Tuesday, March 29, 2011
American League West Nuggets to Know
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels scored 142 fewer runs in 2010 than they did in 2009. The team’s batting average fell from .285 to .248.
Dan Haren's HR per 9 IP ratio of 0.77 after joining the Angels from Arizona would have been a career-best mark for him if he did so over the course of an entire season. The question is, can he maintain that sterling 6.5 HR/FB percentage that he posted after moving to the AL? Last season, the MLB average for a pitcher was 9.5 percent.
Last season, Oakland had one of the best young rotations in baseball. The A's had three pitchers under the age of 25, each of whom made at least 15 starts and had an ERA+ of 125 or better, according to Baseball-Reference.com. The only other team since 1900 with a trio like that was the 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers: Don Drysdale, Danny McDevitt, Johnny Podres. (ERA+ is an ERA comparison to the league average, adjusted for ballparks. Average is 100, so the higher the number the better.)
The Athletics searching for offense was a theme this past offseason. Incoming Josh Willingham's power would represent a significant upgrade for one of the worst offensive teams in baseball last season. It was a trade that flew under the radar, but Willingham carried a .389 OBP and 23.1 AB/HR ratio last season. Those numbers look Ruthian compared to Oakland's leftfielders, who combined for marks of .325 and 40.7 a year ago.
In 2010, the Mariners finished with 513 runs. That's the fewest in a full season since the designated hitter rule in 1973. Their designated hitters combined for a .194 BA and .609 OPS.
The fact that ace Felix Hernandez eclipsed 30 quality starts last season was just another testament to his great season, considering that only six pitchers since 1980 had done it before him. He did so while throwing over 249 innings. No pitcher in his age-24 season had done that since Bret Saberhagen in 1988.
Michael Young is on the verge of several franchise records. He’s 65 games and 40 runs shy of tying franchise records held by Rafael Palmeiro. Young needs five doubles to tie Ivan Rodriguez’s team record of 352.
According to the advanced defensive metrics Defensive Runs Saved and Plus/Minus, Adrian Beltre should be a significant defensive upgrade at third base over Young: Beltre has saved 55 runs since 2008 with a plus/minus of +69, while Young has cost his team 31 runs and been a -33.
-- Katie Sharp contributed to this report