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Thursday, July 31, 2008
Kevin Goldstein On Late-Season AL Reinforcements
In today's BPro, Kevin Goldstein looks at contending teams who might have reinforcements available late in the season, and sees the Angels as one such team:
Approximate Post-Season Odds: 29-28About the rest:
The Big Gun: Brandon Wood has been on fire of late, batting .354/.443/.697 and slugging nine home runs in his last 12 games. He's also walking more, striking out less, and has made just one error in his last 33 games. Everything seems to be coming together for him statistically, and scouts have noticed the changes as well. It's taken a little longer than expected, but he might finally be ready to break through at the big-league level.
Extra Starters: This is one of the few scary aspects of the Angels' stretch run, as their pitching prospects have not performed well at the upper levels. Right-hander Nick Green has pitched better of late at Triple-A Salt Lake, but 30-year-old veteran Giancarlo Alvarado might get the first look if somebody's needed, and while he'll hardly dominate, he's also the least likely to get hammered. The biggest disappointment continues to be Nick Adenhart, who has given up 82 hits and walked 27 over 52
2/3innings in his last ten starts with a 9.40 ERA.
September Fortifications: Now on the Olympic team, Matt Brown can play first and third and tortures left-handed pitching. Sean Rodriguez has a wide-ranging set of skills and can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield. Kendry Morales has never developed enough power for his position, but he has big-league experience and can hit for average. Bobby Wilson is a solid extra catcher. He might be up earlier, but former Arizona prospect Jason Bulger has been the most dominant reliever in the Pacific Coast League of late, reeling off 21 straight scoreless appearances and striking out 42 over 22 innings in the process.
The Long Shot: Manager Mike Scioscia likes to have a lot of offensive options, and outfielder Peter Bourjos offers plus-plus speed and bunting skills, though it's unlikely that the Angels will want to start his service clock.
- Red Sox: A pretty unimpressive story here, as "[t]heir top upper-level prospects are already helping the big-league club" offensively, though there's some good pitching depth, and "[t]he PawSox are loaded with home run threats".
- White Sox: "[O]ne of baseball's weaker systems" has little to no help for this team.
- Tigers: Detroit "sacrificed much of their system in the off-season", though there are a couple options in the rotation; considering how badly their starters have fared (4.62 ERA, 10th in the AL), you'd think they would have been called up by now.
- Twins: Pitchers Francisco Liriano, and the Kevin Mulvey; not much else otherwise.
- Yankees: Basically Ian Kennedy and a lot of speed guys/AA pitcher Mark Melancon after that.
- Rays: First-rounder David Price, slotted into the rotation or the bullpen; "Most scouts agree that he could easily get big-league hitters out right now." Behind him, Jeff Niemann and Jeff Talbot. Offensively, they have ex-A's starting first baseman Dan Johnson.