The Angels’ slow start this season can be directly traced to two vital elements of the team, pitching and catching, but within those elements, the specific individuals who have failed to produce are significant surprises. While the Angels began the season with some question marks on the pitching staff, they figured that two names that they could rely on were veteran ace Jered Weaver and set-up man Joe Smith. As to catching, while depth was
|a significant concern, they did begin the year with veteran Chris Iannetta returning for his fourth season as the starter, providing good defense and occasional power. Over the first month of the season, these three have all failed to produce as expected, and as the season is unfolding with the other anticipated AL Western Division contenders all having poor starts, the Angels have missed a major opportunity to gain an advantage over them.||
LA Angels Nike Performance Polo $69.95
After last year’s continued lack of pitching depth in the starting rotation, General Manager Jerry DiPoto and the Angels brass knew they needed to address that problem, and one of the team’s assets that they felt was expendable was switch-hitting back-up catcher Hank Conger. Conger had come up to the team with expectations that he would be their full-time catcher of the future, but following a disappointing rookie year in 2011, they signed free-agent Iannetta. After returning to the minos in 2012, Conger was a solid back-up the last two seasons, and at 26 appeared to have a solid future. The rebuilding Houston Astros recognized that, and they were willing to trade top pitching prospect Nick Tropeano AND catching prospect Carlos Perez to the Angels for Conger. While the Angels correctly jumped at the chance to make that deal, they left the team vulnerable going into 2015, with no experienced backup catcher in sight. Feeling that Perez was not ready to make the jump to the majors, they signed former Twins and Dodgers’ backup Drew Butera. However, Butera’s lack of offense (four-for-21, .190 this season, .183 lifetime B.A.) compounded Iannetta’s horrendous start (6-for-64, .094, 0 HR, 1 RBI), and with Perez off to a scintillating start in Triple-A, Butera was released and Perez recalled. And then history was made.
Starting against the Mariners last night in place of Iannetta, Perez got a hit in his first major league at bat, singling in the second inning. But, the best was yet to come: Batting in the bottom of the ninth in a four-four tie, Perez became the fist player since Miguel Cabrera with the 2003 Marlins to hit a walk-off, game-winning home run in his first major league game, giving the Angels a 5-4 victory.
But, there was more to last night’s game than that, some very, very good, and some very, very bad, and that all involves pitching.
Mother's Day Cards from Rubber Chicken
|But, there was more to last night's game than that, some very, very good, and some very, very bad, and that all involves pitching.
Coming into 2015, one the team's biggest concerns was the return to action of Garrett Richards, following his season-ending knee injury last August. Question marks abounded as
|But the real surprise on the pitching staff has been the total lack of success so far from ace Jered Weaver. In six starts so far, Weaver is 0-4 with a 6.29 ERA, this from a guy who is coming off an 18-9 season, and who had a .655 winning percentage over his first nine seasons. The Angels have won only one of Weaver's six starts; a year ago today Weaver had already posted three victories himself. |
While the staff has been boosted considerably
Majestic Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels Official 2015 Authentic Collection Cool Base Jersey $109.95