Blog Entry

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 4:55 pm
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By Matt Snyder


DALLAS -- While the big news of the Winter Meetings was the Angels adding superstar Albert Pujols via free agency, they also made a big splash on the pitching front, adding C.J. Wilson with a five-year contract. Now, the Angels boast a top four in the rotation that is likely the envy of the entire American League. Just look at the AL Cy Young balloting for last season. Jered Weaver finished second to the Tigers' Justin Verlander -- who had a historic season -- while Wilson came in sixth and Dan Haren was seventh. Ervin Santana's no slouch, either. The Angels now have to be mentioned in the same breath as the Giants and Phillies when it comes to lock-down, top-to-bottom rotations.

The Angels ranked fifth in starting pitching ERA in 2011 for the entire MLB. And they're now replacing Joel Pineiro (5.13 ERA) with Wilson (2.94 ERA).

"I know Jered and Dan, and those are good dudes," Wilson said Thursday. "I haven't talked to Santana yet, but I will. We're gonna push each other to make each other better."

"I know back in Texas, pitching with so many other good pitchers, it was incentive to compete and get better," he continued. "It makes you want to work harder and do your part."

Wilson certainly did his part during the 2011 season, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 206 strikeouts in 223 1/3 innings, qualifying for his first All-Star Game. Also keep in mind the Rangers played in the most hitter-friendly park in the majors in 2011, and Wilson's road ERA was 2.31. His career numbers in Angel Stadium of Anaheim -- a big-time pitcher's park the past two seasons -- are good, too. Wilson has thrown 38 1/3 innings there, putting together a 2.79 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 32 strikeouts. One of his five starts there was a complete-game effort, too.

MLB Winter Meetings
As for his new teammates? Not too shabby ...

Weaver, 29, was the All-Star Game starter for the AL in 2011. He went 18-8 with a 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 198 strikeouts in 235 2/3 innings. Haren, 31, was 16-10 with a 3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 192 strikeouts in 238 1/3 innings. Santana, 28, was 11-12 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 178 strikeouts in 228 2/3 innings.

Add it up, and you have a rotation that can work deep into the game and give you a great chance to win four out of every five games. The four combined for 15 complete games, seven shutouts and over 900 innings last year alone. As for the fifth starter, it's likely Jerome Williams, but does that even matter? The bullpen will be so well-rested 80 percent of the games that they'll be able to bail out Williams any time he needs it. Mike Scioscia may even grow bored in the dugout as he sits back and watches his big four eat innings night-in, night-out.

And it's not just the innings. It's the overall value to the ballclub.

According to Baseball-Reference.com's wins above replacement stat, the front four starters of the new Angels' rotation were worth 18.7 wins more than a replacement-level player last season. By comparison, the Phillies vaunted "four aces" had a combined WAR of 21.4. The Giants' top four? Just 14.8.

So while the Angels may not have the top three the Phillies do, they certainly have every bit of an elite starting rotation. Considering Pujols just got added to the offense, the rest of the American League has plenty to fear.

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Comments

Since: Apr 1, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:10 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

The best thing about this signing is that Wilson in going to be a number 3 starter, has a loaded offense playing in front of him, and stays in the AL West.



Since: Sep 25, 2008
Posted on: December 10, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

I know what we can do.  We can start calling them the Dream Team.



Since: Jul 1, 2009
Posted on: December 10, 2011 6:02 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

This column is overselling this a little bit. Don't get me wrong, Weaver is about as good a pitcher as anyone in this league and Haren, when he's on, is outstanding. But, outside of pitching a no-hitter against the Indians (my team by the way) Santana is average and CJ Wilson was the biggest over-hyped free agent since AJ Burnett. He's a good pitcher, but not a great one and by no means elite. He had a good season, but that's about it. He's had two good years, a terrible post season and will now go into this situation expected to be a 1A type pitcher. I don't believe CJ Wilson is the guy that is going to push this team over the hump. He cost WAY too much money and I believe in a few years people are going to be pointing at his contract versus his production and be very disappointed.



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 5:40 pm
 

Phillies #1, Angels #2

Pretty Good. 

Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, anyone is still way better 



Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

The best pitching staff in the AL is still in Tampa.



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: December 10, 2011 12:14 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

DONT THINK ITS GOING TO HAPPEN.......



Since: Dec 10, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:27 am
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

he said when.  lol







Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: December 10, 2011 9:53 am
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

Now, the Angels boast a top four in the rotation that is likely the envy of the entire American League. Just look at the AL Cy Young balloting for last season. finished second to the ' -- who had a historic season -- while Wilson came in sixth and was seventh. 's no slouch, either. The Angels now have to be mentioned in the same breath as the and when it comes to lock-down, top-to-bottom rotations.

I felt the same way exactly four weeks ago about the Angels having a stout front four to their starting rotation if they were indeed to land C.J. Wilson. Here is the link to those comments of mine from four weeks ago: .
The Albert Pujols signing did surprise me. I am not an Angels fan, but I think that this means that Kendrys Morales is not as healthy as most in the organization would like him to be.
It is safe to say that Angels have definitely gone all in for 2012 with these 2 free agent signings.



Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:45 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

Congratulations to the Angels for their bold off-season moves.  They are now a better team.  My Phillies got a bunch of flack for adding Cliff Lee to the Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton rotation.  Oswalt is gone now and Blanton soon too, but the emergence of Vance Worley makes that moot.  The Angels were considered here on the MLB board as pulling off a mega-coup when they added Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks.  At the time I thought Haren was a bit over-rated.  Well what happened there?.  But let's face it, the year Justin Verlander pulled off is beyond special.  Credit to Jered Weaver for being runner-up in a very special year.  I've never given C.J. Wilson enough credit, probably.  But there's no doubt that the addition that is this season's "Diamond in the Rough" is Albert Pujols.  They now have more HRs which = more runs.  And more runs = more wins.



Since: Apr 19, 2009
Posted on: December 9, 2011 9:44 pm
 

Angels now boast stellar starting rotation

Estupido, estupido Arte. You think throwing out $300mil for a couple players hands you the WS title. All you bought was a ton of pressure to win it all and we know how that works out most of the time. You way overpaid for a player that claims to be 31 when he looks like he's 35 or 36, which means you'll be paying $25 mil to a 45 year old. How much production do you think you'll be getting then? And Wilson, I hope you're not getting the Wilson that pitched in the WS cause if you did, it's going to be a long 5 years. I know he won 16 games in '11 but I could win 16 games pitching on a team where the offense scores 10 runs a game. It sure is a lot easier to pitch when you know your offense is going to score runs and that ain't going to happen in Anaheim, I mean Los Angeles, I mean Orange County or wherever it is they play. I can't wait to hear Arte explain how his Angels finished 2nd to the Rangers again. 


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