ANAHEIM, California ( Associated Press) – The Los Angeles Angels’ two ALL most valuable players are both fully healthy. So their $ 245 million is third baseman.
The Halos’ rotation looks promising, starting with two elite right-handers at the top. Their long hard bullpen looks like a straight strength.
Could this be the year that Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani finally win a playoff game with the ever-underperforming Englishman? Their fans have been burned many times before, but Trout thinks optimism is justified now that Trout, Ohtani and Anthony Rendon are united in good health.
“I think everyone here is excited to play with Shohei,” Trout said. “Since we signed Rendon (before the 2020 season), I do not think we have played so many times with a full series. Of course it will be different this year, and it is exciting. ”
Trout appeared in just 36 games last year before being sidelined in mid-May due to a staggering calf injury. Rendon managed to play in just 58 games due to a variety of ailments, many related to a crippling hip injury, and he did not play again after the middle of the season.
Ohtani played the whole season – and he played spectacularly. He will be on the hill and batting lead when the Halos open the regular season on April 7 as host of AL West, Houston.
All three sluggers are healthy and strengthened by a series that includes David Fletcher, All-Star first baseman Jared Walsh and veteran Justin Upton. Manager Joe Maddon is impressed with his series’ potential, but also knows that health will be paramount.
“We have to keep our guys on the field to really see the potential of this group,” Maddon said.
The English added right-handed Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen to their rotation. They added former Yankees quarterbacks Tyler Wade and Andrew Velazquez. They also added relievers Aaron Loup, Archie Bradley and Ryan Tepera.
Inner fielder Phil Gosselin and outfielder Juan Lagares have left. So did the beginners Alex Cobb and Dylan Bundy and the replacements Steve Cishek and Junior Guerra.
SMOKES TO WATCH
Reid Detmers hopes to leave the sixth rotation spot.
Syndergaard is ready to let go of the thunder after spending two years largely on the sidelines.
The Englishman signed the 29-year-old former Mets-ax nicknamed “Thor” for a $ 21 million one-year contract as their biggest off-season acquisition.
Syndergaard has thrown just two innings in the major leagues over the past two seasons while returning from the Tommy John operation, but he is throwing without restrictions. He has no innings restriction, though the Halos’ six-man rotation offers a built-in buffer.
“Because I did not show up for two years, and this is probably the most important year of my career, I just need a lot of stress from my shoulders,” Syndergaard said. “Joe has a wonderful clubhouse, and it’s a lot of fun and loose, but it’s definitely time to get started.”
The English did not sign a big name short stop in the off-season, which had to fill the position by several candidates.
Wade and Velazquez are candidates, as are the returnees Luis Rengifo and Jack Mayfield. Maddon can also move Fletcher from the second inning to the shortstop. No matter what happens, the position looks ready for a mid-season upgrade if the Englishman turns out to be a play-off contender.
The English bullpen has been their weakness for years, but general manager Perry Minasian took another chance to get it right.
After signing Loup and paying the highest dollar to re-sign the excellent closer Raisel Iglesias before the exclusion, Minasian caught Bradley and Tepera earlier this month. They will join owners Mike Mayers and Austin Warren in a group that will take a big step forward from the previous English bullpens if it even turns out to be average.
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