Angels Getting Healthy, AL Should Be Worried

This week saw the return of David Freese and Kole Calhoun to the Angels lineup, despite a hamstring tweak that kept him out of his first game of the season, Mike Trout looks like he’s out of his slump, that guy wearing number 5 is doing a letter-perfect impression of a guy who used to play for St. Louis named Albert Pujols, and Jered Weaver capped a streak of seven excellent starts that saw his ERA go from 5.79 down to 2.85 with a complete game two-hitter last night. By next week, the club expects to see Josh Hamilton also back in the outfield, and for the first time in a year, Sean Burnett back in the bullpen. The team now has more depth than its seen in years, after excellent play from several fill-ins including Grant Green, Efren Navarro, and Collin Cowgill, and a starting staff that can now actually go five deep.

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The Angels, winners of ten of their last 13 games and now at 26-20 for the season, possess the third best record in the American League. After spending boatloads of Artie Moreno's money in the 2011 and 2012 off-seasons, the team now looks like the team that management thought they were getting back then.

The Angels payroll of $155 million may be the sixth highest in baseball, but it pales in comparison to the best team money can buy that pays its players $235 million to play 30 miles northwest of Anaheim Stadium, and in
comparison to the $203 million the dead steinbrenner pays his guys in the Bronx. Of the five teams that pay more in payroll, only one, the Detroit Tigers, has a better record than the Angels.

After two incredibly disappointing seasons, and after a start to 2014 marred by so many injuries (but that seems to be the case throughout baseball this season), the Angels, led by Trout, Pujols, and Weaver, and the steady hand of Mike Scioscia, are the best-kept secret in SoCal sports that has has been dominated by the drama of the Clippers, the excitement of the Kings, the demise of the Lakers, and the tv blackout of the Dodgers.

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