's going to be expected to pitch but if anyone can get through a season and keep a team on his back thanks to his stellar pitching skills, it's Jered Weaver. A Cy Young win might even be in the stars for Jeff's little brother in 2013.