By Jon D. Gaede, BVN Staff –
Mike Soscia’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, don’t resemble themselves these days. Champions of little ball and good pitching, these 2011 Angels have neither of late.
At the start of the season, the club expected a rehabilitated Kendry Morales and the addition of proven hitter Vernon Wells, to round out their offensive attack. In reality, Kendry’s earliest return looks like sometime in May. He is sorely missed.
Veteran Vernon Wells was obtained in an off season move with Toronto. The career .280 hitter who normally averages 28 homers and 90 RBI was hitting below the Mendoza line (under .200) and is still recovering from an early season hamstring injury.
Team captain Torii Hunter’s bat has also gone cold as well as their usual team strength, starting pitching.
Starter Scott Kazmir had so many horrible outings this year, that the Angels sent him down to Salt Lake. Kazmir’s ERA is 17.02 in five starts.
In exchange for Kazmir, 21 year old rookie, Tyler Chatwood (Redlands East Valley) has been the new addition to the rotation.
Soscia has been patient with him. Chatwood has a nifty 95 mph fastball and a 12 to 6 curve ball. Although he has struggled with his control, Chatwood is 3-3 on the season and is gaining valuable experience.
Sure hitting Howey Kendrick has returned from injury and has a .350 average over the last seven games.
The Angel season can be summed up by missed opportunities, an inordinate number of double plays and a general lack of run support.
Ace pitcher Jerod Weaver led the American League out of the gate with a 6-0 mark.
Then the Angels stopped hitting, Weaver lost his next four with an average of 2 runs or less. He is currently 7-4.
When their pitching is sound and the Angel bats produce 4 runs or more per game, they are capable of winning every series, to include the mighty Yankees. The club was 3-7 during the previous 10 when hit the road to Seattle. The Angels beat the Mariners twice in two games.
With all their troubles, the Angels are only 5 games out of first in the West. They have won two of two on their road trip thus far in Seattle. Maybe this is the start of a mini run toward the All Star break in July.
Fan watch - New York Yankee Derek Jeter was six hits shy of 3,000 on Monday. Due to an unusual calf injury, the Yankee captain will be sidelined for ten days.