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Tag:Scot Shields
Posted on: July 16, 2008 5:08 pm
 

Adios, Franky?

 I posted this on the main baseball board in response to a thread about Francisco Rodriguez filing for free agency after the season. Here are my thoughts on the matter...

 

This is something that most Angels fans knew was coming since last season, maybe even the season before. The Angels have made fair, market value offers for Franky the past few seasons, but obviously, nothing that bowled him over. He's a very good and still very young closer who I'm guessing will become the ML's top paid reliever after this season. I don't think the Angels will be the team to give him the dough, however.

You can't predict these things, but he looks like a candidate for arm troubles, and may already be experiencing some, as his velocity has dipped 2-4 mph this season. His violent delivery and the amount of sliders he throws has and will take their toll. The pitch that has sort of re-invented him is his changeup, that he only throws to lefties. I think it's his best pitch, as his slider has become predictable and inconsistent.

If he leaves, the Angels have a couple candidates in Scot Shields and youngster Jose Arredondo, who, if you haven't seen him, is pretty nasty. They may also try to find a cheaper option through free agency or a trade. We'll have to wait and see.

It's not so much the dollars per season I have a problem with, it's the length of the contract (probably 6 or 7-plus seasons) he's looking for that makes me say: adios Franky, thanks for the memories.

Posted on: May 28, 2008 3:14 pm
 

Angels Checklist

Starting pitching: Check.  What was supposed to be a weakness in the early part of the season with John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar missing time has been anything but. Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana have been two of the better pitchers in the AL, and now that Lackey's back and Jered Weaver is pitching better of late, the Halos have one of the top rotations in all of baseball.

Bullpen: Check.  One of the Angels biggest strengths over the last several seasons was a major liability in the opening weeks of the season. Scot Shields opened the year on the DL and Justin Speier, Darren Oliver and company were just plain horrendous in the early going. Speier is still a bit of a mess, but D.O., Darren O'Day and the return of Shields got the pen going again and Franky has been getting the job done, albeit in shaky fashion.

Defense: Check.  Trading a Gold Glove shortstop and having a young, unproven kid try to fill his shoes, you'd expect some growing pains. I did. But Erick Aybar has been very good defensively and, to this point in the season, better than O.C. with the bat. Uh, that Torii Hunter guy IS pretty good, isn't he? Having another plus defender in Gary Matthews roaming left or right field has been a luxury. Casey Kotchman is one of the best in the league, and the kids (Brandon Wood, Sean Rodriguez) haven't hit a lick but have been solid with the leather.

Offense: What's the opposite of a check? After getting off to a blazing start, to say the offense has fizzled out would be a massive understatement. There really hasn't been any offense to speak of. To be fair, one-third of our lineup should be playing in Salt Lake and missing our lead-off guy and catalyst Chone Figgins has really hurt. All that said, we should still be better than this. Vlad - Hunter - GA is a decent middle of the order but it seems like we can't get two or more of those guys going at once. Kotchman has been the team's most consistent offensive player, but after an early HR tear, hasn't hit one in a while. Mike Napoli's early power stroke has been fun to watch, hopefully it continues. I'm honestly not worried about the offense, or lack thereof. When we get healthy and have Figgy, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar back, we'll have a much more balanced attack and we all know Vlad won't stay down for long.

The good news has been that the team is winning even through this drought. We went through a similar stretch last season, but we dropped a bunch of games then. The pitching has been so good, it's like they won't let us lose right now.

 

 
 
 
 
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