So what have I missed?! Did the Angels win the World Series yet?! Have they at least clinched the division? They haven’t?! Oh, they’re only nine games in?!
I know the Angels haven’t started out meeting the lofty expectations just yet but with the way Angels fans are reacting you’d think that the season is almost over rather than the fact that we are only nine games into it!
Over the past month I’ve been busy applying for jobs, going to interviews and ultimately accepting a job… I then spent a week studying for and taking the state of Texas Property and Casualty insurance exam. Let me tell you, it kicked my butt (thank the Lord I passed though)! What I hated the most about all of it was that the season was starting and I didn’t have the opportunity to watch much (if any) of the Angels games! I had to go off of my cell phone to have any idea what was going on.
So I finally got to watch a game tonight (4/15) and even though the Angels got beat I was thrilled to see a few things… One player I was excited to get to watch play was probably the biggest pick up the Angels had in the off season, yep I’m talking about our new catcher, Chris Iannetta! Now I know what you might be thinking here, the Angels picked up C.J. Wilson and Albert Pujols, how can I consider Iannetta to be the biggest pick up for them? To me it’s simple.
The Angels brought in Albert Pujols to play first base, the position that they got the best offensive output from last year. So even though Pujols was a huge addition, they did get production out of his position last year. Well certainly bringing in C.J. Wilson was much bigger than bringing in Iannetta right? I don’t think so. In 2011 the Angels had the lowest ERA in the American League and while for a good portion of the season they didn’t have a solid 4th starter (or 5th for that matter ) they still had good pitching.
Now let’s take the catcher position. For the last few years the Angels had been getting Mathis’d out of tons of opportunities with RISP. The Angels catchers’ collective batting average (between Jeff Mathis, Bobby Wilson and Hank Conger) was a dismal .189 for the season. I’m sure we can all remember multiple times when Mathis came up with RISP and struck out. Fans kept hearing about how Mathis was so great defensively but how many games did the Angels lose last year because of something that “could’ve” happened when he was up at the plate?
Now let’s look at the small sample we’ve received from Iannetta so far…
He is batting .348 while leading the team in RBI’s, doubles, walks (tied with multiple guys) and is tied with Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells with the most homeruns too. Now I know it’s early in the season but still, when is the last time the Angels have had this kind of production from a catcher?! It’s been a while!
Now obviously the Angels aren’t getting quite what they want out of Pujols yet, or most of the starting rotation for that matter but I think that Haren, Santana and Williams will all recover from rough starts and get in line with what the team expects. Pujols isn’t doing too bad but he obviously hasn’t found his groove and has admitted that he might be bearing down too hard. He is a trooper and has a proven track record, he’s going to get going and when he does I think the rest of the lineup will follow his lead.
So hold your heads up Angels fans! The season is still very young and we’ve got an exciting team to watch! It’s way too early to give up on this team!