April 4, 2010

One door closes and another opens

Opening day is tomorrow and it’s time to look forward; however, before we step into a new season, I thought it would be appropriate to kick the door shut on the spring.

The big questions of the spring have basically been answered. Brandon Wood is going to be the starting third basemen (filling the big shoes of Chone Figgins) and Bobby Wilson and Terry Evans; two players who are out of options (they can’t be sent to the minors without clearing waivers) have made the 25 man roster along with veteran Robb Quinlan.

Scott Kazmir will start the year on the Disabled List (DL); however, he’s scheduled to just miss one start. Matt Palmer will start in his place on Friday, April 9 against the hated A’s, with Kazmir rejoining the rotation for the series in New York against the Yankees the following week.

The Angels’ bull pen may be the best in baseball with Brian Fuentes, Scot Shields, Kevin Jepsen, Fernando Rodney, Jason Bulger, and Brian Stokes. That’s a group that should be able to step on the neck of opponents and crush any attempts at overcoming any leads the team has during the year.

I really don’t see any Cinderella stories emerging in the AL West this year. The glass slipper isn’t going to be there for Texas and certainly not for Seattle or Oakland in my opinion. The Angels look like champions of the west again and if the shoe fits… well, you get the picture.

They’ll be lacing them up tomorrow night with Jered Weaver making his first ever opening day start. The rest of the rotation will have Joe Saunders going on Tuesday with Ervin Santana on Wednesday, Joel Pineiro on Thursday and Palmer on Friday.

We are going to see an entirely home grown infield with Kendry Morales, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Wood. Add Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli to that group and again, you have a core that was drafted or signed by the Angels and then developed through the Angels’ minor league system. In fact 13 of players on the 25 man roster came up through the Angels organization. These foot soldiers are ready for the challenge ahead.

Rounding out the 25 man roster are Maicer Izturis, Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, Juan Rivera and Hideki Matsui. Reggie Willits will start the year on the DL.

Last, but not least Mike Scioscia the 2009 AL Manager of the year will be back to make sure everyone toes the line.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to kick it up a notch. It’s time to step on some toes (if necessary), make tracks in the sand and get this shoe err, show on the road. I’m ready for some Angels baseball; either that or a shoe commercial. Quick start the season before I use the line "There’s no business like shoe…" oops… too late.

BallHype: hype it up!

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