AL West MLB Team News — 31 March 2010

2009 regular season record: 97-65, First place, AL West

Major Offseason Acquisitions: Hideki Matsui (NYY), Joel Pineiro (STL), Fernando Rodney (DET)

Major Offseason Losses: John Lackey (BOS), Chone Figgins (SEA), Vladimir Guerrero (TEX), Gary Matthews Jr. (NYM), Darren Oliver (TEX)

Projected Lineup (2009 stats):

1. SS-Erick Aybar (.312 BA, .353 OBP, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 14 SB)

2. RF-Bob Abreu (.293 BA, .390 OBP, 15 HR, 103 RBI, 30 SB)

3. 1B-Kendry Morales (.306 BA, .355 OBP, 34 HR, 108 RBI)

4. CF-Torii Hunter (.299 BA, .366 OBP, 22 HR, 90 RBI, 18 SB)

5. DH-Hideki Matsui (.274 BA, .367 OBP, 28 HR, 90 RBI)

6. LF-Juan Rivera (.287 BA, .332 OBP, 25 HR, 88 RBI)

7. 2B-Howie Kendrick (.291 BA, .334 OBP, 10 HR, 61 RBI)

8. C-Mike Napoli (.272 BA, .350 OBP, 20 HR, 56 RBI)

9. 3B-Brandon Wood (.195 BA, .267 OBP, 1 HR, 3 RBI)

Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):

1. RHP Jered Weaver (16-8, 3.75 ERA, 211 IP)

2. LHP Joe Saunders (16-7, 4.60 ERA, 186 IP)

3. RHP Ervin Santana (8-8, 5.03 ERA, 139.2 IP)

4. LHP Scott Kazmir (10-9, 4.89 ERA, 147.1 IP)

5. RHP Joel Pineiro (15-12, 3.49 ERA, 214 IP)

Closer: Brian Fuentes (3.93 ERA, 48 saves)

2010 outlook: Despite a season full of adversity, the Angels were still able to win the AL West by 10 games in ’09.

However, going into 2010, they’ve lost some parts essential to their past success, including John Lackey, Chone Figgins, and Vlad Guerrero.

On paper, though, the Angels look just about as dangerous as ever.

Despite the loss of Figgins at the top of the order, their lineup is still full of guys proficient at landing themselves on base.

While they’ll certainly miss his versatility, the club finally will get a full-season look at 25-year-old Brandon Wood.

Wood will play third base, and he’s been putting up stellar numbers in the minors for the last four years.

Alongside a powerful lineup, the Angels also boast one of baseball’s deepest starting rotations.

All five guys have shown great potential, but the key may be former Rays’ ace Scott Kazmir.

Kazmir had a down year in ’09, but was great after coming to Los Angeles at the end of the season.

He started six games for the Angels, going 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA.

If he and new acquisition Joel Pineiro can pitch up to what they’re capable of, the Angels could be in for some big things once again in 2010.

2010 Prediction: 96-66, First place, AL West

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