2010 MLB preview: Los Angeles Angels

The Angels have won three straight division titles, they probably have the deepest starting rotation in the American League West, the have a fast break offense, and they still have Manager Mike Scioscia. However they took a beating over he off season, gone are four Angel mainstays, however they may remain the team to beat. However the AL West is wide open, as the other teams out west were busy adding pieces.

The biggest question that they have to answer is who will replace Chone Figgins? Of the pieces they lost Figgins figures to be the hardest to replace. It is not like all star third baseman grow on a tree somewhere. Brandon Wood will take over Figgins spot in the field, but Erick Aybar will have the more difficult job of replacing him in the leadoff spot in their lineup.

Now who will replace ace John Lackey? We cannot fault the Angels for not wanting to give their ace a five year big money deal since he spent time on the disabled list with arm troubles in each of the last two seasons. While they singed Joel Pineiro, who learned to throw the sinker last year and had a career year. He will take Lackey’s spot in the rotation, but someone will have to step up and be the ace. The most likely candidate is Jered Weaver, but Joe Saunders might have something to say about that.

Finally, who will replace Vladimir Guerrero? Vlad has six highly productive seasons with the Angels. He was limited in 2009 due to injuries, and the Angels decided not to bring him back since they are opting for a more disciplined approach in 2010. They did sign Hideki Matsui, but the only this those two players have in common are declining skills in the out field. Matsui has been limited to DH duties because of his knees, but he might be able to have an impact there with this team.

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